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Masking over decals

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  • Member since
    June, 2018
Masking over decals
Posted by Designer_jeff on Monday, June 04, 2018 8:26 AM

In the past I've applied decals and needed to do some paint touch up so appied future over decaland then tape but the tape still pulled up the decal. Is there a away to mask over decals?



  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Tuesday, June 05, 2018 7:40 AM

There may be some type of clear coat that can protect decals from masking, but generally speaking, masking over decals with tape is to be avoided. I am not aware of a reliable way to do this. Someone may chime in and enlighten us both, but as far as I know, there is no way to mask over decals (with tape) and expect to get away clean.

If you do attempt this, try a low-tack tape, or apply & remove your piece of masking tape several times to a clean piece of glass to help reduce the degree of stick. Liquid masking fluid may offer a solution, though some types of that stuff can stick pretty hard as well. BMF as a masking medium may have possibilities, but again, no guarantees.

Hopefully someone else will have better info.

Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
       - Antoine de Saint-Exepury


  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Tuesday, June 05, 2018 7:43 AM

Oh, and welcome to the Forum, Jeff. I hope you find the solution to your question.

Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
       - Antoine de Saint-Exepury


  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: Nashua, New Hampshire
Posted by mrmike on Tuesday, June 05, 2018 7:54 AM

Generally, I would avoid masking over decals.  It is best to do all your touchups before applying decals to avoid the risk of accidentally damaging any with tape or other media.

"That's Spenser with an 'S' like the poet."

Robert Urich Spenser For Hire 1985

On my bench-1961 Chevrolet Impala SS 409; Ford Transit Mk2

Classic Plastic Model Club

  • Member since
    January, 2018
Posted by Viperdoug on Tuesday, June 05, 2018 9:20 PM

I've had good luck taping over decals after I've applied 2K clear first.

  • Member since
    January, 2017
Posted by 195X on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 10:11 PM

When you add a layer of paint, it bonds to the surface through a chemical reaction. Decals are simply attached by an adhesive. Although it may lay down nice and tight, the adhesive does not become part of the paint, it attaches to it's surface. I've used tape to remove old decals from kits.

If you seal the decal under a couple layers of clear, and use a weak tape with low tack, you might get away with it. My attitude is, do your touchups before any decals whenever possible.

My favorite color is clear. I am also ambidexterous, I can screw up equally well with either hand. I am 53 years old and been building for most of that time. :)

On the bench... somewhere. Pink Panther show car, 1978 Dodge Magnum Charger Daytona Midnight edition SE 300. Mongrel T.

  • Member since
    June, 2013
Posted by Martinfan55 on Wednesday, July 18, 2018 9:40 PM

You can, but you need at least a few coats of clear over the decals, you have to be very careful,  2k clear is good for this, as its thicker than hobby clears, so you dont have to do as much,  and low tack tape as well.


The other method is if you have to , use the plastic wrap stuff you might have in your kitchen and lay that over the decals and then place your tape on over the clear instead of the decals.

  • Member since
    June, 2015
Posted by dimaxion on Saturday, July 28, 2018 2:22 PM

I will add this as the voice of experience . If you want to remove decals , use 'scotch tape' . Wait a day , pull and gone .  I used , notice past tense , this process making side trim it's shiney metal suffaces . One , the last one , was a '57 Mercury Pace Car .  Modelhaus Kit , MCW Paint , Fred Kady Decals . The nomeclature was under the trim , not painted over the trim . All went well until .. Anyone have rthe dood decals made by Fred Kady for hte '57 Mercury Indy Pace Car willing to part with ? Sucessfully , I've used both Freezer and Drafting Tape to prevent lifting of paint . Less agressive adhesive . Thanx .. 

  • Member since
    September, 2011
Posted by Arthur Anderson on Tuesday, July 31, 2018 4:41 PM

The short answer is "No".  While decals themselves are made by printing multiple colors of lacquer on top of a clear lacquer film, their adhesive is still common, ordinary gelatin (Yeah, the same stuff as "There's always room for Jell-O"), which while it sticks comfortably to a smooth, highly polished surface, will never have anyway near the bonding that say, successive layers of paint brushed or sprayed, one coat upon another.

That said, it might make better sense, to paint the stripes on BEFORE adding the decals, then VERY carefully measuring and cutting the decals to fit the space between the stripes.  Difficult it does sound, but I bet it can be done.



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