A Sticky Situation with Javier Soto!

Hey guys, thought I’d share with you a Q&A from the September-October 2010 issue of Airbrush Action.  Javier Soto was kind enough to take the time to help out a reader.

There is some glue left from the stencil on my bike. How should I remove the glue from the bike without damaging the water-based paint that I have yet to lacquer.  Thanks, Sean.

The best way that I have found to remove residual adhesives is by using a fresh piece of the same masking material that you used in that job. First, try dabbing it and pulling off the residual adhesive. If dabbing doesn’t do it, try rubbing it across the adhesive (in the same manner you’d use an eraser). If the original masking material doesn’t work well, try using a stronger, or tackier, tape or material. Remember, the key here is to start with a lighter tack first and work up to the tackier tapes.  If all tapes have failed, then you can try solvents, but you must be careful and only use non-aggressive solvents. I would start with mineral spirits and test it on an inconspicuous spot first. It would help to know the exact paint and masking/stenciling material used, but I will tell you what has worked on Createx’s Wicked paint: I’ve used Mineral Spirits, DuPont Final Klean 3901s, and PPG DX330 with minimal problems.  There is always the possibility that the adhesive may be too stubborn to remove without taking some paint along with it, in which case a touch-up or even a dreaded repaint may be inevitable, but from my experience, that has rarely happened. Also, be sure to use quality brands and newer, fresher material.  I like Avery brand masking vinyl and prefer the yellow over the white but I do use both.  I also like Automask from www.coastairbrush.com.

Good luck and happy painting.

Javier Soto

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