Back-To-Basics: Masking vs. Removing

Sometimes going back-to-basics can make the difference between a quality repair and a failed repair. When it comes to refinishing, there are a few guidelines to remember when making a decision to either mask or remove a part.

The decision to remove or mask a part can come from a few things. Part location and access, whether a part has one-time use hardware, as well as the ability to prep a panel, and protect it from overspray. For example, if an entire door panel is being refinished, it would be difficult to thoroughly sand and clean a door panel if the handle and molding were still attached. It also might be difficult to properly mask these parts to protect them from overspray. The finish of these parts may also be damaged by, or the removal of overspray. In this case, removing the door handle and molding would be the best option.

On the other hand, some moldings on vehicles require a new molding when one is removed, as well as one-time use fasteners. There may also be parts on a vehicle that have no direct access to the backside to remove the part, or the steps to remove the part are extensive, making masking the more efficient option. Another example for masking would be if a door panel was only being blended.

The decision to remove or mask parts during the refinishing process can greatly affect the outcome and quality of the repair.

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