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  1. #1
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    Question Removing a stuck paper mask (HELP!!)

    I'm finishing up the Quest Quadrunner, and I have kind of a major problem. The rocket comes with a paper mask section which you cut out and adhere to the rocket with temporary spray adhesive.

    First time I tried this, using Elmer's craft spray adhesive (which is supposed to have both temporary and permanent bonding capability), I used too little, and it began to peel. So I reapplied the mask, making sure to get the whole thing covered in adhesive. I waited the requisite 3-5 minutes for a temporary bond, and applied it to the rocket.

    Today, I did the top coat, only to discover that apparently I'd used too much adhesive, because now it's really really stuck! I've barely been able to peel any of it off.

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    I was wondering if anybody could give me some suggestions. Goo Gone, for example? Razor blade?? I'm really not sure what to do about this. I've taken over a month to build this rocket, did everything with the utmost care, and now that I'm nearly done, I may have ruined the finish. All the parts of the construction I was worried about went really well.

    Thing is, apart from this major flaw, the rocket looks great.

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    In a previous thread, someone mentioned masking with Frisket Film. I wish I'd heard about that before applying this mask. I'd be done by now! Next time, I guess...

    Thanks for your help.

    Daniel J. Petrie - The Rocket N00b - NAR # 100015
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  2. #2
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    Check the can for removal instructions; I'd start with something pretty tame like rubbing or denatured alcohol for the adhesive. A little water may soften the paper enough get the large remaining piece off so you can access the adhesive. The Elmer's website recommends an oil-based cleaner, but that may start removing some of your paint job. Proceed with caution.

    Doug

    TRA# 14183 / NAR# 91819
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  3. #3
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    As soon as or if your paint is fully cured I would try a nice wet rag and moisten the mask. Squeeze or dab some water on the mask keep it moist for awhile and try to rub the mask off.
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  4. #4
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    Elmers type glues can be softened with white vinegar, its especially useful to soften aliphatic resin types (wood glues).
    Last edited by rharshberger; 26th December 2014 at 03:34 AM.
    Rich

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  5. #5
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    try W-D40 Ive used it to remove tape residue but 1st test it on the paint either on a spot that wont show or spray it on a piece of scrap tube and let dry then test there
    dart rocketry and tripoli san diego member since early 90's
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  6. #6
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    I have found that the CA accelerator in the spray bottles can loosen many types of spray adhesive and also remove any adhesive marks left behind when you remove masking tape from a model.

    Proceed with caution and test a small area first.

    The idea of using water to remove the paper is a good one. This method is highly likely to leave all of the adhesive behind on the surface of the rocket. There is a chance the adhesive could be rubbed off the paint without damage at that point.

    However, if the spray adhesive on the paint template was still somewhat wet with solvent when applied, it may be etched into the paint. If do, you might need to sand out the paint with 500-600 grit paper to get to good paint underneath, and then add a clear coat on top to get the shine back. You do risk burning through the paint doing this and having to re-apply some more.

    A better technique than the spray adhesive on a paper template for paint masking is to transfer the template to some inexpensive self stick vinyl shelf paper, cut it out and apply to the rocket. And the frisket paper you mention is another good technique.

    Best of luck with recovering your paint job.
    Tom Blakeney
    NAR 52002 L1, AMA 28682
    2016 launches so far: 36: 2 HP, 7 MP, 6 LP, 21 R/C RG. R/C Chute Sled: 8 for 8!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tab28682 View Post
    I have found that the CA accelerator in the spray bottles can loosen many types of spray adhesive and also remove any adhesive marks left behind when you remove masking tape from a model.

    Proceed with caution and test a small area first.

    The idea of using water to remove the paper is a good one. This method is highly likely to leave all of the adhesive behind on the surface of the rocket. There is a chance the adhesive could be rubbed off the paint without damage at that point.

    However, if the spray adhesive on the paint template was still somewhat wet with solvent when applied, it may be etched into the paint. If do, you might need to sand out the paint with 500-600 grit paper to get to good paint underneath, and then add a clear coat on top to get the shine back. You do risk burning through the paint doing this and having to re-apply some more.

    A better technique than the spray adhesive on a paper template for paint masking is to transfer the template to some inexpensive self stick vinyl shelf paper, cut it out and apply to the rocket. And the frisket paper you mention is another good technique.

    Best of luck with recovering your paint job.
    I think I might try water and rub it in with some wet/dry sandpaper. Problem is, there are a few small spots where I actually broke through to the paper tube itself - through the primer and the waxy coating, down to the paper fibers. I'm not sure how to go about repairing that, and water might just exacerbate the problem. But I'm finding myself feeling the urge to get that stuck paper off at almost any cost.

    I am really frustrated with this rocket - everything was going so well until I made this mistake. If I can just get the paper off, then I don't mind taking whatever time I need to fix the horrors I'm sure to find underneath. But I'd like to avoid doing any more damage.

    I just wish I'd done this to a cheaper kit, and had learned this lesson for less money.
    Daniel J. Petrie - The Rocket N00b - NAR # 100015
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by lcorinth View Post
    I think I might try water and rub it in with some wet/dry sandpaper. Problem is, there are a few small spots where I actually broke through to the paper tube itself - through the primer and the waxy coating, down to the paper fibers. I'm not sure how to go about repairing that, and water might just exacerbate the problem. But I'm finding myself feeling the urge to get that stuck paper off at almost any cost.

    I am really frustrated with this rocket - everything was going so well until I made this mistake. If I can just get the paper off, then I don't mind taking whatever time I need to fix the horrors I'm sure to find underneath. But I'd like to avoid doing any more damage.

    I just wish I'd done this to a cheaper kit, and had learned this lesson for less money.
    Yes, water will COMPLETELY exacerbate the problem if you've gone through the glassine coating and into the tube wall fibers itself.

    I don't have any particular suggestions for getting the adhesive off. At this point, I think your finish is probably toast-- the key is getting the adhesive and masking paper off the rocket, which will probably require a solvent-type remover to get at the adhesive.

    By all means, keep water away from the spots where you've gone through the glassine into the tube. Then just work on the areas you can still work on.

    When it comes time to repair the glassine worn-through spots, you'll have to either apply CA to seal off the area, or yellow wood glue (which will be a lot harder to sand), then level the area down and sand off the raised paper "hairs" and probably follow up with some filler (either carpenter's wood filler thinned down with water, or Bondo Glazing and Spot Putty. Sand that down and you should be good to go.

    If you work VERY carefully, you may still be able to save your initial paint job, or most of it anyway. But the priority now needs to be "DO NO MORE DAMAGE TO THE TUBES!"

    Best of luck.

    Later! OL JR
    The X-87B Cruise Basselope- THE ultimate weapon in the arsenal of homeland defense and only $52 million per round!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcktnut View Post
    As soon as or if your paint is fully cured I would try a nice wet rag and moisten the mask. Squeeze or dab some water on the mask keep it moist for awhile and try to rub the mask off.
    X2, wait until it cures use a damp cloth and you may have to sand the edges.

  10. #10
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    I agree if your down to body tube you don't want any moisture/water coming into contact with it. Usually with a temp adhesive and a solid finish underneath it you can rub the adhesive off with your fingers. It sort of "balls" up, leaving the finish in pretty good shape. For masking or top coating any second colors I wait at least a week after painting the first color. I always do a sniff test, I can tell when the paint is ready for further procedures, another color, decals etc. Waiting until the first color is well cured can save a lot of grief and time. How long did you wait for the first coat before applying the mask?
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  11. #11
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    UPDATE: I got the paper mask off, and with minimal damage to the paint below!

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    I got really frustrated and wet sanded with some 220 grit wet/dry paper. I know that sounded like a horrible idea, but I figured I'd never get a great finish on this rocket, and just wanted to get that red-painted paper off there. Simply wetting the paper wasn't working, because the enamel paint had made it water-resistant.

    As I went through the process of sanding the stuff off, I had three thoughts: 1) This is probably a horrible idea, but I don't care any more... 2) Wait... this is working? I can't believe this is working! 3) I can't believe I'm not damaging the finish below!

    There is still some adhesive on the rocket, which I need to figure out how to remove. It won't simply rub off with a finger, so I need some kind of solvent or remover. I may try the above mentioned suggestions of CA accelerator, DW-40, or the like, but I want to be careful of the paint job.

    Looks like I didn't break through to the actual paper fibers in the tube, because the wet sanding didn't seem to raise any fibers. Perhaps I did, but it's only a small patch, and didn't seem to cause any swelling or shredding, so I think I'm good there. There are some spots of exposed primer, and then the parts where I gouged the primer off in my initial attempt to remove the mask. To repair this, I'm thinking maybe applying a bit of primer to those spots with a Q-tip, sanding down to surface, then re-painting the white part. Any thoughts on this?

    Also, a question for future reference: The vinyl masking material mentioned above by tab28682, and by dcbertelsen here - what is this stuff called, and where do you get it? Is it sticky, or does it adhere more like a window cling? I'm planning a blog post about this build and this problem I've had, and I'd like to know more.

    Thanks for the help, guys!

    EDIT: In response to rcktnut's question: I'd waited about two days before applying the mask. Actually, three days. First time I applied the mask, it was two, and the second time, the time it got stuck, was the following day. Paint seemed pretty dry, but waiting longer is always better, I suppose.
    Last edited by lcorinth; 27th December 2014 at 08:29 PM.
    Daniel J. Petrie - The Rocket N00b - NAR # 100015
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  12. #12
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    Dan, I have often used Ronsonol lighter fluid to remove labels from objects, including labels affixed to both paper and plastic containers. (I mean, why throw away a perfectly good container, right?) As others have said it's best to test first. Good luck!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by lcorinth View Post
    Also, a question for future reference: The vinyl masking material mentioned above by tab28682, and by dcbertelsen here - what is this stuff called, and where do you get it? Is it sticky, or does it adhere more like a window cling? I'm planning a blog post about this build and this problem I've had, and I'd like to know more.

    Thanks for the help, guys!
    Here is one example of the self adhesive vinyl shelf paper. You can buy similar products all over at places like Walmart. It has adhesive on it: think of it as a giant piece of tape you can cut into any shape you need for masking.

    http://www.amazon.com/Duck-1115496-L.../dp/B002AS9NC6

    Worth checking to see how aggressive the adhesive is before fully committing to using it, although I have never had an issue.

    If you have access to scrap sign cutting vinyl (the material that sign shops use when making CNC cut vinyl stickers, signs and such), you can use that as well.

    I have never liked the technique of using a paper mask adhered with spray adhesive for masking for spray painting. Can be very problematic as the OP has found out.
    Last edited by tab28682; 27th December 2014 at 09:21 PM.
    Tom Blakeney
    NAR 52002 L1, AMA 28682
    2016 launches so far: 36: 2 HP, 7 MP, 6 LP, 21 R/C RG. R/C Chute Sled: 8 for 8!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmacklin View Post
    Dan, I have often used Ronsonol lighter fluid to remove labels from objects, including labels affixed to both paper and plastic containers. (I mean, why throw away a perfectly good container, right?) As others have said it's best to test first. Good luck!
    I used to have some of that. I'll have to see if I have any lying around somewhere.
    Daniel J. Petrie - The Rocket N00b - NAR # 100015
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by lcorinth View Post
    UPDATE: I got the paper mask off, and with minimal damage to the paint below!

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    I got really frustrated and wet sanded with some 220 grit wet/dry paper. I know that sounded like a horrible idea, but I figured I'd never get a great finish on this rocket, and just wanted to get that red-painted paper off there. Simply wetting the paper wasn't working, because the enamel paint had made it water-resistant.

    As I went through the process of sanding the stuff off, I had three thoughts: 1) This is probably a horrible idea, but I don't care any more... 2) Wait... this is working? I can't believe this is working! 3) I can't believe I'm not damaging the finish below!

    There is still some adhesive on the rocket, which I need to figure out how to remove. It won't simply rub off with a finger, so I need some kind of solvent or remover. I may try the above mentioned suggestions of CA accelerator, DW-40, or the like, but I want to be careful of the paint job.

    Looks like I didn't break through to the actual paper fibers in the tube, because the wet sanding didn't seem to raise any fibers. Perhaps I did, but it's only a small patch, and didn't seem to cause any swelling or shredding, so I think I'm good there. There are some spots of exposed primer, and then the parts where I gouged the primer off in my initial attempt to remove the mask. To repair this, I'm thinking maybe applying a bit of primer to those spots with a Q-tip, sanding down to surface, then re-painting the white part. Any thoughts on this?

    Also, a question for future reference: The vinyl masking material mentioned above by tab28682, and by dcbertelsen here - what is this stuff called, and where do you get it? Is it sticky, or does it adhere more like a window cling? I'm planning a blog post about this build and this problem I've had, and I'd like to know more.

    Thanks for the help, guys!

    EDIT: In response to rcktnut's question: I'd waited about two days before applying the mask. Actually, three days. First time I applied the mask, it was two, and the second time, the time it got stuck, was the following day. Paint seemed pretty dry, but waiting longer is always better, I suppose.
    It's a bit hard to see in your photos but it looks like you have a good base coat of white under the area where the paper mask was applied. As long as this paint is sufficiently dry Ronsonol (which is actually naptha) will not dissolve the paint. It will soften and loosen most adhesives, especially those that are relatively fresh. A little Ronsonol on a cotton ball should work, but test first.

    Shameless plug. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Ronson-Ron...fl-oz/31954645

  16. #16
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    Eeek!

    Yet another reason to leave my rockets "naked"...this would really frustrate me.

    One thing I haven't seen mentioned...not sure how it will work on a body tube, but I have had wonderful results with peanut butter (of all things) in removing adhesives. I first read about it somewhere, where somebody had used it to remove gum from a kids hair. I tried it out on several years old pine tar that was on my car; I just dabbed a bit onto the pine tar, left it over night, and when I went back to it 24h later, the oils in the peanut butter had really loosened up the pine tar to the point that it was really, really easy to collect it rolling it with my finger tips and lifting it up with a finger nail.

    My mom would upvote the white vinegar idea...let us know what you try and how it works...we're all hoping it comes out ok!

  17. #17
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    Glad things worked out on removal.

    You probably don't want to use regular sign vinyl if avoidable; it can be a pain if the adhesive decided to latch-on to something. I probably wouldn't take off paint, but I can see it pulling glassine or spiral filler out. I have a roll of material similar to this http://www.signwarehouse.com/p-VGAP-SPMSK1510P.html which is much lower tack. Contact (shelf-liner) has a similar lower-tack adhesive. And of course, the frisket is also designed for this application.

    Doug
    TRA# 14183 / NAR# 91819
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcbertelsen View Post
    Glad things worked out on removal.

    You probably don't want to use regular sign vinyl if avoidable; it can be a pain if the adhesive decided to latch-on to something. I probably wouldn't take off paint, but I can see it pulling glassine or spiral filler out. I have a roll of material similar to this http://www.signwarehouse.com/p-VGAP-SPMSK1510P.html which is much lower tack. Contact (shelf-liner) has a similar lower-tack adhesive. And of course, the frisket is also designed for this application.

    Doug
    Forgot to mention that I de-tack the normal sign vinyl before using it as a paint mask material on things like body tubes. Simply touch it with your fingertips or to your forehead to reduce the tack a little.

    At work, we use normal sign vinyl for paint masking as often as the low tack stuff, applied to fiberglass, cast resin and plastic models finished with sandable lacquer primer and either lacquer or modern base coat type finishes. Never as issue with proper surface prep. Always a good idea to peel it away doubled back on itself as opposed to pulling it away at a 90 degree angle to the surface.
    Tom Blakeney
    NAR 52002 L1, AMA 28682
    2016 launches so far: 36: 2 HP, 7 MP, 6 LP, 21 R/C RG. R/C Chute Sled: 8 for 8!

  19. #19
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    UPDATE: Well, guys, I got all the stuff off - with tmacklin's suggestion of Ronsonol lighter fluid. Thanks, Ted! I wish I'd thought of this at first, because then I wouldn't have any surface repairs to make.

    The finish is mostly fine, but I have a few paint chips around the edges from trying to carefully pry the mask off with a hobby knife. That's the price of impatience! Mostly it's just chipped down to the primer, but in a couple tiny spots, it's down to the tube. I'm thinking of applying some primer to those spots with a Q-Tip, sanding that, then repainting the white surface a light coat or two.

    Man, I'll be glad when this rocket is finished! I've enjoyed the build, but these last few days have been stressful! All that work, nearly ruined at the 11th hour!

    Again, thanks for the help.
    Daniel J. Petrie - The Rocket N00b - NAR # 100015
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  20. #20
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    I've written up the whole build with this painting ordeal here. Thanks again, Ted!
    Daniel J. Petrie - The Rocket N00b - NAR # 100015
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  21. #21
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    Quadrunner's done!

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    Daniel J. Petrie - The Rocket N00b - NAR # 100015
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  22. #22
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    After all that drama all I see is one fantastic paint job. Nice work; now it's time to light the candle(s) under that puppy !

  23. #23
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    Yes indeed, very nice work! Glad to assist... but if the Ronsonol had dissolved the paint I'd we'd both be S.O.L. !


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