Masking

Margaret Riley painting basics products

MASKING

By Margaret Riley

Ha! I bet you think this article is going to be related to Halloween! Masking…mask…Halloween face cover! Oh no, no! You are going to learn about masking on a surface.

If you do airbrushing, you’ll know about a product called Frisket. Frisket has a light tack (but adheres very well) on the back of clear adhesive film. You remove the waxy paper to remove the adhesive film. Then apply it to your surface. It comes in a roll, in sheets, and in a liquid. But what is it used for, you may ask? Using a sharp craft knife, you can cut out a design, perhaps one that you have painted, and cover it with the cut-out to paint around it. If you don’t like your background, you can place Frisket on to protect getting paint on your design, such as a bowl of apples. Or if you want to make your background more rich or lighter, you won’t have to worry about your bowl of apples getting the background paint onto them. Just cover up and paint!

Frisket film is light enough to run through a Cricut machine. You can cut out a design, place it on your surface where you do not want paint, and sponge or brush over it. It is great for kids to do fun paintings on a surface having an area or a shape masked out.

As I said earlier, Frisket also comes in a liquid form, which is similar to rubber cement. Just paint it over the area you want to protect. Let it dry, then paint over the mask. Let the paint (and surface) dry before removing the frisket; use your finger, a soft eraser, or even the ball of removed frisket. You can use rubber cement but it tends to be thick and messy (my personal opinion).

Another form of masking is with tape. Office tape is not recommended as it doesn’t have the tack to adhere and to keep paint from seeping under the tape. Masking tape can be used but you have to be very careful that the paint doesn’t sneak in under the edges. To take care of this, paint the background paint on first on the edges of the masking tape. Allow to dry and then go back over with the color you want (i.e. stripes, a straight line, etc.). When you remove the tape, pull it off toward the paint. You should have achieved a fairly crisp line. Many artists prefer the green “Frog” tape found in hardware stores. It does a pretty good job.

Contact paper can be used as well. The tack on it is much stronger than Frisket making it harder to remove. With contact paper, remove it as quickly as your medium dries.

No doubt there are other ways to mask off, but these are a few I chose to cover for you in this article. Ready…..set…..mask!!!



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  • Honeybird on

    This is how you save your brush: dampen the brush with water, remove the water well with a paper towel, then lightly run the brush over a bar of soap (no suds allowed) to coat the hair, and use the liquid friskit. My brushes clean out well as long as you do not let it dry on the brush. The hotel bars are great for this.

  • Stormee on

    I’ve always heard that if you are going to use the liquid Frisket, then you need to have a brush that is strictly for that purpose as the liquid Frisket will ruin your brush for regular painting, as it is difficult to get out of the brush.


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