alignment with multiple masks?


New member
I bought a cutter as I needed to cut masks for repainting the lettering and graphics on several of my push bikes.
After some initial difficulties with the cutter it's working OK. I haven't bothered cutting and applying any of the things I have cut yet, if you discount me covering the bezel of my monitor in my test bit's.

I just tried applying a mask to a tube, it's the lettering "PRO-PULSE STAYS". The text is black letters on a white outline back ground. I put a small circle at each end for alignment.
I was intending on:
1) Paint the area the lettering is on black.
2) Apply the lettering mask.
3) Paint the area surrounding the mask white.
4) Apply the outline mask.

So now I have the letting and outline painted and masked, I can paint the tube the final colour and when I remove the
masking I am done. I prefer to paint with a positive mask, covering black with white isn't a problem with basecoat.

Problem I hadn't though about is the application tape is opaque, I just tried cutting the circles out of the application tape,
by hand, not perfect but it did work, my hands aren't steady enough for cutting small masks that's why I bought the cutter.
the lettering mask and outline mask I just put on look ok, but when they are painted your eyes are going to be drawn to them if they are off at all.

Any ideas on how to do it?
I am just about to to try using my old roll of frisk as application tape.


Sounds like you are having problems getting the 'circle' correct around the lettering?
So you have a white circle, black lettering and then the tube would be a different color?

If so, I would suggest making up a couple stencils.
One would be the circle itself. Circles and ovals are fairly easy to do on a plotter.
Do another stencil of just the lettering.
Go ahead and paint the tube the color you want. Place the oval stencil on there, paint it white.
Then for the lettering, place the stencil within the oval and then spray the lettering black.
You can only do the above as long as you don't have a 'bleed' type paint for the main color of the tube (like a candy type paint)


You can spray the area black. Add a stencil in which the lettering will be covered with the circle exposed.
Then just spray the circle white. Pull off all stencil and it will leave black lettering with a white circle. Then you will need to mask up the complete logo. Then spray the main color.
You could make up an exact stencil of the round area so you do not have to hand tape this up.
Again, if you have a 'bleed' color, this could bleed onto the white circle.
You also have to watch your edges on these as they could be thick on you. You will be painting white over black which will take quite a few coats.


Have you thought of having someone make up some water transfer decals?
These would look more professional and even have the look of 'painted on' since they are so thin. You can add an intricate border around the lettering (like a silver).
Must less hassle than doing all that stencil work. This also will eliminate the bleed problem along with the edge problem mentioned above.
Attached is a job I did about 5 years ago that the customer had a water transfer decal made up. The decal on the sides of the tank.



New member
It's a difficult tube to mask as it's a convex curve and the mask is pretty narrow; getting the mask on inline with the tube, not
curved or distorted and then placing a second mask blindly over the top, is slightly dificult;-)
But I tried with frisk as application tape and it wasn't a problem. The circles are cut out of the film for registration.
There is however a problem, The 3M masking film I bought is really stickt and leaves **** on the paint! Not knowing what
the film was like I bought several types and if they all crap I have my 30 year old rolls of frisk to fall back on.

I was going to do hybid transfers, paitn the large detail and do the to fine to mask detail with Waterslide. I bought an ALPS
printer to print them, I keep meaning to do some trial prints and see good they are; I don't have a white or a gold foil cartridge
for the printer so will have to paint the backgrounds.

Any details on how those transfers were printed, it looks great.

JT Airbrush

New member
I use a plotter quite a bit and have found Avery white paint mask vinyl one of the best around. I also like Oracal 810 or 810S. For application tape I like the R-tape conform series. As you discovered, you often need a clear application tape and for this I use Transferite clear application tape. Generally, I try and start with my lightest colors and then proceed with spraying progressively darker colors. This technique allows for easier coverage and lower tape edges. I'm not sure I completely understand what you're trying to accomplish (a pic would help), but if you're trying to paint black letters with a white outline, I would cut the vinyl letters with a an outline on the plotter. Leave the outline, but weed out the letters. Paint the area white, apply the vinyl outline. Now paint the area inside the vinyl outline black. Now you can mask off the black letters with some tape and base coat the tube. Now remove the tape and the vinyl protecting the white outline and you're done. If your having trouble getting the vinyl to lay down on a curved surface, hit it with a hair dryer for a few seconds.