Masking is one of the most useful techniques in airbrushing. It provides airbrush artists and artisans with control that they would not otherwise have. Plus, it can speed up the progress of a project ten fold. Masking can be broken down into three basic categories:
Stencils, Tapes and Films.
Stencils: Stencils are pre-designed templates that are put over a surface and sprayed over so that the cut out spaces leave a layer of paint. They can be used to leave a hard edge by being placed directly onto the surface or a soft edge by being pulled back an inch or two when sprayed through. They are generally made from reusable mylar and can be cleaned using airbrush cleaner. There are plenty pre-cut designs available for purchase or you can cut your own using stencil film and a knife.
Tapes: They don’t call it masking tape for nothin’! Tapes are a must for automotive airbrush artists as well as pinstripers. They can be used for everything from strait lines to super curvy thumb print designs. The are available in a crepe paper material or a flexible vinyl.
Masking Films: Available in a variety of material these are typical applied to and cut directly on the surface. They’re most often used in a roll format. Perfect for murals and other large format applications but also used for smaller projects. Frisket film, unlike most other films, has a paper backing that can be drawn on and cut previous to application.