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Clear coat before removing masks?


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I wouldn't do it, Dave. You risk binding the masks to the paint layers, and potentially increasing the size of any paint ridges that might form against the edge of the masks. I'd recommend removing masks (of any kind) as soon as you can after you've finished laying down any paint. This not only minimises the opportunity for the adhesive on the masks to do any damage to the underlying paint, but also allows any paint build-up against the masks (ridges) to self-level, depending on the paint you've used. Once the masks are off and the paint is completely cured, you can reduce or even eliminate and ridges by gently rubbing or polishing the painted markings. At that point, you can start doing your clear coats.


Of course, some or all of these things are not always possible - especially if, like me, you tend to paint markings first, mask them out, and then paint the camouflage colours later. It always pays to experiment on a mule if you can! But in short, don't add a clear coat before removing masks.



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What Kevin said.  Plus there's a fair chance that the markings under said masks - which of course will not benefit from the clear coat - will end up with a different sheen, and thus you'll negate one of the very reasons we paint markings in the first place.

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Yup, I came to the same conclusion. For whatever reason I had the thought that it might help the edges not tearing. 🙄


The markings were first and it occurred to me that I would have to clear the markings after removing the masks if I cleared first.


I had to do some touch-up on the underside color, so perhaps the masks will come off tomorrow.




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On 11/13/2021 at 2:56 PM, denders said:

For whatever reason I had the thought that it might help the edges not tearing.


  • If your mask is pulling up the paint you just applied when you remove it, you're probably putting your paint down too thick resulting in a solid layer of paint bridging from the model onto the mask. 
  • If your mask is pulling up paint from a previous color, the previous paint was probably put on too dry. See next suggestion.
  • If you use lacquers and you mist your paint on try spraying a wet coat of leveling thinner over it so it bonds to the lacquer under it. 



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