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If you have ever wanted to create some dramatic painting effects without having to purchase an expensive airbrush and compressor, then masking will be a cheaper and more convenient substitute. I am creating a simple two color case by using masking tools that you can easily find at hardware and craft stores.
- two different colors of spray paint (hardware store, craft store)
- masking tape (the blue kind works best; hardware store, craft store)
- latex mold (craft store)
- regular paper or newspaper (just about anywhere)sponge brushes (hardware store, craft store)
- exacto knife or razor (hardware store, craft store)
- sand paper (at least 220 grit; hardware store, craft store)
- primer (hardware store)
- 1 inch sponge brush (hardware store, craft store)
Step 1: Prep Work
Start by sanding down the surfaces of your case and cleaning it off with a moist towel. Then completely cover the panel or bezel with primer. You may only need one or two coats, just try to spray enough so its completely covered. After that sand down the primer with sandpaper again and clean it thoroughly. Next draw out your design where you want to separate the colors. If your colors are light you may want to use a light colored pencil or marker otherwise it may show through your paint job.
Step 2: Mask Work
Now cut pieces of paper to fit around the area you want masked off. Tape the edges down tightly so it is protected from overspray. You don't have to mask it to the very edge but keep the paper less than an inch away. Then use your masking tape to seal the paper against the case by taping the edges down between the paper and the edge of your separation area. Make sure to leave at least a 1/4 of an inch for the latex.
Step 3: Latex
Pull out the latex mould and make sure it mixed up. Some latex's separate and leave water at the bottom, so stir it up well. Use the 1 inch sponge brush to seal the rest of your area right up to the line you drew. If you need a straight line, it may be better to just use masking tape instead. Latex and a sponge brush are too hard to control for perfectly straight lines, but are great for organic shapes. Make sure to get the latex as thick as you can because it will peel off easier without tearing. Last, let it dry over night and you are ready for some painting.
Step 4: Painting First Color
Follow the directions on the spray paint can to get the best results. Experimenting will just waste time. I found that the directions on the can are very specific and are allways correct. Go ahead and paint your first few coats of the first color and let it dry overnight. Once its dry use the exacto knife to score a line where the paint will split and you will get a nice separation.
Now start the peeling process. Start at one side of your mask and gently pull the latex straight up from the case so that it doesn't tear. The latex is very flexible and will stretch until it reaches the scoring area and peel up. Continue this across the masking area until all the latex and tape pulls up. Don't worry if some of the paint areas chip because we will clean that up later.