Help with Removing Paint Mask Adhesive


Sr Member
I’m having problems removing the aztec paint masks on my Discovery Enterprise…the masks are leaving adhesive on the painted surface when I remove them.

I'm puling the masks slowly at an angle over itself, sometimes it comes off clean and other times it leaves adhesive.

The masks are stuck really tight to the model so I used a blow dryer to heat and soften the masks up as other pros have recommended. That seemed to work, the masks pulled off easier, but then I noticed there was something staying on the model surface as I removed each mask.

I thought it was paint debris at first and continued removing the masks until I noticed my fingers were sticking to the model…it was adhesive not paint.

Is there something I’m doing wrong while removing the masks?

I painted using acrylics so I can’t use alcohol or other solvents to remove the adhesive without damaging the new paint.

Anyone have a trick to remove the adhesive?


Master Member
Sounds like the heat is separating the adhesive from the mask. You can try using the mask to pull up the adhesive, just press it down and lift it off. If that doesn't work enamel thinner (mineral spirits) is safe to use on acrylics, it's commonly used for washes on acrylics.


Sr Member
Thanks for the feedback! I thought it was the heat too high also so I turned the temp down. The masks became even more difficult to remove, especially the small ones, and they were still leaving adhesive after I'm doubting that was the issue.

I've used paint masks several times in the past, never had this issue so badly. I'm starting to think it's an issue with too much adhesive on the backside of the vinyl, bad batch I guess.

I'll try your enamel thinner suggestion...I assumed any thinner would harm the acrylic paint. Right now the only thing that seems to be working is pressing down and pulling blue painter’s masking tape multiple times in the areas with the adhesive.

It doesn’t pull up all the adhesive but definitely better than nothing at this point, just a lot of unexpected time and energy, ugh!

Was hoping there would be an easier solution.

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