Airbrushing lettering on motorcycle !

Keifer smeaton

Double Actioner
Just have a couple of questions about airbrushing lettering on motorcycles. I have a job coming up which has a lot of lettering involved. One of my options is to tape the surface and cut out the lettering, this is clean as in no over spray but I’d be very worried about cutting too far through the tape I have been practicing this but it’s so hard to stay consistent and I’m sure this scratches will be noticed. Another problem I had with this is when I take the tape off there is an elevated edge. I have heard that if you don’t spray so close to the edges this won’t happen but if the lettering is very small this is near impossible especially if there are a number of colour layers.. my other option is to just cut out my letting on paper and spray some glue on the back of the stencil, let it dry enough that it’s just tacky, this way it will be stuck and I eliminate cutting. Another option would be to use these miniature magnets I have to keep the stencil stuck to the surface of the bike. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks
Try using vinyl transfer tape rather than masking tape to cut out the lettering. Transfer tape is far easier to cut through cleanly with a light touch compared to masking tape which means there's less risk of cutting into the substrate. Use a new razor blade or X-Acto blade and get in the habit of changing it often. A new blade requires far less pressure to make a clean cut with a single pass. A dull blade requires more pressure and/or more than one pass which substantially raises the risk of cutting into the substrate. It requires a little bit of patience, but this method works. I used these techniques nearly every day for a lot of years before vinyl cutters existed and/or became more economical.

If you're still not comfortable with the above, you can farm out creating a vinyl paint mask(s) to a local sign shop if you have one in your area. A sign shop can easily design and cut computer designed paint masks although you will have to pay for the service.

The elevated edge is unavoidable. It can be minimized with light paint application. It can be substantial with a lot of paint application. The end result really depends on each individual case. Either way, an elevated edge will have to be dealt with.

Cutting a stencil using paper is not a clean option due to under spray as @Ronald art mentioned above, especially on a motorcycle because the surfaces are not flat. I wouldn't recommend using any spray adhesive on an automotive based project unless you have tested it previously. Spray adhesive can leave a residue that may or may not be visible. The final clear coat can have a bad reaction with said residual spray adhesive that will likely require a complete repaint to repair.
I would go down the vinyl mask route. Oracle Oramask 810 or 813. It can be cut with a plotter or with a craft knife. Doesn't leave any glue residue so you should be good.