Original Clear coat coming off with tape



Hi, I'm in the process of spraying up an expensive Carbon/Kevlar crash helmet, I done all the necessary prep to it before masking up, sprayed the areas that I intended and when I removed the masking tape/fine line tape it pulled the original clear coat off, tearing some of the edges i had just sprayed. So I started again and used a 200 grit paper to remove the Clear coat, low and behold it appears that there is 2 coats of clear and the same thing has happened again.
My question is......am I going to have to sand this right back down to the original primer or is there another solution, I wanted to keep some of the original design already on the helmet and change/add some others.
I'm using 3M masking tape and fine line tape, so not cheap stuff, any ideas please.
Unfortunately there are no easy solutions here (and if there are they will probably come back to bite you) . You'll have to sand it down to a layer that won't come loose when you mask it. The 3m masking tape isn't that agressive so if that peels of a layer that layer just has no adhesion.

Sand it down, spray a little part put the tape on and leave it for an hour or so. If you can remove it without damaging the paint you are good to go.
Good advice @haasje dutchairbrush. If it peels off with tape it isn't going to stay for long anyway! Try speed masking if you haven't done that. Bit of a misnomer as it is time consuming but quicker than repairs. Take the big sections of masking tape close to the mask line, about 1/8" (1 - 2mm) The fine line is probably OK without cutting your own. Then take a really fine piece of tape up to the line around the shape you are masking. Leave a tab at the end. Spray the clear, as soon as you are finished carefully peel the thin strip off. You want he clear wet, not gelled... The clear will flow into a smooth edge. Masking is a real art but it is just not as sexy as the painting!! No one ever compliments you on your masking ability... except maybe someone who knows what they're looking at. Post some pictures...
We have a test at the shop. We stick Gorilla brand "duct" tape on factory paint before any chance of using it as a base. Had a 1 yr old Harley come in, stuck green fine line on it as a guide, pulled it off and the clear came with it. Had to sand back to plastic. It was on a Fairing.
We had the same thing happen about 10 years ago on a brand new Harley. It was for the president of an outlaw bikie club here - i'd never heard of them but the way they operated said they were the real deal. We painted the clubs artwork on the back guard and when removing the fine line tape sure as hell it peeled up.
I explained the it's not our fault, the paint has to adhere to something and in this case it's not..
They took it to a spray painter friend who said 'airbrush artists have no idea and they're ruined the paint work - we can't color match so we'll have to respray the bike'. They charged $1500 and the club representative took back the $500 we had charged for the artwork.
That's my sad story.
At the end of the day, as @haasje dutchairbrush said, you will have to take it back to a layer that will stick - otherwise it'll likely keep happening. Hence why we need to allow for this in our prices. Every backyard artist learns this at some point as it's them who pays, not the customer :cry:
Harley had some issues and still does have them with their paints , Depending which plant it comes out of and which paint crew is on shift that day.
Reason I know this is my cousin just got put in charge of getting to the bottom of it and making sure every paint job comes out the same.
One of the main problems he found was that if the was running low of the approve paints the painters would just order what ever from a local jobber and used it the exact same way they would use the approved paints. So a lot of the time the paint they order should have been reduced different and some even need a hardener add for curing.
Hence a lot of paint jobs have failed .
But the same thing happens in the automotive world too . Ever notice how anything silver or white has the clear coat peeling off ?
you could try a coat of inner-coat clear prior to masking.....