By Airbrush, artist Ray Gatica 12/2013

When airbrushing, if the airpainter/artist wants to keep his art work looking professional, clear and crisp with sharp edges, masking friskets and shields need to be used. Friskets are the positive cut out areas used to masking positive areas to be painted so as to protect the area that you do not want to paint (mostly from overspray).

Stencil paper or parchment paper can be used for masking friskets. The above papers are transparent enough for fine lines of a drawing to be seen through it. To prepare a frisket, apply a thin coat of white rubber cement to one side of the paper, and allow it to dry. Then apply a heavier coat and allow to dry (this is considered ?unprepared frisket? paper). (* Note: ?Prepared Frisket? film is also available at art most art supply stores allowing you to bypass the above process of using the cement). Whether you are using the unprepared or prepared friskets film, make sure the tacky film is pressed down firmly and evenly on the working surface before you start cutting the desired design.

To cut the friskets, an Exacto knife is recommended. You have the choice of having a Swivel Knife, which is designed with a swivel blade and lock nut so that is can be used to cut curves or straight lines on the frisket film. These are essential for cutting fine detail on the frisket film when masking off certain parts of the airpainting and art. A non-swivel, straight knife may also be used.

The surface to be airpainted is then cut out with a frisket or Stencil Knife and is lifted away from the drawing. If using unprepared masking paper, rub off all dry rubber cement from drawing with a clean cloth wrapped around a finger. Make sure all sides adhere firmly to the drawing so that spray does not work under the frisket.

Shields, offer pretty much the same protection as the friskets described above, except that shields are not glued to the painting surface. Shields are precut shapes, cut out of acetate, cardboard or paper and are place in area to be protected from over spray and painting. Cutouts and stencils save time when two or more pieces have to be painted. A sign artist or window decorator working on one hundred cards of the same design needs to cut but one stencil to airpaint all the cards. See Frisket and Shield samples

For any questions on this topic please call Ray Gatica 281-441-9714, we can also be emailed at You can see samples of our works at:

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