Author Topic: 3M hand masker  (Read 723 times)

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Offline Packard

  • Posts: 642
3M hand masker
« on: June 08, 2021, 03:42 PM »
I bought a 3M hand masker after watching this Ohio Painter video: 

He made it look very easy.  I struggled every step of the way.

I struggled loading the masking tape.  (I figured it out and it was easier the second try, but not really easy.)

I struggled on how to dispense the film.  ( I thought I could attach it to the wall and then pull.  I had to pull the film out by hand and apply.)

But the biggest struggle I had was using the tear-off blade.  I pretty much had to do each doorway twice because of the difficulty I had with the tear bar.

And finally, I had a hard time locating the free end to unfold the film.  The film is really, really light gage and finding the cut end is hard.

But in the end, it still was easier than other options.  I don't think I would use it for rooms where I used a roller and brush, but for airless, it seems like a good deal (once I get the hang of using it). 

The 99" tall film is probably the most useful.  I also got a roll of 72" and 48" for windows. 

Not really cheap to get into the system.  I think the hand masker kit with 72" film and masking tape was about $35.00.  I got it from but when I just looked they list it as "currently unavailable".  You can get it at Lowes (but not as an assembled kit) or from your local paint store (but probably at a higher price).

I am looking forward to gaining some competence in using this.  It seems like it will be a faster option.

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Offline squall_line

  • Posts: 776
Re: 3M hand masker
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2021, 03:53 PM »
I appreciate you commenting on your experience compared to the video.

What I saw in that video was significant muscle memory (and significant muscle, for that matter).  Don't beat yourself up too much comparing yourself to the video; he can likely do that in his sleep, and likely even knows when it's time to change the blade just by how much force he has to use to pull the paper to cut it.

Sorta like learning a manual transmission vehicle; a seasoned expert makes it look effortless and knows when the clutch is starting to get worn out, but a novice rarely does it that smoothly to start with.

Offline cpw

  • Posts: 309
Re: 3M hand masker
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2021, 04:01 PM »
They sell just the film/tape in disposable configurations too.

I found it very useful when painting the ceiling of my bathroom.   I had a faux finish on the walls that I did not want to risk splattering on. This was an easy lightweight way to protect it.  Much easier than cutting and taping up plastic sheeting separately IMO.

Offline afish

  • Posts: 601
Re: 3M hand masker
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2021, 04:30 PM »
I have had issues with the wide film,  I seems when I try to pull it out the film on the back rolls up slightly and touches the tape.  Once that happens its junk because the way the film pulls down.  Instead it get stuck to the tape.  Paper is much easier but the film is handy for big stuff.

I also have trouble with that little end support roller that is supposed to slide back and forth and support the other end of the film.  It always wants to pop out of the cardboard tube and then it doesnt tare as easy because the end of the film wants to flex instead of tare.  This happens with paper too.  I started putting a small clamp on it to help it stay put. 

Offline rst

  • Posts: 2691
Re: 3M hand masker
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2021, 04:59 PM »
Just used mine yesterday to mask off daughter's cabinets so I could paint the ceiling.  Definitely fussy to set up, especially replacing roll.  You do have to pull out and then push tape onto surface.  Tearing off requires holding tape and rotating  dispenser to begin tear.  Holding tape and plastic while rotating to tearing position.  Pulling down sections has not given me problems as long as the tape is attached properly and held while pulling down.  Much like the Carvex, it's an acquired skill.