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FROM THE February 2009 ISSUE

Applying Bare-Metal foil

RELATED TOPICS: BARE-METAL
Q: I have a quick question about Bare-Metal foil. I never have much luck when trying to apply it to bare, unpainted plastic. Am I doing something wrong, or do I have a bad batch of BMF?

-Stewart Delvechio
via E-mail


Ken: Could be a little of both, Stewart. Bare-Metal foil is wonderful stuff, but unfortunately, the adhesive backing does have a shelf life - which will vary with temperature, humidity, and other environmental factors in your area.

It's best to always make sure you're working with a fresh sheet.

The other "red flag" I see is that you're trying to apply BMF to bare plastic. Have you prepared the surface properly?

Be sure to thoroughly wash and dry new kits parts in soapy water to remove mold-release agents and finger oil that will definitely prevent BMF from sticking to the surface - especially if you're working with a little piece.

When you cover small parts (windshield wiper arms, etc.), make sure you use a sheet that's quite a bit larger than the part you're covering. It may seem wasteful, but it's much easier to handle, and the chances of getting the foil to stick to the parts are much better.

In a nutshell, if you clean the bare plastic carefully, and use fresh BMF, you should be okay.

Another little tip: When you buy that fresh sheet of BMF, slip it into a plastic bag, along with a sheet of stiff cardboard. Bare-Metal foil is ultrathin, and can be prone to wrinkles and tears if the sheet is bent. The cardboard will provide extra backing so the sheet can't bend as easily, and the bag will keep dust and dirt away from the sheet.

Thanks for the question, Stewart. We hope this helps.

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