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FROM THE April 2008 ISSUE

Using Bare-Metal foil for trim

RELATED TOPICS: BARE-METAL
Q: Is there any other way to do convincing chrome trim, aside from using Bare- Metal foil? My attempts at using BMF have been B-A-D. Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated.

- Hank Liepe
via E-mail

Ken: As in Roger's case, good results can be achieved with a little planning and extra care. Applying Bare-Metal foil is no exception.

The process begins when you make your initial purchase of a new sheet of BMF. It does have a shelf life (which can vary, depending on weather conditions in your area), so the first thing to do is mark the front with the date of purchase just so you can keep track of it.

I like to store BMF in a resealable bag, to keep out dirt and moisture. I don't know if it really helps, but it can't hurt!

Store the BMF by hanging it or laying it flat. Don't fold or bend the sheet. It's really thin, and creases in the material will end up as tears when you try to pull it from the backing. Frustrating!

When it comes time to use the BMF, be sure to reach for nothing other than a brand-new Number 11 hobby blade to trim the foil from the backing.

One common mistake is to cut the piece too small; make sure you leave plenty of extra material. My rule of thumb is to cut the piece of foil at least twice as big as the piece to be covered.

Use a cotton swab to carefully burnish the foil onto the trim. The foil will stretch to a certain extent, and it won't tear if you work it slowly, and carefully work it into the crevices. Finish off the small areas with a toothpick.

Trimming the foil is the last - and most crucial - step. Use another new blade for this step, and don't put the blade in a handle; hold it between your fingers for more control, and let the weight of the blade cut the foil. Don't use pressure, or you'll cut the paint.

This step will take some practice, but it'll be worth the effort. Pick off the excess you just cut, and you're done.


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