How to mask bolt holes for repainting

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Established Member
21 Aug 2017
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Any tips for this? How do I get a complete cover where I want it without filling assorted holes with paint? My trying to stick masking tape on the inside of threaded holes hasn't worked so well to-date!
I did think about that...but then I end up with painty bolts and some paint seems to get drawn into the threads anyway
When I was having motorcycle frames bead blasted and powder coated, the guy doing the work shoved wooden dowels into all of the holes where he didn't want the blast media or powder coat to go. He had a box full of different sized dowels for bolt holes and wooden plugs for the larger holes. I never had a problem chasing the threads or cleaning out the larger holes.
I used blutack for a bolt holes in vice to be painted last week; I sorely regretted doing so as it was a huge pain to get it back out of the threads. I’m now thinking that something that dissolves would be better, or having a tub of sacrificial bolts that are only used for painting. I like the idea of threaded wood ones now; the threads don’t have to be perfect, just enough to hold on.
If the bolt only has to go in once, let the paint get in there. It will act as a form of loctite and stop the bolt shaking loose. If you want the bolt to be easily removable, vaseline or any furniture wax will do. The bolt will easily thread its way through and the thread is then nicely lubricated.
Agree with sunnybob if the bolt only has to go back in once. If to be regularly removable, then +1 for Blutack or plasticine.
I've used tapered plugs made from wood in the past, works well! Twist them a quarter turn or so before pulling them out to break the paint without peeling it off.
Depending on the job I use wax, grease or wine corks but for some jobs I just paint and then come back later and run a tap through the holes.