Proofgrade masking

In a recent order of proofgrade, I came across this piece with the masking bubbled and distorted. I’m concerned about the actual effectiveness of the masking as masking when it looks like it was applied by gravity from across the room.

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I’ve had a few little bubbles but this example looks unacceptable if you are engraving.

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I think moisture may cause the mask to swell. I don’t know that, just that some of mine showed some of that during the summer when our evaporative cooler runs - but not all of it, and none of it that bad.
Won’t work at all for painting, but smoke stain can be removed with your fingertip in a rag wet with alcohol.

I had the same thing on a few pieces of mine. Using the bubbly side will cause some pretty nasty smoke blotches and uneven engraves.

I just used the other side which was bubble-less. It does cause it to not sit completely flat, but my forge still cut through it just fine.

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Both sides were bubbled similarly. Storage here is 70 degrees +/- 2 with humidity kept as close to the 55%

In one of my latest projects I had to completely remove the masking, apply a color coat to the proofgrade, then reapply it. It went pretty smoothly. You might be able to accomplish the same to remove the bubbling

That’s a thought.

I’ve had similar pieces - not many. I just run a plastic squeegee or a printers brayer over it to press it back down in place. No issue on the resulting project. BTW, if it’s only on one side then I just flip it over and don’t bother with the squeegee.

@jason.fuller0, were you able to have luck smoothing out the masking?

I hope everything worked out! If not, just let me know at and we’ll get it solved.