Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by electronictech, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. electronictech

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Apr 1, 2009
    Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas for a creative DIY solder mask?

    I've made my own PCB's before, but I have always wanted to add a solder mask to the boards to give them that extra touch of niceness and professional look.
    I do through hole and surface mount boards, and I haven't had any trouble soldering them, but like I said I have always wanted to add a solder mask.

    I am willing to try professional methods for the fun of learning it, but I am also willing to try new un-explored ideas if they sound reasonably do-able.

    Please list methods, and supplies/suppliers if you have any suggestions.

    Thanks in advance,
  2. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
  3. thatoneguy


    Feb 19, 2009
    pebeo vitrea 160 translucent "Mint Green", comes in 1.5oz/45ml bottles, apply with airbrush, bake at 150-200 for 10-15 minutes to cure. Use the mounting holes of the board for holding it while spraying/baking for an even finish.

    The "PCB In a box" TRF that beenthere posted also comes in white, so you can add a silkscreen on in the same way you add the traces (toner transfer).

    Boards come out pretty sweet looking, if you don't mind the big hassle of masking off pads to lay down the mask. Use an airbrush for application, otherwise it looks... worse.

    I've also used the Vitrea 160 "Pepper Red" Frosty with good results, they also offer a blue (and a dozen other colors), but I haven't tried that one yet.

    Others have used the Testors traslucent green model paint, it comes in an aerosol can, and doesn't need to be heat cured. Problem is, it melts away pretty quick with solder as well. The Vitrea 160 isn't a perfect solder mask, but as close as I've found for a DIY thing. The Testors spray paint will give it a "green mask appearance", if that's all you are going for. No info on if the toner and white TRF stick to the Testors.