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I've been using Photoshop for years but this issue has me totally baffled. It must be some setting I changed, but I have NO IDEA why this happens or how to change it.

The issue is that on layers masks (doesn't matter what kind), the erase tool will ALWAYS leave some percentage of opacity, no matter what I try. You can see the vague grey-ish area that I attempted to erase, but it will never go to full transparancy. See image below.

Here's an image of how it ends up looking

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Don't use Erase on layer masks, just use the brush.
Pick a colour - well, two colours, white to paint in, black to paint out, grey if you need finer control [though I personally use the opacity & flow controls instead of greys].

Use X to flip between the two quickly. enter image description here

Erase erases to the current background colour, which not only is a variable, just like the brush, but will also erase bits you didn't mean to, as it indiscriminately erases both black & white [and any grey in between] back to itself.

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  • Welp. I've been using Photoshop ever since CS 4 and somehow never realised this is the proper way to do it. HUGE thank you for helping! – Jack Daniel May 31 '20 at 15:35
  • Most welcome. Erase is a bit of a nuisance if you've got fine editing to do. The brush just makes a whole lot more sense for this type of task - not always of course, horses for courses - but manual paint-in/paint-out, detailed work, it's as good a method as any. BTW, I've been using Photoshop since v1 when it was Mac-only in the early 90s & I still don't know it all ;-) – Tetsujin May 31 '20 at 15:40

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