Possibility of DIY Helmet Painting?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Possibility of DIY Helmet Painting?

    Is it possible to customize my FF helmet by repainting it? I was thinking in the lines of doing a white base coat, maybe 2 or more coats since its already black. Then doing the designs with sharpies or paint? Then do a few clear coats to top it off. Would this work? My friend is a tattoo artist so I was going to offer him ~$200 to see if he was interested in doing it, if its possible.
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  2. #2
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    Yes

    It's been done before, with spray paint and a sharpie. http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=474717
    I'm sure that you could do it with all paint as long as you got the base coat to adhere to the helmet properly.
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  3. #3
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    Advice

    I've been painting helmets for 9 years. What i would suggest...

    Step 1 Making a solid base:
    - Mask or remove all rubber gaskets (mask with blue fine line)
    - Wet sand throughly with 400 grit. Use gray 3m scuff pads for the hard to reach areas.
    - Clean with "wax and grease remover"
    - 2 medium coats of adhesion promoter such as "Bulldog"
    - then a primer or sealer coat. Let the primer dry the recommended time before applying your base color coat. If you let the primer sit too long though, you might have to resand before adding the color.

    Step 2 adding color:
    - Lay your base color allow a few minutes to dry
    - Tape designs with "tan fine line" by 3m
    - get creative, its all about layers of colors and masking!
    - Most base coats can only sit for a max of 12 to 24 hrs before the pores close and you have adhesion problems with following coats. If you need to let your project sit for a while, lay a thin coat of clear to seal everything, then LIGHTLY scuff when you come back to paint. Just make sure not to use too much pressure or you might scuff through the clear to the color coats.

    Step 3 Clearing:
    - Blow off with compressed air to remove leftover paint crumbs.
    - Get a tack cloth and run it over the whole thing to remove all dust and remaining paint crumbs (crumbs: the paint pieces left behind from unmasking in betweens color layers).
    - mix your clear
    - spray a tack coat. A medium to thin coat with a little orange peel, allow to dry just long enough so its sticky. This provides a sticky layer so the rest of the clear layers won't run as easily.
    - Add three more coats of clear. Clearing is an art and finding just the right distance to hold the gun and speed to move your hand takes practice. Too fast: you'll get orange peel (rough looking clear) Too slow : the clear goes on too heavy and it will slowly run.
    - Let your first 3 coats of clear dry for a good 24 hrs or more.
    -If you want to go above and beyond, wet sand the clear with 1200grit to remove imperfections, then add 3 more coats of clear...it will look like a piece of jewelry!

    Step 4 Buffing:
    - Wet sand the final coats of clear with 1500 grit after it has cured for a few days.
    - Get a foam buffing pad and a good buffing compound. You can find buffing attachments to fit into a drill. 3m makes the best buffing systems in my opinion.
    - Buff back to a shine. make sure you keep moving and dont hold the buffer on one spot too long. If you feel it getting real hot, you're getting close. Hard edges on your helmet are easy to buff though too, like the edges of vents.you can hand buff these areas with a soft cloth and buffing compound, although this is a lot of work.

    Let me know if you have any questions...you can check out some of my work on myspace.com/pilotdesign

    TIM

  4. #4
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    check out obee1's thread on how to...he has done some excellent work has has given some great info and pics of the whole process

    http://www.pinkbike.com/forum/listco...threadid=23089
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  5. #5
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    It can be done on the cheap like I did. 2 cans of Rustolium spraypaint from Home Depot and some masking tape. As per Custom's advise, mask all the rubber areas of the goggle and lower edge. You can see from my older pics that the edge never set and had to be removed.
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  6. #6
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    another project finished in the same fashion
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  7. #7
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    DemoDude...I've always liked that helmet

    Several years ago I painted (airbrush and hand) a buddy's MX helmet. I came out looking really sweet if I do say so myself (sadly I long since lost the pics) .
    But, It was apparently too nice
    He would always wear his old and scratched up helmet because he didn't want to scratch the custom one...
    I was flattered and annoyed at the same time - oh well
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Demodude
    another project finished in the same fashion
    Nice! how'd you do it? I was looking to do something similar with mine..

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luigiugueto
    Nice! how'd you do it? I was looking to do something similar with mine..
    primer, paint, sharpie, clearcoat= happy
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  10. #10
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    Thanks Highdelll, Is that a giant pinata behind you?
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  11. #11
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    durability?

    I just crashed up in SB and scraped some rocks pretty good. I was expecting the paint to shatter and flake, but, It held on. No shattering or flaking just some gougages and line scrapes from the visor down. Im very happy with the Rustolium paint for plastics. Nice thing about sharpie is that you cand continue to repair the design easily in cases like mine.
    Sorry no pics, I think people are just about sick of seeing the same helmet over and over.
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  12. #12
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    Quote Originally Posted by Demodude
    Thanks Highdelll, Is that a giant pinata behind you?
    haha - no
    It's a big wood-fired Kiln... What you're seeing there is the intake for that sucker... Man, it eats wood!! I was up for one of the midnight to 4 watches/'feeding' in that pic - It takes ~3 days to do.
    Pretty cool tho- It's a pretty big party.
    Here are some pics from it - just because I don't have ones of the helmet

    feedin the kiln


    through an intake port - a 'blamy' 1400 degrees


    the smoke stack in the morning


    yours truly
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  13. #13
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    DemoDude...
    IIRC, didn't you use a 'industrial' sharpie?
    It might be worth noting for people...
    and what type of clear-coat you used
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  14. #14
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    double post again!
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  15. #15
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    I've used both types of sharpie, ind and regular. While industrial is darker/shinyer it dosent transfer to the helmet as thick or consistant. Plus when you clearcoat everything, you cant tell the dif btw the two.
    I used a spray clearcoat, Rustolium Glossy Clear from Home depot
    Thanks
    P.S. The ozone layer called, it's pissed about the new hole in it......lol
    Last edited by Demodude; 03-02-2009 at 10:56 PM.
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  16. #16
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    Here's what i did last week, got tired of the old helmet, its simple and different
    Feedback is appreciated
    i did a little DIY painting to my bike too, once i get pics i'll put them in a forum
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    8BALL UP8

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