How to? A step-by-step guide to helmet painting
If you're thinking of giving your own helmet a new coat of paint, DON'T!
I've tried on a few occasions at home and let's just say, leave it to the professionals. Paul at Blaze Artworks put this custom Gus Scott replica piece together for me recently, and told me how it's done. His attention to detail is superb and prices very affordable.
The preparation process starts by getting the appropriate tools and work area ready. The whole work area must and should be made free of dust, clean and dried. mounting the helmet at a reasonable altitude on the workbench, therefore, making easier the job.
Visors of helmets that are full faced must be removed, together with any attachments that are made of plastics, e.g. vents.
Degreasing of the helmet using a light solution of any available household dishwashing liquid or other detergent is the first process procedure. A grease remover and proprietary wax are used as a follow-up. Acetone was used by the artist who painted the helmet portrayed herein; however, this is a hazardous chemical which is only to be used by those painters equipped with the know-how of the safety requirements. To prevent greasy deposits on the hands of the personnel, it becomes paramount to wear disposable gloves like Latex gloves in the helmet handling.
To eliminate the sheen thus giving the fresh base paint a good surface to stick to, the surface finishing is sanded using good wet sandpaper of grade 400. As soon as the whole helmet superficial area is sanded to give a smooth, dull outlook, it must be tidied using a cloth that is damped. After drying off, the surface has to be tidied using a tack rag to eliminate particles of dust.
2: Masking out the design
Any remaining fittings and the whole helmet must now be masked-off. A good qualitative paper that is clear of any printing is to be utilized to achieve this in an ideal situation, this is done alongside ⅛" width tape of Vinyl (narrowness of the tape makes difficult shapes and bending around corners easier).
The base coat which is the first of the coat/s is then applied; Also, it is paramount to let the paint to dry before the application of another coat to keep runs away.
The design is to be applied once the coat gets dry. Once more, it is paramount to prevent contact of the skin with the surface to avoid spots of grease. Using high concern, with the addition of the masking tape to make symmetry certain, for example, will give good results in the finished helmet.
3: Painting different colours
As seen on Images, in separating various colours, only areas that require the application of paint were left with an exposed surface. Meanwhile, areas whose colour is different colour were masked off. When enough duration left for drying is exceeded, the freshly coloured area is masked off, and a separate colour is now used for the new area that is exposed. A reiteration of the process is done until the application of all the colours is done.
4: Clear Coat
Elimination of the masking tape can only be done when the different colours are dried completely, and it is to be carried out steadily to make sure that the paint is not elevated while peeling. A cloth that is tacked is to be used once more to do away with any particles of dust that are trapped below the tape.
Urethane clear coat is the final coat to be applied (it is of utmost importance to utilize a propitiatory respirator when doing this procedure, urethane is present in most known auto stores). The coats applied and the apparentness of the depth of paint are directly proportional thus more of the coats should be applied. Usually, four coats of clear coats are enough.
When the clear coats dry (mostly between 12 to 24 hours) the whole surface is to be wet sanded to eliminate any small imperfections and dust particles; with a graded paper of 1500 to 2000. In conclusion, the whole surface is to be buffed ( high concern should be given to any area that is sanded) using a polishing compound that is appropriate.
For the final time that the last clear coat has dried and polished, the assembling procedure is thence started. Even though the process of making unique Helmets takes long duration and requires high labour, finished ones are a source of pride to the owner and a source of admiration to others.
And there you have it!
Again a big thanks to Paul at Blaze Artworks for the cracking job.
For a quote either try their Facebook Page or call on UK 01332230548
An album of their work is below that can be scrolled through