Airbrushed Soft Ball Helmets
I’ve had a lot of customers interested in having their child’s softball helmet airbrushed. This blog is intended to reduce the number of calls I receive about the process, cost and work that goes into the finished product. Most of these helmets have a bare plastic finish which adds to the prep work needed to give the consumer the type of top notch show room result I pride myself on. When I receive an unpainted plastic auto part or helmet unfortunately I cannot just begin with the artwork and start toiling away with an airbrush or all that hard spent time will go unappreciated when the paint begins to chip off within the first few hours of active use. The auto paint I use needs a mildly porous painted surface to bite into which requires a number of procedures to reach this point. First the helmet needs to be taped up and sanded thoroughly followed by a coat or 2 of adhesion promoter. Next comes the 2 part catalyst primer. After this step the helmet again needs to be sanded well to smooth out any subtle surface imperfections.Following a careful wipe down with a quality wax and grease removing solution the part or helmet can then be sprayed with a base color of the clients choosing. After several coats of this paint dries the item is finally ready to plan any graphics, artwork, or desired lettering. Even if it is lettering alone I need to hand draw or find a style or font that will best compliment the shape and personal tastes of the customer, size it, scan it, and create a vector formatted file to send to my plotter to cut a stencil to achieve those clean sharp crisp edges you would expect to see on any professional automotive paint job. Once all the airbrush work is complete it is followed by several coats of high quality clear coat with hardener additive to keep that puppy nice and durable for the may years of function use to come. After the multiple coats of that dry well, its is sanded again with a super fine grit sandpaper then buffed and polished with a special compound to get that mirror like reflective finish so clear you could shave in. all of these steps demand a lot of time, skill, costly supplies and equipment. My expense in raw materials buying in bulk is $40-100 depending on paint, so the service starts around $280. If you’re working with a $20 budget, a custom vinyl sticker from a nearby sign shop may be a better alternative for that softball helmet your child will likely grow out of by next season.