Lets start with the basic tools I use for spray painting, also called rattle can painting.
Top to bottom, left to right:
1. Matte aluminum paint.
2. Sand-able indoor/outdoor primer.
3. Windsor & Newton masking fluid.
5. Exacto Knife
6. Spray can handle
7. Painters tape Priming your helmet
Many helmets produced in quantity come already with a coat of primer on them. However in some cases a helmet will need to be primed. To prime a helmet, you will need to buy either sand-able indoor/outdoor primer (gray) or self-etching primer (green).Painting method
To prime and paint a helmet, I use a method of light spraying with the spray can handle., standing about a foot from the helmet, move your arm in a horizontal fashion back and fourth in front of the helmet, pulling the trigger on the handle as you pass the helmet. This dispenses nice light coats of paint, both saving your paint and keeping the possibility of over-painting to a minimum.Painting your metallic layer
When picking your metallic paint, make sure that you the same brand of paint that you are planning to use for your colors. Mixing brands can cause color paints to slide, bubble, and not cure. If this happens, you'll have to remove all paint and start again. Adding the metallic layer of paint is no different than adding a primer or color layer. Refer to the painting method for a good paint applying technique.Weathering
Using your masking material of choice (I use Windsor & Newton Masking Fluid), apply the material using the following guide:
1. Outer edges
2. Peak of raised surfaces
3. Random areas
4. Areas where armor meets armor or items.
To make a blaster bolt contact area, place a small drop of fluid onto the helmet and then gently blow on the drop to create an outward spread effect.Applying the first color coat
Using the painting method, apply your first color coat or "base coat". For this helmet we'll use black as out base coat. I usually apply 3-4 coats of paint at this stage to make sure my base coat is uniform and durable.
Using a roll of tape, flip the helmet once each coat is dry and paint the underside to make the paint uniform across the helmet.Applying the tape
Applying the tape can be as easy or difficult as you want it to be, depending on what pattering you want for you helmet. In this tutorial, I am painting a child's helmet so the patterns will be simplified. Make sure your base coat is dry before you begin the taping process. Using your exacto knife, make sure to GENTLY trim the tape from areas that you don't want to cover up. Follow the contours of the lines on the helmet when taping and trimming. Removing tape and masking fluid
Once all your color layers are dry, begin removing your masking tape gently. Once all tape has been removed, then begin to remove your weathering. I like to use a pencil eraser or small piece of wood to remove the masking fluid. Once all this is done, then your helmet painting will be almost complete!Applying the carbon dust
You will need a piece of black artist's chalk, 60 grit sand paper, metal jar lid, and a 1 inch soft bristle brush.
Holding the chalk and sand paper, rub the chalk firmly against the sand paper, letting the dust fall into the metal jar lid. Continue to do this until you have a good amount of black dust in the lid. Dip the brush into the dust, and vigorously brush the dust all over the helmet. Make sure to gauge how much dust you will need, by how dark and scored you want you helmet to look. On brighter colors such as whites and yellow, it takes less dust to achieve the dusting effect. On darker colors like red and blue, it can take more dust. Once you have completely dusted the helmet, use a clear satin matte finish to keep the dust from falling off the helmet or washing off in the rain. Using small thin coats of satin matte finish will also keep the helmet from getting shiny.You have just finished painting yor first helmet!!