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Painting Using Templates 101


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                                                                                       Painting Using Templates

 

We tend to see a lot of folks who want to use paint instead of decals on their helmets, but sometimes they just don't turn out as planned.

 

The main issue folks have is that the paint bleeds into the sides of the template, leaving small streaks on the sides which can look awful.

The following is my preferred method, which has had pretty darned good results in the past.  Will they turn out 100% perfect?  Not always, but I have the remedy for that at the bottom of the post.

 

                                       For the purpose of this tutorial I am using blue painter's tape in lieu of a decal just to show the basics.

 

What you will need:

1.   Craft (popsicle) stick-  This is to stir the paint.  Do NOT shake the bottles... this causes bubbles.

2.   Pencil with a flat rubber eraser.

3.  Paintbrush-  Use the best quality, softest bristle type you can.  Cheap stiff bristle brushes will leave lines.

4.  Paint.  For this example I am using French Blue (as used on the tube stripes) and white.

5.  Paper towels.

 

                                                      VDb457o.jpg?2

 

Step 1-  Use the flat end of the eraser to make sure the edges are pushed down as much as possible and remove any bubbles in the decal. 

                   Do this gently, otherwise you may peel up the edges instead of flattening them.

 

                                                                         khbFDLd.jpg

 

Step 2-  Using the craft stick, mix the paint thoroughly.  Wipe off the end with a paper towel and set aside.

 

Step 3-  Starting at the top corner (either side) add a light coat of white paint.  (Yes, white).  Go from side to side all the way down to the bottom.

              Do NOT go too heavy, just enough to cover.  Let this dry at least half an hour.

 

                                                                             oGRwhwx.jpg

 

Step 4Repeat the same process with the white but go from corner to corner over the entire area.  Let this dry 

             completely.  (An hour or so at least).

              NOTE:  The reason for the white paint is that it will fill/seal any tiny spaces/gaps on the edges of the template.

 

                                                                       rqq1Pty.jpg

 

Step 5- After mixing the blue paint with the other end of the craft stick, using up and down strokes add a thin(ish) layer of the blue.  Don't go heavy and try to do it in one shot.  Trust me.  Let this dry completely (at least an hour or 2).

 

                                                                      awCTe05.jpg

 

Step 6 Repeat step 5.  Allow to dry at LEAST 2-3 hours or more, depending on humidity.  If you press your finger on the paint and see your fingerprint in the paint, it's not completely dry.  Be patient.

 

Step 7-  Time for the reveal!-  Slowly (and by slowly I mean sloooooooooowly) remove the decal from top to bottom (in the same direction as the lines).

 

                gQtXzGN.jpg       7ZMMCDi.jpg?1

 

Because I used masking tape the lines aren't as crisp and clean as you would get with a proper template, but you get the idea.  One of the reasons for an imperfect line is that you must wait until the paint is positively, 100% dry before removing the decal.

 

                                                                                                  FIXING LINES

 

If you have some bleed-through, or need to remove paint around the teeth for instance this is what to do:

 

You will need:

 

1.  Paint remover-  I always use Goo-Gone, as it contains no chemicals that will damage the finish (like acetone based removers can).  It really works great and has no chemical smell.

2.   Another craft stick shaved at one end.  A wooden toothpick will also work, but I like wider edge of the craft stick,

3.  Cotton swabs

4.  Paper towels.

 

kb9jPfR.jpg?1

 

Let's start with this mess (done on purpose).

 

CTTiKiq.jpg?1

 

Step 1-  Dip the end of the tick in the remover and gently go side to side along the edge(s).  Take-your-time.

 

dMKRiCI.jpg

 

Step 2-  Get the line as straight as you can.  You can always touch it up with more blue paint if needed.

 

gvqP5yY.jpg?1

 

Step 3-  Remove any blue haze with the swab(s) dipped in the paint remover.

 

hjZ8Zra.jpg

 

                             Done!

 

There are more ways to do this, so if you have any suggestions or questions, post em up!

 

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yep.  I would give it some time between the gray and black layers, though.  Although the gray paint may seem completely dry after a day (or even a few hours) it needs to "cure" for another day or so.  Better safe than sorry.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Question, Joseph. I've always removed masking tape while the paint was still partially wet when painting the walls in my house, in order to avoid portions of the paint peeling off with the tape. Is this not really a concern when using hobby paints such as Testors? My plan had been to let the paint dry enough so it doesn't run once the mask is removed, but not enough to risk it peeling off with the tape. Thoughts?

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Really depends how wet/dry, the enamel paint can get stingy when removing tape, but is easily removable with toothpicks and turps.

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22 hours ago, MaskedVengeance said:

Question, Joseph. I've always removed masking tape while the paint was still partially wet when painting the walls in my house, in order to avoid portions of the paint peeling off with the tape. Is this not really a concern when using hobby paints such as Testors? My plan had been to let the paint dry enough so it doesn't run once the mask is removed, but not enough to risk it peeling off with the tape. Thoughts?

As a professional painter for many years I hear ya' about removing tape while wet, but latex is a different animal than enamel.  Enamel dries a lot slower, and if you lift it off too soon "strings" from the paint can come up with the sides of the tape and fall onto the edges of the stripes.  I did this on purpose (lifted the tape while the paint was wet) as seen in the pic below, which sort of defeats the step of adding the white paint first.  ;)  That's where Goo-Gone comes in mighty handy.

 

CTTiKiq.jpg?1

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