TO CUSTOM PAINT YOUR SNOWBOARD AND HELMET
Instructions on painting the topside of your snowboard and your helmet.
goes out to all those who have given feedback and contributed to the making
of this site.
Steps: Quick Overview - Painting your snowboard or helmet is very much like the process of painting a car.
What you'll need:
Steps to Paint your Snowboard or Helmet:
Paint Type--- Automotive vs. House Paints
Automotive paints were suggested because they would be more suitable (than latex or acrylic) for surfaces exposed to moisture and abuse. Snowboards and helmets are treated like trucks... and should therefore be painted in a similar manner.
DARE: I dare any of you to try latex (house paint). Let me know if you do. The beauty of it would be price and color selection. You can get any color you want (except metallics, I assume) in the home paint dept. at Wal-Mart...and it's very cheap ($4/can for more than enough paint). You may even be able to use a sprayer. A concern I have would be clear coat compatibility with the paint.
THE DARE of painting with acrylics. See what they said:
Paint Colors and Where to Buy:
The paints, primer sealer, and clear coat can all be found at Wal-Mart in automotive section, or at O'Reilly's, Autozone, etc. The common brand I bought was Dupli-Color". I was impressed with it's spray--very nice and even ..no splattering. The paints are Off-the-shelf, automotive, "Touch Up" paints in aerosol cans. They are the least expensive route. The selection is decently large. You should be able to find all the colors you need, or find a great compromise.
Exotic and custom color paints can be bought at an automotive paint store, like Sherwin Williams automotive paint store www.sherwin-automotive.com, but they're expensive, (like $16/can), and won't come in an aerosol can. To apply this more expensive paint, you'd have to buy a sprayer to spray the paint -- $60 - $600 -- With that kind of investment, you might as well open up a snowboard paint shop.
A site visitor gave this info: "For airbrush application, Creatix has a new line of paints for airbrush application, plus base coats for them, which act as primer. About 150 colors are available at less than $5 per 4oz bottle. Use urethane clear coat over it and you're set."
NAPA: "I am a paint rep for s/w. Most NAPA stores that sell paint, make custom aerosols--I know; I sell them to NAPA. There are some killer products in a can now-days. Contact the NAPA paint rep in your area for details."
The conclusion: I'd
say the durability is a 3 on a 1-to-10 scale.
An email came in from
an experienced painter/snowboarder which confirms the low durability:
"I've tried car spray paints but no matter how much clear i put on
it always scratches off." Details:
How the Factories Do It
The comments below are from site visitors who have shared their insight to how it's done in the factories, feel free to add to what they've got:
"Snowboards are printed using sublimation. The paint is actually infused via heat using epoxy inks. The graphics are actually underneath the finish, which is heat vaccum molded on. Very expensive and time consuming."
"Snowboard factories laminate the paint onto a layer underneath the topsheet of the snowboard, therefore the color does not scratch off. Various colors and designs of top sheets are still lamenated into the plastic or fiberglass used."
Help us Find a Do-It-Yourself High Durable Solution
How can we paint our snowboards and helmets with a method that produces solid results like those from a factory?
Suggested idea by a site visitor: "What if you used a clear vinyl top sheet, like a clear sticker over the whole board?"
If you've got pictures, send 'em this way. One of these days I'll put my pictures up here (and yours). Please send the painting process you used to acheive your results.. and any other pertinent info that'd be helpful to site users looking to paint snowboards and helmets.
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THE ORIGINAL CORRESPONDENCE THAT GOT ME STARTED
My Email For Help to a Custom Snowboard Design Shop
Subject: Design Application Q -- snowboard
Their Email Reply -- from Blowsion: a professional, custom design paint shop in Sherwood, Oregon.
We have painted boards
for many years and never had any adhesion or flex problems. The reason
for this is we use epoxy and catalyzed primers, basecoat/clearcoat colors
and urethane clearcoats- we do not cut any corners on material usage.
We see no point in offering a "cheap" paint price, if the longevity and
durability are nullified. Forget wasting your time with the housepaint
and spray cans. Go with a Basecoat/Clearcoat Automotive paint system.
You should be able to find everything you need at any of your local automotive
refinishing supply stores. Keep in mind these are VERY expensive and very
I suggest to help you on your quest for answers, make friends w/ your local automotive paint salesman or bodyshop painter and offer to help out for some free advice on B/C coatings.... As far as "flex", we use all the available clearcoat additives-, however, if you take a board past 90 degress of bend, there is not a custom paint finish in the world that will survive that kind of compound bend. >From personal experience, we have had more problems w/ skiers running over the board, or pokin' it in lift lines w/ poles, than we do w/ over flexing. Good Luck- Blowsion Blowsion Website: www.Blowsion.com
My Notes from "Buck" of Sherwin Williams Automotive Paint Store
use wax and grease