Gloss finish on plastic


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Old 04-28-08, 07:54 PM
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Gloss finish on plastic

Hi, This is kind of a special application but I hope someone can help. I recently decided to take on the project of turning my high school football helmet into that of my favorite college team. I took it all apart and prepped the surface quite well and tried to paint it with a can of that krylon plastic fusion gloss paint. As you may have guessed I am not pleased with the level of gloss I achieved, I am also plagued by the small stipple texture of spray paint. I need an absolute glassy smooth high gloss finish, where do I go from here? More coats? Air brush? clear coat?
 
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Old 04-28-08, 08:16 PM
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This is a tough one. You already coated the helmet. Stripping it off would be a option. You need high gloss and this paint you used I assume was not? A lacquer or oil high gloss would come close to a factory finish but nothing like the factory finish.
 
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Old 04-28-08, 08:20 PM
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I am not really sure what kind of paint it is and really get no clues based on the can. All it says is Krylon Fusion Gloss black plastic paint
 
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Old 04-28-08, 08:27 PM
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Is this helmet for a trophy case or for tackle football?
 
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Old 04-28-08, 08:31 PM
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Somewhere in between I will be investing time and money getting all the right decals right down to the big ten logos and such so I dont really want to put them on a finish I am not totally happy with. What about a finish for an automotive application, like for painting body kits or something?
 
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Old 04-29-08, 04:31 AM
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You should be able to apply an automotive finish but as Rick indicated, you probably can't use a lacquer - it can't be applied over a lot of other types of paint.

You will need to sand off the orange peel texture left by the previous paint. I'd suggest wet sanding with a 300-400 grit. You'll find wet sanding paper where the automotive paint is in most auto parts stores.
 
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Old 04-29-08, 04:37 AM
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Any paint applied to a helmet which has the color embedded in the plastic would be a display only project.
It would be too much work to put on the field as no paint would stand up.
True automotive finishes would be too difficult for a small project like this as they are a catalyzed two part process.

I would have first used an aerosol primer that is designed for priming plastic vehicle bumpers.
Then a quality auto touch up enamel followed by a clear gloss.
You have to make sure that all the coatings you use will be compatible with each other.

You need to know that there is a knack to achieving a nice gloss with enamel paints.
You have to apply a few properly timed thin coats followed by a medium wet coat to allow the solvents to surface which create the gloss.

Keep in mind there is a fine line between having a nice wet finish and the point at which you get runs.

You might want to try an auto body supply shop to source these finishes rather than a hardware store.
 
 

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