How to Customize a Baseball Catcher's Helmet How to Customize a Baseball Catcher's Helmet

What You'll Need
Air brush
Air brush paint
Clear varnish
Air brush stencils
White paper
Masking tape
400-grit sandpaper
Protective goggles
Protective face mask
Baseball catcher's helmet
Old newspapers

There isn't much design variety to the average baseball catchers helmet. They're designed to serve the purpose to protect your head from baseballs that can be potentially flung at speeds of over 80 miles an hour. They're also made to protect your brain from damage from a powerfully swung bat. But they're not created to meet the needs of every person's personal style. It's possible to customize a baseball catcher's helmet with your own personal style. Follow these steps to learn how.

Step 1 - Preparation

Get permission from your coach or school before customizing your helmet. Some teams and schools have a policy against customizing gear because they want all team members to look uniform. It's important to get the official go-ahead before beginning any customization work because the effort can be time consuming and moderately expensive.

Purchase the necessary tools and materials from a graphic arts shop or car shop. Get a designer to create air brush stencils if you want a specific design. Otherwise use store bought ones. Set up a well ventilated work area with little dust since the dust can get into the paint and damage your customized design on the baseball catchers helmet. Put on protective mask and goggles before beginning any work

Step 2 - Practice

Practice air brush techniques before working on the helmet, especially if you've never used an air brush before. Hold the brush in our dominant hand with your thumb on the lever (or button) on the op of the brush gun. Fill the reservoir with the desired pain color. Turn on the machine and steady you dominant hand with the other hand. Apply to a flat surface and experiment with even strokes and fast bursts to get a feel for what the gun can do. Always hold the gun six inches away from the paint surface. Tape an extra stencil to a ball, old baseball catcher's helmet or even a melon to get the feel of using the air brush on a curved surface.

Step 3 - Prep the Baseball Catcher's Helmet

Remove the padding from the helmet if you can so it doesn't get damaged by the paint. Take off the mask. Soak the sandpaper and gently rub over the helmet in circular motions to remove the varnish and create a slightly rough surface for the paint to stick to. If you wish to paint the mask a different color, do the same with the mask. Clean the helmet with a lint-free rag after sanding.

Step 4 - Paint the Helmet

Set up a newspaper spread to protect surfaces from spraying paint. Place the catcher's helmet on the newspaper and use the air brush gun to spray a smooth base coat over the helmet. Allow the paint to dry. Attach stencil with masking tape making sure the edges are firmly pressed so the paint doesn't seep. Color in the stencil with the air brush gun and your desired colors. Repeat for as many layers as desired. Make sure you let the paint dry between each layer.

Step 5 - Apply Varnish

Clean the air brush reservoir. Fill with clear varnish. Apply two layers of varnish to protect the design from damage and discoloration. Allow the varnish to completely dry between applications.

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