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Hi All,
I have two siblings who are very into rafting / kayaking and spending time on the water.
I was going to custom paint a Strutter helmet for both of them as a gift but want to make sure I'm using good material, not damaging the Carbon Fiber and coating it with something that will make it last after a lot of use and sun.
Does anyone have any advice on materials to use?
Anything that has worked or know anyone I could reach out to for advice?
Thanks for the help!
 

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I'd Bet it was automotive paint. Probably have to be careful with solvents ect so I d be kinda scared to melt something without doing a little digging. I've heard to that adhesion can be a issue too and so down the rabbit hole you go!! They do super cool stuff with vinyl these days? Could do the painting and have those guys do a wrap of your art? I put Elvis stickers on mine but iam stupid.
 

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Seems like enamel paint for model cars and such would be pretty sweet for that and it comes in tons and tons of colors. I don't think its much different then nail polish. Used to use the model paint a bunch as a kid....



Lots of different kits or you can buy individual colors. Any hobby shop should have it. They make airbrush kits as well if you want to try your hand at that.

I don't think much is gonna get through the gel coat on those helmets. The least caustic and reversible thing I can think of is plasti-dip. Used to be for dipping tools to make them more grippy...but people started using it to paint wheels and tires on cars. Pretty durable...but you can peel it off.
 

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Iam a defenseman in beer league lol!!! My goalie hates me cause I allways take the puck not the pass lol. My + - is not good.....
Funny! I played forward all my life but I’ve gone to defense in the beer league and I’m the guy that makes that pass in front of the net that everybody cringes about! ;)

Sorry for hijacking your post but I think these guys have provided you with good information!
 

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I had some buddies in the SE that used autopaint for theirs... they turned out well, and seemed to hold up for a decent amount of time. I'm not sure what they did for the prep work on it though on the carbon fiber. A couple of them had rockers that they took apart and painted the various pieces/inlays and they turned out great!
 

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Funny! I played forward all my life but I’ve gone to defense in the beer league and I’m the guy that makes that pass in front of the net that everybody cringes about! ;)
I, too, am that guy!!


General concern about painting helmets is that the solvents in the paint might adversely affect the plastic in the helmet or the resin in a composite helmet. I know it's a big no-no to paint (plastic) youth hockey helmets as VOC's can draw the plasticizers out of the plastic and make them brittle...but stickers seem to be OK. In the pros, the goalie helmets are all composite, and there's pretty good understanding of how to prime/paint composites without adversely affecting the resin.

I'd start with a painted strutter, not a carbon fiber helmet. Use the existing paint as your primer, so you're painting paint...not painting carbon fiber. Scuff sand it with 150 grit.
(I would think that even a clear CF helmet would have some sort of catalyzed clearcoat that common paint solvents wouldn't bother..but you don't know.)
I agree with E_M that model paint is probably the best solution for volume/color choice/durability.

For plastic helmets, I'd recommend a wrap. You have to use "adhesion promoters" to get the primer/paint to bond, and then you probably are starting to mess with the plastic that would protect your sibs' noggins.
 

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I swirl dipped my WRSI a couple years ago. I don't have the skills to do an actual paint job, and thought dipping it would produce good results in lieu of skills. Anyway, it was black, so I had to use a white spray primer. I used hobby store model enamel as was mention for the swirl paint, then finished it off with a couple layers of a hard/ protective gloss clear coat. It still seems to be holding up well.

69207
 
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