Custom helmet painting, at face value, can seem rather expensive for what's delivered back to you. We thought we would give you an overview of exactly what goes into painting a custom helmet so you can see what you're paying for.
Firstly, there are a whole host of materials used to paint a helmet. At Paul Garner Designs, we almost exclusively use House of Kolor paint and finishing products to guarantee quality. For a standard helmet of 2-3 colours, the material cost of paint, clear coat and polishing comes to around £100. Factor in other materials used: fine line masking tapes, masking tapes to mask layers, vinyl for cutting design elements, adhesive strips for re-applying vents, sanding papers / pads and airbrush / paint gun maintenance and spares and you're into around £150. These costs escalate considerably with complex finishes such as chrome, metal flake etc. due to the extra materials and prep work involved to get a great finish.
So, where does the rest of your hard earned money go? Essentially, it goes on the artist's time. Every helmet, regardless of design complexity, is dismantled, masked, rubbed down thoroughly, primered and rubbed down again before paint can be applied. After painting, it is then clear-coated, flatted and then re-assembled. All this takes around 30 hours and is entirely unavoidable.
But wait! We skimmed over a crucial step. How are the design layers formed and applied? The answer is (painstakingly) manually. So, every design line is measured and manually applied with fine line tapes being careful to deliver exact symmetry. Any logos are cut using a plotter and manually weeded / positioned, airbrushed effects are either freehand or a mix of masking / freehand, not forgetting that every layer we're not currently painting needs to be thoroughly masked to prevent any over spray.
Lets say, this takes another 10 hours for something of a moderate complexity and your artist's time is well into 40 hours . (Again, this will escalate with different paint effects / and design complexity).
Unfortunately, custom helmet painting is very time consuming and good materials are expensive. Always be suspicious of a cheap custom painting quote!!!