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DIY Mask Design Thread


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I'm too cheap to buy a legit paint job, and the GSBB DIY thread was incredibly helpful in sorting through the possibilities. I wanted to share my travels, quick tips, and experiments so far so that any of you would-be DIYers know what you're getting into!

Paint
I've seen some people do amazing things with spray cans & stencils. Even if you're just going to lay a base color down and throw some vinyl on top, here are some considerations: 

-Be sure to sand down your mask appropriately -- preparation is key. If you're starting with a stock mask, the objective is to sand all of the clearcoat until there aren't any "shiny" spots left. 
-When choosing a spray, keep in mind whether or not you're planning on clearcoating -- some sprays/colors don't take kindly to clearcoat and will tell you as much on the can.
-If you're going with spray, use a series of light coats (I like 3-4) to avoid runs and globs.
-**If you want to use brushes, you can -- I'll link an awesome design my wife did for me using Rustoleum with brushes. It just won't look as smooth as spray. 
-When selecting a clearcoat, most sources that I saw recommended a quick-setting two-stage with hardener -- this will give your job durability while the fast-dry will avoid "eating" your paint.

Vinyl
I've used stock and custom vinyl sets from Leblanc, and though the service and designs were great, they can be tough to apply if you're not patient (like me) and certain shapes can have peeling issues. 

-When ordering custom vinyl, be cautious about "fine" shapes and smaller pieces -- these have peeled on me in the past, but that could likely be because of my base paint (see next bullet)
-You'll want a good surface for the vinyl to adhere to -- be sure that your paint is dry or that you've got your clear on there prior to applying. I've heard of people clearing on top of vinyl, but I have not tried this myself (too worried about mucking it up). My biggest issue with my Miller mask was that I used a gold metallic from Rusto that "rubbed off", so the stickers wouldn't stay put. 
-Be patient when applying your vinyl! Use a hair dryer, follow the instructions, and more than anything, go slow. Don't stretch things too hard, don't slap them down with bubbles. Certain masks are harder to navigate than others -- my Bauer's head ridges were a nightmare for me -- but slow and steady is the way to go. 
-For super cheap (and TRUE DIY mode), you can pick up sheets of vinyl online or from a hobby/craft shop for dirt cheap. I bought a few sheets of black and red vinyl, an xacto knife, and a cutting mat for $20 and proceeded to make my own Cheevers stitches. They came out great and were pretty durable, but I can just make a few more to pop on if any come off. This process will make your wrists/fingers ache, but it's a pretty neat way to make your own lettering, numbers, and simple designs. 

Cage
Sometimes, the chrome cage just doesn't match with the look you're going for. Here are the quick cage tips & methods:

-Powdercoating is the best way to go for durability. Local shops can do this for you, potentially for cheap. They sandblast your metal and then hit it with a super durable coat in the color of your choice.
-The cheap DIY way, though, is as simple as a can of Plasti-dip. It'll take several coats, and the stuff can be annoying to work with, but it's durable, cheap, and allows you to go for a few different colors. Just like spray paint, slow, even coats. In my experience, you'll want to make sure your hardware is lined up to where it sits on the mask -- otherwise, when you move it around after the plastidip is dry, it will tear up all of your hard work. Same deal with screws -- when you twist em, they grab the dip and pull it. Use an xacto knife to isolate the dip on the screw before turning it. 
-Don't paint your cage -- paint chips can fly into your eyes, which 9/10 doctors agree is possibly bad for you. 

Pics: My Miller High Life mask (gold Rusto, white plasticdip cage with custom vinyl from Leblanc); The Carnage mask I'm rocking now that my wife did with Rustoleum and brushes, black plastidip cage; My cheevers hand-cut vinyl (5 years ago-- time flies)

If anyone else has some DIY designs & tips, throw them up -- let us all learn from your success!

highlife1.jpg

highlife2.jpg

carnage1.jpg

Carnage2.jpg

cheevers.jpg

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Another tip for vinyl. You an use a mixture of dish soap and water or windex to help aid in align the pieces. This will allow the vinyl to freely move without adhering to the mask. Depending on how much soap is in the water or how much you spray on the mask usualy a heat gun is required.20180526_150734.thumb.jpg.19213b5efeb301d42655d4c8900cff9a.jpg

I only used windex and rubbed my finger on it to apply heat ad get the bubbles out

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