How to paint a football helmet & face masks

Since most football uniforms are similar because they usually include a number and a name, the look and design of a football helmet is how fans build recognition of a team. Whether it's for the pros, a local college team or your child's youth football team, you can paint a professional looking helmet if you have the tools. Take note that it is extremely important not to damage the integrity of the helmet if you plan on using it for contact football after painting. Any sanding, resurfacing or patching can weaken the original structure and put the person wearing the helmet at risk.

Unscrew helmet accessories to include the face mask, button snaps, screws, pads and liner. Clean the remaining shell with water and a noncorrosive detergent to remove debris that could counteract with the paint.

Use masking tape to cover areas of the helmet you may not want to primer. This could include the size label and any fasteners still on the helmet.

Primer helmet and face mask. The face mask requires no prior preparation. Be aware of over spray when you paint. Use cardboard or wood and conduct your painting in a well-ventilated area.

Once the primer is dry, apply spray paint of chosen colour to both the helmet and face mask. If you use both an enamel primer and an enamel colour, you will have to wait only two days for the primer to dry before applying the paint; however, if you use an enamel primer and then a lacquer paint, you will need to allow a greater drying time--as much as two weeks. You may choose to skip the primer phase altogether; however, it could require significantly more paint to properly cover the helmet.

Once paint is dry, Stencil off the area for your logo, numbers or lines and apply the appropriate colour paint. If you plan on using multiple layers in your logo, ensure you paint the part of the logo that appears in the back first. For example if you paint two letter G's, ensure you paint the one in the background before you paint the one in the foreground for maximum perception of depth.

Remove all tape and stencils. Screw in all helmet accessories. Double -check all screws and test durability of the helmet before use.

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