Adding War Paint to a Welding Helmet September 18 2015

Custom painted welding helmet on a welding table.

We recently added some war paint to our welding helmet. Graphics on a lot of helmets on the market are a little too busy for our taste, so we took matters into our own hands.

Our helmet had a bare plastic shell. We degreased it with some Simple Green, masked the window and then laid down a base coat of black paint out of a rattle can. Three light coats several minutes apart did the trick for us. If painting on bare plastic, make sure to use a paint specifically designed for plastic, or the paint will peel right off. Rustoleum carries such a product. Subsequent layers do not have to be plastic-specific paints.

Since the next step would be to mask with vinyl decals, we waited a full week for the black base coat to achieve maximum adhesion with the helmet. Next, we used custom vinyl decals and painter's tape to mask the helmet. We selected a gloss red to contrast the flat black. Four light coats of red gave us enough coverage such that we couldn't see the black underneath anymore. We waited for a few hours and then carefully pulled off the masks. We used a knife to delicately pull up the smaller vinyl masks. We waited for the paint to fully cure a few days before using it.