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Recoloring Helmets (and I don't mean leather)

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  • firetrux21
    replied
    Fiberglass and Kevlar Painting Instructions

    Applicable to Cairns 1000, 1010, 990, 970, 660C and HP3.

    1. Inspect for damage and remove front piece
    2.Clean the helmet w/ soap and water
    3. Roughen the surface w/ fine sandpaper (not too much though)
    4. Apply a coat of "recommended primer" from Sherwin Williams
    5. 2 coats of paint over the primer (Cairns recommends Sherwin Williams Super Acrylic Spray Enamel)

    There you have it...
    Last edited by firetrux21; 10-20-2003, 02:38 PM.

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  • Lewiston2Capt
    replied
    Open Checkbook, Make check for $374.00 payable to Cairns & Brother. Please specify helmet color somewhere on check!

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  • Fire304
    replied
    Re: Cairns 1000

    Originally posted by firetrux21
    ...they sent me directions on how to do it.
    Wow! What a change of direction for them, what did they recomend?

    Leave a comment:


  • firetrux21
    replied
    Cairns 1000

    I have a yellow classic 1000 and I want to go to black. I called Cairns and not only did they surprisingly not try to sell me on a new helmet altogether...they sent me directions on how to do it. I also inquired about just the shell...they want $205. Hope this is helpful...

    Cairns
    1-877-MSA-FIRE

    Leave a comment:


  • firemanjb
    replied
    Originally posted by BVFD1983
    Someone mentioned masking off the D ring and rubber. Remove everything on the helmet. You will have a much better job if you take it all off instead of masking it off.
    Most helmet manufacturers secure the rubber trim line with the D-ring. The D-ring is usually riveted into place; removing either the trim or the ring is usually an irreversible process.

    For safety: buy a shell, don't paint it.

    Leave a comment:


  • ekloosterm
    replied
    http://www.dcfp.navy.mil/library/dcp...UserManual.pdf has the user manual for a firedome helmet and the warnings about painting it. I just thought I would add this

    Leave a comment:


  • BVFD1983
    replied
    Someone mentioned masking off the D ring and rubber. Remove everything on the helmet. You will have a much better job if you take it all off instead of masking it off.

    Leave a comment:


  • Fire304
    replied
    Originally posted by 33motor


    LOL, that shows how much some people really read of the posts...

    Ouch, hey give me a break, I read that days ago and probably at 2:30am with my crying newborn daughter in my left hand to boot!

    Leave a comment:


  • LRFireE135
    replied
    Hip Hip Hoorah for San Antonio

    Well said... Damn well said!!!

    Leave a comment:


  • 33motor
    replied
    And that is the best advice given so far!
    LOL, that shows how much some people really read of the posts...

    Another option is just getting a bare bones shell from the manufacturer, and then putting your own impact cap and hardware on.


    I have done both methods before, the shell I bought in the color I needed lasted for many years and comes with it's own warranty. The one I painted didn't last all that long, (which it was only a temp anyway) it scratced really easy it seemed. All in all, the better choice (IMHO) is to get a new shell. But, if funds are an issue, painting works good enough.

    As far as certain paints causing "chemical" reactions etc to "weaken" the shell.... I'm pretty sure all the other junk they get exposed to are not any better. I'm really not worried about the fact that the paint I chose has now made my helmet .000002% weaker. When it fell off the tailboard when I was taking a break it was probably weakened too, I'm not worried.

    This isn't aimed at anyone, just in general, but I just feel I have to say it...

    This thing, like any topic, can be nitpicked to death. Look inside the helmet, see the sticker that reads firefighting is inharently dangerous... live with it or do something else.

    Leave a comment:


  • Fire304
    replied
    Originally posted by firemanjb

    Your best bet is to contact your local distributor and ask to buy just a shell; it should cost about 60% (or so) as much as a new helmet, and you can just use your current eagle, hardware, liner, etc.
    And that is the best advice given so far!

    Can I get an AMEN???

    Leave a comment:


  • firemanjb
    replied
    Originally posted by N2DFire
    I used to be VERY heavy into racing R/C cars (and you guys think fire gear is expensive!!) and one thing that you should know about the R/C paints. As mentioned above - this paint is made to be sprayed on the INSIDE of clear plastic (Lexan). It is that plastic which then gives the paint it's sheen (or gloss if you will). When sprayed on the outside (or viewed from the inside of the car bodies) - the paint is very flat and almost powery in appearance. So be warned if you try that - you're still going to need a clear coat if you want a "shiny" helmet.

    As an alternative - you can use regular model car paint (Testors - Model Masters, etc.) as it is made for plastic and also has the "sheen" in it however it will be more brittle than the paint for lexan (and may even chip off too easily).

    Also - if you want to use automotive (lacquer) paints on the plastic/fiberglass shell, you can. HOWEVER you should apply a very good basecoat of model car primer. This will "seal" the plastic and allow you to use any type of paint you wish without softening the plastic (Model car guys do it all the time.) The trick is to apply very light thin coats of paint so you don't overpower the primer.
    Hmmm...I used to work for Testors, and currently work for Bullard. I can tell you personal experience, as well as the formal factory stance.

    First, personal: while good, solid prep work will make the paint job turn out well, the first time you drop it on concrete or bang your helmet against a rafter in an attic, you will chip off the paint, and see the primer coat or the original helmet color. After 4 or 5 fires, it looks ugly. Second, official: plastics and composites (fiberglass, kevlar) are generally chemically resistant. However, exposure to any chemical can change the protective features of the shell. Plastics tend to be more easily damaged by petroleum products (lacquers, thinners, spray paints, etc.) than fiberglass/kevlar. That being said, an aggressive paint may damage the resins that hold the shell together.

    Your best bet is to contact your local distributor and ask to buy just a shell; it should cost about 60% (or so) as much as a new helmet, and you can just use your current eagle, hardware, liner, etc.

    Leave a comment:


  • LRFireE135
    replied
    Having second thoughts on re-painting my helmet

    THANKS!!! THANKS ALOT!!!

    My friend just explained the design he had for my helmet. It was going to be an american flag design... Now I'm not so sure I want it.

    Can't you talk to Cairns and ask them about tips for repainting or what you should do. You would think they would be willing to do that since you DID buy a $180 helmet from them.

    And it was gonna look so cool too....

    Leave a comment:


  • N2DFire
    replied
    I'm not even going to get into the debate of wether you should or should not paint your helmet. That's for you to decide.

    However if you decide to paint it, I have a few suggestions for you.

    Originally posted by Fire304 I've used a special plastic paint that was both sticky to plastic and very flexible in racing RC models, stuff held up real well and was sprayed on the inside of clear plastic bodies so it could not haze the plastic.
    I used to be VERY heavy into racing R/C cars (and you guys think fire gear is expensive!!) and one thing that you should know about the R/C paints. As mentioned above - this paint is made to be sprayed on the INSIDE of clear plastic (Lexan). It is that plastic which then gives the paint it's sheen (or gloss if you will). When sprayed on the outside (or viewed from the inside of the car bodies) - the paint is very flat and almost powery in appearance. So be warned if you try that - you're still going to need a clear coat if you want a "shiny" helmet.

    As an alternative - you can use regular model car paint (Testors - Model Masters, etc.) as it is made for plastic and also has the "sheen" in it however it will be more brittle than the paint for lexan (and may even chip off too easily).

    Also - if you want to use automotive (lacquer) paints on the plastic/fiberglass shell, you can. HOWEVER you should apply a very good basecoat of model car primer. This will "seal" the plastic and allow you to use any type of paint you wish without softening the plastic (Model car guys do it all the time.) The trick is to apply very light thin coats of paint so you don't overpower the primer.

    If you have the equipment to air brush the helmet, I would suggest the following:
    1. Disassemble the helmet.
    2. Lightly scuff the surface of the shell with a very fine grain sand paper.
    3. Wash off excess sanding dust with warm soapy water. DO NOT use any chemical cleaners after sanding as they may interfere with the bonding of the primer and/or paint.
    4. After the shell has dried - carefully mask off any areas not to be painted. Be careful not to touch the surfaces to be painted any more than you have to. (Paint doesn't stick well to the grease off our fingers either)
    5. Wipe the entire surface to be painted with a lint free cloth that has been dampened with denatured rubbing alcohol to remove any fingerprints and grease from the masking process.
    6. Apply a base coat of grey or white model car primer to the shell(also in several light coats). Allow the final coat to dry for at least 24 hours to cure.
    7. While the primer is curing, Pick the type & color paint you want. Tip - Add a flex agent (available at most any automotive paint suppliers). This will allow the paint to cure, but not become brittle. It's used quite often on all the newer plastic flexible car body panels.
    8. Now you're ready to spray. Taking all the usual precautions (clean work area, respiratory protection, etc.) spray light thin coats of color on the surface. Begin spraying before you reach the surface and continue until you are just past it to make sure you don't miss any spots.
    9. Allow each coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next coat. (When you think it's ready - wait 1 more hour anyway )
    10. Let the paint cure for at least 24 hours before removing any masking and reassembling the helmet. Tip - lightly trace the edge of your masking with a brand new exacto knife blade before removing it. This will keep the paint from lifting with the tape.


    Hmm - think that's about the best I can come up with off the top of my head.

    Ohh - I almost forgot. TAKE YOUR TIME !!!! It only takes a second of rushing to ruin weeks worth of prep work.
    Last edited by N2DFire; 10-13-2003, 03:25 PM.

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  • July36
    replied
    ...And Chief Woods does it again!....My thoughts exactly Chief on what you have said regarding liabilities and such! LOL

    Donna C
    Fire Chief
    Bridge Canyon VFD
    http://cms.firehouse.com/dept/SeligmanAZ

    Leave a comment:

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