Repetitive Paint Schemes - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 10-09-2007, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
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Repetitive Paint Schemes

Hopefully this the right forum for this, I didn't see one better. And hopefully "paint" is considered a "finish". If not then please let me know and I'll correct things.

I'm making about 100 pieces of two simple designs for our pee-wee football program. I'm using the attached image below as my inspiration. It's a cutout that someone did a few years ago and now it's my task.

I've already how I'm going to cut out the designs but now I'd like to make the painting of the details easier. I figure I'll start out with painting the whole thing purple, let it dry, then do the details. I COULD have the parts templated out, draw boundries with a pencil, and then hand paint but I'd rather not. I'd rather figure out some way to lay down a template, spray, let dry, spray, etc. until it's done. Sort of like the layering they do when doing print jobs for posters and such.

I'm sure I've not been very clear but I'm not sure even quite what to ask. Hopefully I've muddled enough for you to know what I'm asking. Maybe read my mind or something?

Thanks for your time.

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post #2 of 5 Old 10-09-2007, 08:58 PM
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Your concept/idea is do-able and you're on the right track, I think.

Do some research on silk screening for the basic process.

My initial impression would be to start with a set of main templates. These could be thin plastic/lexan sheets that are available at the big Blue Box. You'll need one template for each color you plan to apply.
Each template will be cut to the overall shape of the megaphone, and for each color, sketch out every part that exists ONLY in that color.. white, yellow, black, etc., then using a razor, cut those details out of each one. This is called a "negative" template.

From that point, it's a matter of your purple base coat, let dry, then lay on a template, spray in appropriate color over the cut-out portions, let dry, etc. Spray lightly with multiple coats to avoid having the colors run past their boundary on the piece.

A couple potential issues... if you use a paint that's reactive to plastic (IOW, melts it), you'll have a problem with those templates.

You'll need to frequently clean off the wet paint from the template to keep it from leaking/running where it shouldn't be. (maybe just go slow and do batches of 10-25, let the paint dry on the template, then start again).

BUT... If they're going to be personalized (like in the example), that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish. Huge amount of template work, especially if it's two color like the example, and you've got 100 names to do. For that, I might check the yellow pages for a local graphics shop that does custom-cut vinyl, like boat graphics. Their computer controlled machines can create your "negative" stencils way faster and easier than you ever could yourself. It might cost a buck, but I think you'd make it up in time and frustration savings. You'd use those stencils the same way as the template idea above.

On further thought, that might be the way to go for the whole project. Get all your templates made there instead of making them yourself.

Offer to let him sponsor the team and hang a few signs advertising his biz in exchange for his work... easy breezy!

Hope that gave you some ideas... as simple as that pic looks, I can see the paint process is going to be a challenge in a "production" environment. That's a pretty big project you've hooked. Good luck!

Last edited by Buffalo Bilious; 10-09-2007 at 09:13 PM.
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post #3 of 5 Old 10-09-2007, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! You pre-answered some questions that I had but didn't want to pollute the original post with. The layers of templates was what I was thinking but didn't know the material or how to handle the potential bleeding or paint build-up.

I'll look into the graphics shop idea you had but they really like the rougher look of the wood and the names. To get them I'll stencil the stick figure of the names and go over them with a brush then outline them. I will be trying to find someone who is better at that then I am though since I don't think it will be any fun. The other painting pieces are doable with the layering you suggested.

Thanks for taking the time to help out.

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post #4 of 5 Old 10-09-2007, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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But.... I may do the stencil lettering as you suggested. It will come down to price.
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post #5 of 5 Old 02-02-2010, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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After producing these for a while here is how I ended up. I'll use the megaphone in the above picture as my example.

I hit the wood quickly with a belt sander then use a palm sander to get it as smooth as I care for it to be. For the areas I will be using tape and/or stencils I make sure they are "extra nice".

Since most of the lettering I do is white I give the entire piece a base coat then give an extra coat in the area the lettering will be. If it happens that the lettering is Yellow I do I do a pass of yellow in the area the lettering will be.

I use wide painter's tape and cover the lettering area. Then I stencil in the letters. Now I cut away everything BUT the letters. In the end I have the lettering under the tape.

I tape off the handle and mouth piece.

Now I paint the whole thing the primary color. Purple in this case.

I now tape off the rough outline of the wide end of the megaphone and then use a stencil to get the curve. I then cut away what I want to be black. Painting occurs then a yellow outline for the rim of the opening. Remove tape.

Remove tape for mouth piece and handle and outline with yellow.

Remove tape for lettering and allow color to come through. Looks nice. Add trim to letters as needed but I usually just leave one color.

I seal it all up with a few coats and I'm done.

It sounds like a lot of details but I'll go out one day and cut out several sheets of shapes (footballs, helmets, etc) and sand them. Then I'll paint them all a white base coat and let dry. I assembly line as much as possible and it works out.
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