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Painting metal; steampunk

Hey guys,

I've never really done any crafts so im not sure how to go about doing this so i figured id bring it up here.

I know i'm 8 months early but I wanted to get started now, on a project for halloween.

I randomly decided a few weeks ago i was visited by never good "good idea fairy" and i listened when i was told to by a unicycle by my awesome mind. Then I started riding it, realizing that i could probably get pretty decent at it pretty quickly. Then someone talked about halloween and I was thinking about what would be off the wall so i immediately though of the unicycle. Here, my mind went to steampunk, then it went to looking like abe lincoln while riding a unicycle. Then I realized that my boring chrome painted unicycle would hardly look Victorian, and that it would need a facelift.

LONG STORY SHORT:

My issue is that I would like to spray paint it a brassy colour, and not ruin the unicycle. I just got back from the craft store, where they told me that my idea of wrapping saran wrap tightly around it would not work because the paint would just run off. They suggested wrapping canvas around it, but when they showed me the cost of canvas i let out a faint hearted laugh and said what if i were to wrap it in a paper or construction paper type  material and paint that, but they turned that down because of the appearance it would give.  But again, it is halloween and it wont be all that light out so I dont really see a huge requirement for detail.

Is there any way you guys could think of that will not ruin the unicycle?

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snipesnipe (author) 4 years ago
Caitlinsdad; If I'm not mistaken, you are referring to like a sheet of veneer, correct? I think I'd run into the same problem with that as i would with using paper and painting over it; it would start to overlap and might not look right, and i dont think it would look very good anyway just because its not a actual piece of wood. I googled faux woodgrain, and some bike maker popped up and his had real wood and it was beautiful, im not sure veneer would have the same effect, but I will definitely give it a shot. And for the rubber cement, that would probably work perfectly, thank you!

kelseymh; I read your comment and thought "hmmm. maybe" but then i thought nah i think id be embarrassed to ride it outside of halloween. Why? i have no idea but i said that to a friend of mine and she said "really? out of all of things youve done(dont ask aha), this is the thing that would embarrass you?". I will think about it, and maybe do it, and if i do i'll post pictures once its done.

Josehf Murchison; I will try that if the other options fail. thanks
caitlinsdad4 years ago
You could go with that faux woodgrain shelf liner paper(self stick removeable contact stuff) and wrap the major portions to give it a wood look base. Then you could find some metallic tape in brass color to wrap on some details at the lugs or cover up the chrome or steel parts. I guess you would have to camouflage the pedals somehow too. Add on other parts, valves, copper piping and gears for effect. Maybe you want to add on the tailgate blender or hang a lantern or electric model steam train smoke generator on board. Good luck,.
or coat it with rubber cement first so you have a paint mask to peel off if you don't want the permanent brass color.
kelseymh4 years ago
Why do you think a brass-painted unicycle would be "ruined"? Are you worked about reselling it later? If so, then wrapping it carefully in paper (not crumpled sheets, but pulled tightly and anchored with double-stick tape) should be fine for a costume effect.

Otherwise, just paint it! You could do it in bright brass, or that brownish "antique bronze" color.

Roughen the existing surface with either steel wool or wet-style sandpaper (fine grit). Use a good quality metallic spray paint, with many light coats -- spray a thin coat, wait 15 minutes, do another coat, and so on, until you have at least five or six coats. Let the final coat dry for at least half an hour (check the can for specifics), then apply a clear coat on top (get it at any auto parts store) to seal the surface. Usually you also do two or three light clear-coats as well to get uniform coverage and depth.

If you really want a "steampunk" look, get some thin copper pipe at the hardware store and apply it to the center post, either wrapped around or maybe with a couple of vertical runs. If you have one of those round dial-type tire gauges, attach it to an end of the copper tube, or put it on a branch. Remember, you're not looking for authenticity, but rather something recognizable as the style.
Is it chrome painted or is it chrome?
If it is chrome just paint it, the paint will come off with chrome polish.
If it is chrome painted use water based paint and then wash off when finished showing it off. Bummer if it rains though.