Canucks Hydrodip/Paint Job




About: I build lots of things with no general sense of direction. I like to try new things all the time so I am constantly trying different processes. Welding, Painting, Carpentry, Blacksmithing, etc. I want to try...

A buddy of mine asked me to refurbish his mask for him. He was a huge Vancouver fan so I went with this design. It is a combination of Hydrodipping, masking, and painting. Hope you guys enjoy it!

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Step 1: The Original Base White Mask

I gave it a light sanding with 200 grit paper. Then I cleaned it up with wax and grease remover.

Step 2: 1. Primer Coat

I know the base color was already white but I felt it was important to put a primer coat on for the rest of the paint to adhere to.

Step 3: Base Coat

I chose a nice light brown but one thing that makes hydrodipping very interesting is that it is mildly translucent. This makes it so you can pick any color you want and it will change the finished look of the piece.

Step 4: Wood Grain Hydrodip

As I was doing this alone, I needed both hands to do the dip so I do not have action pictures. But this is the final product after the dipping process. I used a straight grain wood grain pattern. There a few small holes in the pattern due to bubbles under the film so I used a copic marker that closely matched the color to fill them in. This made them virtually indistinguishable once the clear coat was put on. Patterns can be purchased online on a few different websites.

Quick dipping instructable:
- paint the object with a hard enamel paint (automotive paint works very well)
- get a suitable tank and fill with 95-100 degree water
- lay film on water for 1 minute
- spray with film activator

- press object through the liquid film

- rinse piece off of any sticky disolved film (ink pattern should stay adhered to the enamel paint)
- clearcoat to protect from damage

Step 5: White Layer

I masked off the area i wanted painted white and then covered the rest with plastic sheeting

Step 6: Green Layer

More masking. More fun.

Step 7: Blue Layer

masked off everything but the blue to protect all the hard progress so far from being painted on.

Step 8: Masking Taken Off

Ohhhhhh sweeet mercy that's good. Once all the masking has been taken off it gives a first look at a soon to be finished project.

Step 9: Vinyl Logo Stage

Admittedly this is not a painting step, but i wanted the logos to be perfect so I had a friend print out the logos I needed. This required some heating and stretching to get the vinyls to contour properly to the helmet. Once that was all done I threw a few coats of clear coat to keep them in place and protect the paint job.

Step 10: Final Product

Got all the padding and cage back on it and she is looking pretty damn sweet.
Thanks for looking through my instructable! I hope you enjoyed it.

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    13 Discussions


    4 years ago

    I live in a small town south of Port Huron michigan. There is a company called warwick masks, that does a lot of the goalie helmets for the nhl. Do a Google search for them. seriously the shop is tiny and a lot of people in the town probably don't have any idea that these great helms are made right here...


    5 years ago

    This is awesome I want do do something similar to my motorcycle helmet!


    5 years ago

    What an awesome looking design...maybe one even Ryan Miller might consider ;)

    2 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I would absolutely love to do helmets for NHL goalies. But apparently there are some certifications you need to get before you can be allowed to paint pro helmets. Something about making sure the integrity of the mask being intact after the process is done. I will definitely be looking into said certifications though!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    That's beautiful work! Your attention to detail really makes it look like a professional job. I did not realize that one could get such great results hydrodipping in one's garage. Now I have to find something that i want wood-grain on! One question: did you remove the hardware or mask over it? Those snaps look perfect, but they also look like they might still be attached in the first few steps...

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    i masked each of the snaps off because they are riveted in. The cage is held on with screws so that was easy to remove. And yeah, hydrodipping is not a difficult process once you get the right set up. I am still working out of a poly stock tank but at the moment I am building a self-heating and filtering 500 gallon tank. Thank you so much for your comment. Glad you liked it!


    5 years ago

    This is so awesome. (Exept the part that its a Canucks helmet.) (being a ducks fan)

    1 reply

    5 years ago on Introduction

    As a Canuck fan myself, I like how this looks. Too bad you couldn't take photos of the hydrodip, that's the really interesting part.

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I hope to be doing much more of it so I will do my best to get some documentation. Glad you like it though!