Headphone painting guide – How we do it

Posted by JFunk on 29/09/2011 in Dismanteling and re building headphones |

Here at custom cans we have an open kimono business model which means we try not to have any trade secrets. This is a quick guide to how we paint the headphones, I’m not saying it is necessarily the only, best  or quickest way to do it. But we have been experimenting for a couple of years to try and get the right combo and it passes all the adhesion, chip and scratch tests. I will try to remember to post some vids of the destruction tests 😉


OK Here we go…


Firstly we dismantle the headphones http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40T0ccS3uAc then sand them with 800 grit sand paper. Once the shiny surface had been removed we give them a coat of 2k adhesion promoter to make the paint bond permanently to the plastic.


Next we give them several thin coats of AutoAir white sealer alowing each coat to dry before applying the next.


Once they are looking fully white we then give them a couple of coats of bright white AutoAir paint as the sealer is a slightly off white.

Then they are left to dry fully. When the auto air paint drys it is porous. So to bond all the layers together we use a thinned down 2k urethane clearcoat. Because it is thinned down it can soak into the porous paint and harden it. Then we give them two more coats of clear allowing 30mins inbetween coats for it to reach a gel before the next coat goes on. Then they go in the dryer. The clear coat normally takes 24 hrs to dry which is why we use an infra-red dryer to speed up the process without getting the plastic too hot. This cuts the drying time down to a few hours saving a lot of time.

Than once the clearcoat has hardened we give them a bit of wet sanding to get a nice smooth surface to do the design on.

Then another coat of bright white just for luck


Once that is dry then it is time to start on the design. These ones are simple block colours so it is just a case of masking them. We use a plotter to cut the masks on Artool Ultramask. We use this because it allows us to stretch the mask over the curved surface.

As you can see I have started by spraying the red details then masked over the red bits I want to keep. Then over it all with several layers of AutoAir black


Then the exciting bit… Taking off the masks

Then go back in and neaten up some of the edges and sort out any overspray


Then 3 more coats of of clear and they are done

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