Stripes & Graphics: Hone your skills on helmets

Pinstriping, lettering, gold leaf, custom paint—helmets get it all

By signcraft

Posted on Monday, October 30th, 2017

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Racecar helmets, goalie masks, lacrosse helmets, helmets for skydivers— pinstripers get to do them all. A helmet is a small and challenging canvas: It’s in the round with no square edges or seams, and often with hardware or vents in awkward places.

Michael Hall of Richmond, Virginia, [see SignCraft, Sept/Oct 2016] has been doing helmets for decades and says they’re a great way to learn pinstriping and custom paint design. Even now, they are still one of his favorite projects. He almost always has one or two in progress in his shop. Some are wild, some are not so wild. Most, as Michael says, are fairly crazy.

“I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned by painting helmets, and I’ve probably painted over 500 of them. I’ve done them for Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmy Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart, and I’ve done them for plenty of amateur racers, too. Having a custom painted helmet is part of racing. I’ve raced all of my life, and my kids have raced. You’ll find all of our helmets lined up on a shelf in the garage, almost like trophies.”

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