We have two custom Kali helmets to give away sprayed up by Stacy Glaser from PaintHouseCustoms
To win either the XC or DH lid (both are medium) just leave a comment at the bottom telling us in not too many words why you should have a special lid like this.
Here’s a bit more behind the man with the airbrush skills:
Who is Stacy Glaser? Stacy Glaser is a 24 year old dude from Ringwood, New Jersey, USA. About 2 years ago I started my own custom painting operation called PaintHouse Customs.
Where do you live? I spend most of my time on the west coast now and as much time as I can in Vancouver, BC.
What sort of riding do you mainly do? Growing up in Ringwood, NJ, which is a cross country mecca, I rode xc for over 6 years and gradually got more into downhill and freeriding. Now I do some trail riding but mostly just downhill. I am building up a new xc bike in an attempt to get back into it but I mostly ride my Santa Cruz Driver 8. I also like to ride my, now vintage, 1985 Kawasaki Ninja 600r, but never got into dirt bikes.
How did you get into the helmet spraying business? As obscure as it might seem, helmet painting in particular is an industry unto itself. It’s definitely much larger in the motor sports world, where a lot of advertising and sponsors logos are displayed. Even different zones on helmet itself are worth more in advertising space for some of the top pros. I’ve been aware of custom painting for some time; what really sparked the idea to do it myself was when I saw photos from the “Red Bull Helmet Art” show which showcased helmets from different painters and drivers in the F1 circuit.
Although I’ve been an artist for pretty much my whole life and worked in many mediums, the first time I started airbrushing was on the very first helmet I painted. I learn something new with each helmet I work on.
So how many hours do you spend on an average paint job, can you talk us through the process? I’d say a helmet takes an average of 25-35+ hours from start to finish. I prefer clients to send me solid colored helmets with no graphics if possible to eliminate some of the prep work, but I usually start by removing the trim and masking all the vents and holes. I’ll then sand the helmet smooth and apply a base coat color.
After the design has been worked out I go straight to painting. If I have to make certain shapes or logos I’ll usually do it on a computer and cut it out on a vinyl cutter but the majority of the work is still done by hand with tape and a razor blade. The paint I use is non-toxic and water-based but needs to be finished with a clear coat which I do in a professional automotive paint booth. Even though the clear coat comes out really smooth, I use a 4-stage polishing system to bring the paint to a slippery smooth surface. Then it’s down to reinstalling the trim and interior and bolting the visor on.
Is there a current colour/style pattern that is in fashion at the moment, flames are always in right? Yes, while flames are definitely timeless I actually don’t do them very often. I do feel like most of my designs have been pretty unique, but I’ve been doing more 3-D shading and shadowing lately. I try not to make my paintings over-complex so that the design can be made out from a distance but they usually feature many subtle details that can be enjoyed up close.
What’s the longest amount of time you have worked on a project for? Even though I should, I don’t ever really time myself on projects but I estimate I have probably spent 45-50 hours on a single item but that includes some extensive prep work.
Do you customize anything else apart from lids, bikes, cars etc, would you do my van if I shipped it over to you? I’ve done some random small parts like shifter covers, but mostly helmets. They’re easy to paint in a small area and are fun for me because of the challenge of painting on such a complex surface. I have painted my own mountain bike but it’s hard to match the durability of powdercoat on metal so I don’t really advertise it at this time. I have just recently started doing some automotive painting and if you wanted to send me your van I could spray it up no problem. Although with the cost of airfare it might be cheaper to fill it with golf balls and float it across.
How much time did you spend on the custom Dirt helmets that two lucky readers will win? I definitely spent 50+ hours between the two helmets and I’d value them at $1100, not including the helmets. They also feature several different color shifting paints that needed to be applied in many layers for complete coverage. Plus masking out the xc helmet was pretty intricate.
So how do people go about getting a custom paint job from you? People can contact me at email@example.com or check out my website, painthousecustoms.com. I usually work out a concept drawing and after receiving the helmet the painting starts.
Thanks very much Stacy.
No problem! I’m stoked to contribute to Dirt. It’s been one of my favorite magazines since I started seriously mountain biking and I still have all my issues. Thanks to Straitline and Kali for helping me with the project and of course to Dirt for running this contest. Good luck to all the contestants and congratulations in advance to the winner from PaintHouse.