Anvil or Hammer


Paint your kettlebell Contest, first try

Posted in Kettlebells by Mike on March 10, 2007

Last weekend I did a little test run on my 4K kettlebell to see what I could learn about painting kettlebells.
KB4KPaint 

Today I took some of those lessons and painted my first kettlebell that I would consider submitting for the contest. I’m gonna show it off a bit and I’m gonna share more lessons learned to help anyone else in the contest.

I started todays painting with a dragondoor 16K kettlebell.
PlainKettlebell 

I mask the handle as before, remember, I’m keeping my handles black. It’s a choice. I strung it up as before and got to business.
16KMask 

I primed it up really well. One layer but pretty thick. It took about a minute and then I let it hang out for an hour.
16Kprime 

Next I laid on two layers of paint in short order. I laid on the red and then the orange hoping for a little mingling of colors. I think I got a bit of that but it doesn’t show up well in the photos. If the colors look pretty similar to my test run, well, that’s why I did the test run the way I did.
16Kbase

Now for the detail. This is something I didn’t test out so this was purely experimental. I wanted to mark up my bell with the Biohazard symbol. I had toyed with different ways to approach this. How big, with text, how detailed? In the end I went for a simplified version with no text and I’m glad I did. I also went for a pretty small version of the symbol. I printed the symbol from google imagaes and cut it out on normal paper. I used masking tape to keep it in place. I sprayed then moved on to the next one. I applied it a total of four times.
16KDetail 

This time I applied a layer of clear coat too. Then I let it dry for another half an hour and was done. I think I spent a total of 14 or 20 minutes painting and spent the rest of the 2 1/2 hours doing other things, just letting the paint dry. I’m pretty happy with the result and I learned a few lessons.
16KFinish2  16KFinish1  16KFinish

Lessons about kettlebell painting:
Primer is a good idea, it works.
Apply your base colors in the reverse order that you want them to be seen. Yellow with red highlights means apply the red then the yellow over it.
Clear coat makes the pain dry more quickly, it’s a great idea at the end of the process. Without it the paint takes all night to totally dry, with clear coat it takes about 30 minutes.
Stencils are hard to do well, keep it simple
The round nature of kettlebells makes large stencils very difficult, keep stencils less than 4 inches in diameter.
Stencils should be made from more than paper, poster board is a good idea, or possibly contact paper.

So that’s it, it didn’t take much work or time really. I got a shower and the dishes done in the mean time. I had the bell up at about 8:30 and down by 11:00. So get to work and start of your kettlebells.

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5 Responses to 'Paint your kettlebell Contest, first try'

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  1. Scott said,

    I’ve done the base colour of mine, just thinking about the image. Was also considering the stencil approach (my freehand drawing isn’t anything to shout about). The biohazard symbols look cool.

  2. Scott Styles said,

    That is awesome Mike. I’m really enjoying your posts and pictures on the painting process. This is something I’d like to do once I’m in the new place. Very cool.

  3. brent said,

    very cool

    if i ever want someone to customize my future bumper plates i’ll know who to come to

  4. Scott said,

    Great idea Brent. A plate painting contest :)

  5. Mike said,

    Thanks guys. It didn’t come out exactly as I had planned, I had to adapt as I saw some of the tricks involved. Given all I learned, I was pretty happy with the outcome. I kinda cheated on the picutures. I only showed the best stencil, a couple of them are kinda smeared. It looks good from a distance but close up it shows.
    I thought of the whole plate painting concept while I was doing this yesterday. I gotta say, I think the novelty would wear off real quick with about the 25th plate.
    I was hoping I could convince Scott Styles to take a shot at the contest, even with his current living arrangement but I suppose that packing up every single thing you own is an excuse not to do it :-D.


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