Mando Armorer Helmet refinished using Nail Polish Powder!

Indy Magnoli

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
We received this awesome finished Armorer helmet from MinuteFett a while back:

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The paint scheme was based on the dark coloring seen in season 1... but after seeing the Armorer in BoBF... I knew I wanted something shinier! Not too long ago I saw a YouTube video showing someone using nail polish powder to add a chrome effect to a hood ornament. I've been using graphite powder for a little while now (with good results), so this sounded like a promising option to lack-luster spray paints and the uber expensive metallic paints. I picked up a couple of cheap 10g kits from Aliexpress:

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Because the base of the helmet seemed quite green (and because it's what I had on hand), I used a red Paint/Primer combo as the base coat, masking off sections as I wasn't sure how fast I would have to work:

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I used a heat gun for 30 seconds or so to quicken the drying while still leaving the paint plenty tacky. I started applying the powder using a make-up sponge... and the results started looking really good:

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I will interject that this was very much a "trust the process" project as, at times, the gold came out looking really bright and gaudy. In the photo above, just to see how it'd look, I have already applied some dark brown (burnt umber) acrylic paint with a brush around the edges/seams. This really helped tie things together and de-cheese the gold effect.

I worked in sections just in case the paint dried to quickly for the powder to adhere fully:

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The effect was not nearly as "glittery" as I expected, giving a fairly smooth appearance (this helmet has a LOT of texture, so this was best seen on the smoother parts which did end up with a pretty consistent finish).

Here is the top part with the dark brown acrylic added:

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This part was really getting me excited... the aging REALLY started tying everything together.

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For the horns I did the same thing (masking off all the area) then spray painted with gloss black. Again, I used what I had on hand and this one was a quick-drying paint (without the added primer) and I don't think it worked quite as well. So from now on I think I'll always use that Rustoleum Paint+Primer spray.

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I used the silver powder for the horn... did a little more distressing and... Voila!

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The gold shine effect is hard to show in photos, so here's a video showing the full effect:


All in all, I HIGHLY recommend this method for getting some great gold and chrome effects. The final result looks fantastic, it seems quite durable (once the paint is dry, the powder seems fully adhered to the surface), and is SUPER cheap (one $2 container did an entire helmet with a little left over).

Kind regards,
Indy Magnoli
 
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joberg

Master Member
Looks amazing...my only concern is: how does that powder looks like on a smooth surface? Would the same "sponge-on-wet-paint" trick works as well? :unsure:
 

Bloop

Sr Member
Is this the video? If not, it definitely shows off the chrome effect on a smooth, plastic surface. It looks very good compared to the other options he tested. I keep looking for chrome finishes that you can actually handle and still have that metallic chrome shine, if this is as durable as you say - and is cheap and easy to apply - this could have some amazing applications!

Screenshot_20220329-034324_DuckDuckGo.jpg

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woodywaverider

Well-Known Member
I did see a post on Facebook where the OP used graphite and claimed that if you put down a coat of graphite, clear coated, added more graphite whilst it was still tacky then washed it with soap and water after that the piece could be handled without losing the finish, but I’ve yet to test this out myself. Now I’m torn between this and the graphite.
 

Indy Magnoli

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Yes, that's where I first saw it! I've used graphite and it's definitely a darker finish... but also very realistically metallic looking. The trick to getting it to stick is applying it to still tacky gloss paint. So far, the paint+primer spray has worked the best. I've been handling it a bit and very little seems to be coming off. Adding a clear coat will dull the finish but adding more powder could help that as well... again it's all about adding when tacky.
 

GRINCH

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
WOW! So did you use a base coat of red & then apply the nail polish powder? Amazing finish.
 

David3

Sr Member
i wonder what kind of result could be had mixing that powder into some kind of sprayable media, like a vallejo clear or maybe black for instance, and airbrushing it (?)
 

David3

Sr Member
Yeah. i just thought it might work because most of the metallic sprays seem to have fine particles suspended in the paint medium.
But whether the finish or durability is still as good or better would make for an interesting comparison.
 

Indy Magnoli

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I decided to try and use the silver powder on its own to upgrade my Mando Knee Darts (which at present are just spray painted silver):

Mc7CGkol.jpg


Silver paint photographs better than it looks in person (at least for me), so here are the darts next to an actual piece of machined aluminum:

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Spray painted gloss black:

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Here they are after a coating of silver nail polish powder:

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The end result looks just like real metal... you need to touch it to confirm it's just cast resin.

Here's the final look on the knee armor:

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VERY happy with the results... I'm going to start systematically going through all my silver and gold props now and refinishing the ones that are spray painted. What a difference!

I should also note, this was a SUPER quick job, no TLC... felt like the entire thing took just 10 minutes. If you really took your time you could get a flawless chrome finish (which for this project, I really didn't want).
 

blewis17

Master Member
I decided to try and use the silver powder on its own to upgrade my Mando Knee Darts (which at present are just spray painted silver):

View attachment 1566211

Silver paint photographs better than it looks in person (at least for me), so here are the darts next to an actual piece of machined aluminum:

View attachment 1566212
View attachment 1566213

Spray painted gloss black:

View attachment 1566214

Here they are after a coating of silver nail polish powder:

View attachment 1566215

The end result looks just like real metal... you need to touch it to confirm it's just cast resin.

Here's the final look on the knee armor:

View attachment 1566216
View attachment 1566217

VERY happy with the results... I'm going to start systematically going through all my silver and gold props now and refinishing the ones that are spray painted. What a difference!

I should also note, this was a SUPER quick job, no TLC... felt like the entire thing took just 10 minutes. If you really took your time you could get a flawless chrome finish (which for this project, I really didn't want).

That looks amazing! kudos
 

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