Artists often enjoy adding custom paint jobs to their personal effects. Among custom paint jobs, one of the most sought-out decals are flames. Custom body shops will charge large amounts of cash to do professional paint decals. For the budding artist to make them himself, however, all it takes are a few basic steps.
1. Decide where you want the flames to run along your item. Use a charcoal pencil or a piece of chalk to outline where and how you want the flames to appear. Don’t worry about going into details with the flames as these guidelines will be removed later.
2. Secure your item to a workbench so that the sander will not jumble it around. Sand down the surface you want to paint. The area you’re applying paint to needs to be smooth and have no added materials like chrome or steel lining.
3. Start by airbrushing your first coat over the item, covering with the color you want for the base layer. Once you have finished coating the item in one layer, allow it to dry before adding another coat. Multiple coats will ensure that every inch of the item has been covered and the paint will not have any flaws.
4. Once the base layer has dried, add a layer of wax, silicone spray or grease remover so that there will be no visible air splotches or fingerprints.
5. Add another clear layer of paint. This layer will make sure that if you decide to change any of the flame details later, you will not have to repaint the base layer.
6. Add the first coat to your flames, starting with the lighter colors with either a brush or an airbrush, depending on your preference. Start with the outlines of your flames, using different shades as you make your way inward. Once the paint dries, if you notice thin spots in the paint, add a second coat.
7. Add another clear coat over the flames to ensure the flames retain their vibrant and rich colors. If you used a clear coat over the base layer, use the same paint on the flames so the flames and base layer appear to have the same finish.
8. Add any remaining details to the item and touch up any of the paint that may have dried differently than you expected. Once all the paint and details meet your expectations, add a buffer to the entire item to give the paint that well-shined look.