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Thread: Can You Re-paint Mask Mesh?

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    Just Joined Rocdoc's Avatar
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    Can You Re-paint Mask Mesh?

    Ok. I've been searching the armory threads and a lot of them come close, but I haven't found my question exactly....so...

    Can you re-paint the mesh on your mask without ruining the whole thing?

    I bought a new Leon Paul mask a few months back. Being a less experienced fencer I have already gotten several scrapes from performing parry "9" with my face.

    At some point I think I'd like to re-paint the mesh if I can. Can I? If I can, what kind of paint do I use? What's the best way to "mask" off the bib (pun intended)?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member erooMynohtnA's Avatar
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    LP uses nylon, not paint on most of their masks. So, with an LP mask, it may be a little tricky.

    But yeah, you can repaint it, just make sure not to clog the mesh.

    Also, don't do it if it's a saber mask.
    >:U

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    HDG
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    Touch it up with nailpolish. I have found it's also a great way to piss off my girlfriend...

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    Posting Hound Purple Fencer's Avatar
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    And stop parrying with your face!!!
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    Senior Member fencerbill's Avatar
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    The paint on a mask, in practice, is purely decorative. When I want to make a mask look better I spray it with Krylon barbeque black.

    Where it CAN make a difference is on the inside. The flexing of the mask when it gets hit pops the paint off on the inside. Then it can be a more prominent feature in your field of view. Again, I use the barbeque black.
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    It's perfectly fine to repaint mask mesh. Any non metallic-based hobby paint will do in a pinch, as will most kinds of spray paint. Heck, you could go over the scratched areas with a black permanent marker.

    I generally wouldn't bother with any varnish over the paint, as it doesn't really matter how many layers you put over it. I've put 10+ layers of varnish over a painted mask and still had it scratch as though it wasn't even there.

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    Senior Member veeco's Avatar
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    Has anyone ever tried powdercoating a mask mesh? Wouldn't that have a more durable finish?
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    Senior Member fencerbill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veeco View Post
    Has anyone ever tried powdercoating a mask mesh? Wouldn't that have a more durable finish?
    I expect it would be more durable but I don't expect it to prevent chipping.
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    Senior Member VorpalCat's Avatar
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    Just a thought from someone who has painted several masks: if you're painting it because the original paint's gone in places, I strongly recommend looking closely at those bare places first. Look to see if any of the metal has been shaved off of the wires, thinning them down. Then punch test those areas before doing anything else. If you paint the mask, you'll cover up those 'tells' of possible weak spots, which comes under the heading of 'a bad thing' in my little world.
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    Needs to get Outside Inquartata's Avatar
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    Why wouldn't repainting a mask void the FIE certification? I mean, unless you're using the exact same stuff the manufacturer used on the sample submitted for homologation you are altering the mask, are you not?

    I had an FIE sabre mask lamé bib redone by Fencerbill. I took it to weapons inspection at the next NAC I entered and had Dan Dechaine tell me that the rebuild meant it was no longer FIE. ( Actually he said it was better than the original now, but still no longer FIE. )

    So if replacing lamé material voids certification, why wouldn't replacing another sort of covering?
    Last edited by Inquartata; 11-19-2007 at 01:52 PM.
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    Dev
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inquartata View Post
    Why wouldn't repainting a mask void the FIE certification? I mean, unless you're using the exact same stuff the manufacturer used on the sample submitted for homologation you are altering the mask, are you not?

    I had an FIE sabre mask lamé bib redone by Fencerbill. I took it to weapons inspection at the next NAC I entered and had Dan Dechaine tell me that the rebuild meant it was no longer FIE. ( Actually he said it was better than the original now, but still no longer FIE. )

    So if replacing lamé material voids certification, why wouldn't replacing another sort of covering?
    I'm not an armorer, but logically, I'd think it's because the metal mesh on a mask that stops the hits--not the paint over it. The lamé material on a saber mask, being part of a soft-surface protective area, has more of a role in stopping an incoming blade than the millimeter of paint over a hard shell of metal mesh. Therefore, replacing an integral part of the protection is enough to void the FIE certification.

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    Member DesertFencer's Avatar
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    While I was at Coaches College the year before last, I asked the Armorer's College instructor about painting a mask. He said to use marine epoxy.
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    Senior Member fencerbill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inquartata View Post
    Why wouldn't repainting a mask void the FIE certification? I mean, unless you're using the exact same stuff the manufacturer used on the sample submitted for homologation you are altering the mask, are you not?

    I had an FIE sabre mask lamé bib redone by Fencerbill. I took it to weapons inspection at the next NAC I entered and had Dan Dechaine tell me that the rebuild meant it was no longer FIE. ( Actually he said it was better than the original now, but still no longer FIE. )

    So if replacing lamé material voids certification, why wouldn't replacing another sort of covering?
    That's a new position by Dan. He supervised inspection at World Vets Tampa in 2002 and approved my Sabre mask which had had the Lame cloth replaced. I haven't heard that the several visor Sabre masks on which I replaced the Lame material encountered difficulties at World Cups. Don't know if any were taken to World Championships.

    This may be because of the new head of the SEMI Commision, the one who caused screwless Epee tips to be rejected.
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    Just Joined Rocdoc's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great info! Good group, but no surprise there.

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    Senior Member tkexi991's Avatar
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    I use Rustoleum Spray Paint. It's designed for patio furniture and dries with a textured surface that is resistant to chipping. And it's cheap.
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    Quote Originally Posted by veeco View Post
    Has anyone ever tried powdercoating a mask mesh? Wouldn't that have a more durable finish?
    Lp's are powder coated in nylon... sadly nothing is very durable when whacked with an epee!

  17. #17
    Senior Member Joe biebel's Avatar
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    I've tossed a mask in the trash after repeatedly getting paint chips in my eyes. In my case I believe I used the "Krylon" brand spray paint, as I've always liked the "look" of that brand and the fast dry time. It looked really good, but for whatever reason, I seemed to get paint flecks in my eyes from that point on. If others got good results without the problems I had with repainting, great.

    I really like the LP masks I've purchased over the last few years. So far, I've yet to get chips in my eyes.
    I'm a foil fencer, and I can change, if I have to, I guess.

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    There's someone from the club where I fence that got a stencil off of the internet and spray-painted the image of Spiderman on the mesh. It looked kinda cool, but he ended up washing it off and replacing it with a skull and crossbones. (He put it in the dishwasher along with a tiny bit of laundry detergent to wash it off).
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  19. #19
    Senior Member Nolano's Avatar
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    Powdercoats are somewhat durable, but less so to chipping, I've actually found. Not to mention that most powder coating requires you to heat the item in question to several hundred degrees.

  20. #20
    Senior Member CvilleFencer's Avatar
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    Black sharpie or similar permanent marker works great, and better than paint on the LP masks. Not quite as long lasting, but no chips in the eyes. On masks that don't use stainless mesh or where the original paint is flaking off you might not get as good a result. Still, before someone breaks out the paint, I always hand them a big sharpie and they are usually happy with the results. In the instances where that won't work, the mask is sometimes already so rusted it will fail the punch test anyway so keep that in mind!
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