Paul Makepeace ;-)

April 24, 2005

How to spraypaint a kettlebell

Posted in: Sport

So you've got a load of competition kettlebells (and if not, why not?) but they're all the same colour. Boring boring boring! Not only that, their similarity of hue is hindering rapid and effective identification. You're a busy person, you don't have time to pick 'em, look at a little insignia, or any other tedious nonsense. You need kolour-koded kettlebells!

Six Black Kettlebells
Any kettlebell can look good in black. But... *yawn*

Here's how...

After having figured out the sanctioned Girevoy colour scheme, yellow for 1pood (16kg), green for 1.5pood (24kg, etc), and red for 2pood I hit up the local auto-spares shop for the most egregiously bright cans he had to offer, and a can of white primer to provide a light background for the colours.

First off I tried laying the 'bell out on some paper and spraying around it. This is frustrating for a number of reasons: hard to evenly cover the bottom, having to keep moving around the thing, my inability to coordinate my limbs to spray in smooth arcs, and whatever I did just seeming to waste loads of paint (I think this is a designed-in "feature" of of spraycans...).

So I came up with an idea: concoct a spinning KB painting rig so all that's needed is to spray a single point while the thing turns in the air. Basic solution is tie a rope, one end to something that can hold the load and the other end to the KB. Spin, and paint. I knew in my mind's eye that if I had only one attachment to the KB it would slide to one end of the handle and start wobbling crazily, so it needed two attachments. The solution to this also yielded another handy benefit: you can wind the KB up so it spins on its own.

Spraying a Kettlebell

First off, sanded the KB down to provide a key for the paint. Someone with more invested in it might wish to wipe down the dust with white spirit before painting. I know it's going to get trashed so I'm not that worried and just used a cloth. And I didn't have any solvent anyway after a big drunken pyro session last year. To key the paint I used a handy foam sanding block that works nicely with the curved surface. Sanded And Ready Sanded and ready to go

Slung a piece of old rope over my pull-up bar, and attached both ends to the KB handle. Wind the KB up on the rope:
All Wound Up
All wound up...

Release the KB, let it get a bit of speed, and then start spraying! After a couple of spins I realised it's possible to literally hold the can in one place near the bottom of the bell about 10cm max from the surface. As the KB unwinds and speeds up it drops slowly toward to the floor effectively removing the need to spray up and down.

First Coat Of Primer
First "Jupiter's surface" primer coat

As you can see, I'd laid out a large piece of cardboard to protect the wall from spray. I was astounded to see almost nothing reached it; presumably a really high proportion of the paint actually landed on its target. I'm sure the spraycan manufacturers won't be pleased to hear this.

Couple of primer coats and several green it looked like...
Finished Green Kettlebell
Ta da!

Being a sunny day, I barely waited more than about five minutes between coats despite the KB itself being in the shade. I manually worked around the handles a bit to get on the inside. As I know I'm going to sand the handles down to the metal I'm not bothered about uneven spray there.

Green KB With Colored Friends
With its 2pood friends, before and after

One down, five to go...

The only mod to this method so far I'd make is to use better quality rope, e.g. climbing rope. The little section I'd scrounged from the trash is starting to tear, and as it was wound up shed lots of little bits of material which have stuck to the paint. I don't really care as I can probably get it off with some T-Cut and even if not, hey it's just a lump of weight!

Comments, feedback very welcome.

Posted by Paul Makepeace at April 24, 2005 15:57 | TrackBack

make sure the handles remain smooth or you will have the same problems i had with my hammerite-which is why i just spent the afternoon with a powertool and a kettlebell :)

Posted by: steve at April 24, 2005 17:20

let me see, you bought a black kettlebell, then went to the trouble of painting it green...
'scuse the ad but could have saved you the effort!

Posted by: Pete at April 26, 2005 17:26

Pete: Yeah, you're right, it was one of those things right place, right time for powerseekers, car rental, bit of haggling... And quite honestly I didn't realise how annoying the monotone KBs would get!

Posted by: Paul Makepeace at April 26, 2005 18:12

well what if you want to do like a stripe design like punch gym, and cant u just leave the handle black to do dont have to worry about it bein smooth just wondering.

Posted by: scott at January 10, 2007 20:35

Great post, thanks very much. Although my wifes gonna hate you for filing up my schedule for the weekend.

Posted by: Mike at February 13, 2007 23:18

Random article, but I just may try it. You can make the kettlebells look really cool and individual. Thanks Paul

Posted by: Kettlebells at October 22, 2010 13:10
Post a comment

Remember personal info?