Time to paint the emblem, add banding and a handle, apply some pipe insulation with wear details, and spray paint the edging.

Article by: Hunter Etherington

In the past two weeks I have been very busy on the project. I have painted the emblem onto the front, added banding for strength, spray painted the handle, applied pipe insulation around the edge, created wear details in the pipe insulation, and finally spray painted the edging. I will list the materials and tools I used but there are obviously other options.


  • Acrylic paints (assorted colors)
  • Nylon banding
  • Door pull
  • Spray paint (Aged Iron)
  • 3/4″ pipe insulation
  • Saran wrap
  • Painting tape


  • Assorted paint brushes
  • Bander
  • Rotary tool

First off was the task of painting the yellow base color of the emblem. A very simple task, I started with a simple, deep yellow acrylic paint. I didn’t quite like the look of the yellow by itself so I mixed in some brown to give it an aged look.

The next thing I did was add nylon banding around the edge to add more strength. I would have preferred to use steel strapping but I only had nylon at my disposal. I used a vice to hold the shield up on edge so I could add the strapping and from there used the tool that came with the strapping to tighten it up. Once the strapping was on I added the pipe insulation; if you have never worked with it before it is a foam cylinder with a break to allow it to fit over a pipe. On both sides of the break there are strips of adhesive covered in removable plastic. So I wrapped it around the edge and once I was confident with the placement I removed the plastic and stuck down the edges of the insulation.

As you can see from the previous pictures, I hadn’t painted the emblem onto the yellow background yet so I used the picture I had originally taken of the shield and printed out a large version of it to trace. I cut out the shape of the horse’s head roughly with enough of a border to allow room to tape it down without covering the pattern. I then used carbon transfer paper to create a usable on the actual shield. From there my fiancé painted the pattern with black acrylic paint.

While the emblem was drying I used the time to spray paint the handle of the shield. This was a very simple step. I just placed it on some newspaper and applied a thorough coat of spray paint. The spray paint I used created an amazing textured finish that made it look like aged iron.

Once the emblem was dry, I started trying to make the foam around the edge look like iron that has been beaten with a hammer. I first tried to melt it with acetone because I have heard that works on a lot of foam. This foam insulation has a sealed edge so it did not react to the acetone. So from there I tried my rotary tool using a blunt broad sanding tip and it worked really well.

Once that was done I had to find a way to spray paint the foam without ruining the work I had done on the the rest of the shield. You may ask why I didn’t distress and paint the foam beforehand. I figured that there would be an issue so I tried a test piece first and my suspicions were correct. After the paint had dried, I tried to bend the piece but the paint cracked every time I bent it. So at that point I knew I had to paint it once it was on the shield.

My first step in preparing it for paint was to find something to cover the back and front of the shield that wouldn’t allow paint to permeate. I probably could have used more newsprint or another paper but I was worried that some wet paint would have soaked through. Instead I used Saran wrap held down with painting tape. To start I laid my first piece onto the front of the shield and taped around the edge. I then did the same with the next piece and once I had taped the edge down I covered the seam with another piece of tape. The process for the other side is the exact same.

From there I simply laid out some newspaper and elevated the shield on a paint can and proceeded to spray paint the foam edge. When one side was done I carefully flipped it over and did the other side. I then waited about 10 minutes for the paint to be dry enough for me to smooth out any drips that I saw around the edge and remove the tape and Saran wrap. I removed the covering at that time because if there was to be any places that paint had gotten through I could fix it before it had finished drying. With that step I am nearly finished with this part of the project.

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Rob Logan

Rob is a movie buff, computer whiz, gamer, huge Batman fan, and above all... a geek. In addition to being the Founder and Host of The Geek Generation, he is also a photographer, graphic designer, certified clinical hypnotherapist, a former professional wrestler, and a current superhero.

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