Design Transfer Made Easy

In this article “Design Transfer Process Made Easy ” we’ll cover the techniques involved in design transfer to painting surfsace, making a stencil from copier paper, painting progression in a two part design. By Don Johnson,

For those of you new to airbrushing, kustom painting this step by step will walk you thru one way, fast way to transfer a design onto your painting surface. I say one way as there are many different ways to get your design out line onto a painting surface, this technique I find the easiest, fastest for lot of different projects, surfaces. I’m going to take this further and show you the work or painting progression in this very simple design.

In this example I will be using House of Kolor paint, Iwata HP-CS, Transfer tape with my painting surface being a helmet. This design transfer technique can be used on just about any surface with any kind of paint.


airbrush design

Step #1 – With my helmet ready to add artwork too I cover the area where this design will be located with transfer tape. I print my design off to size on plain old copier paper and using an X Acto knife carefully cut the design out. This is a very quick way to make a stencil using Photoshop and your printer.


place design

STEP #2 – With our stencil cut out we’ll hold it in place on the helmet with looped or double sided tape. Pick a color, any color and spray around the out line of the stencil.


design out line

STEP #3 – Pull our stencil and there we have our design out line transferred to the painting surface. Next step is to take your X acto knife and carefully cut the design out of the transfer tape. Take care to carefully cut the design out as this will be the stencil you’ll be spraying your final design thru. You want nice edges on the stencil not a wiggly mess.


cut design out
airbrush color
adding color

STEP #4 – This design actually has two parts and we will now cut the lightening bolt out and attach it in place on the helmet. In this case the lightening bolt is a different color than the other part of the design. If we where to paint this as our reference picture there would be no need to separate the design parts and paint them separately as it’s all one color. The painting process is first light coat base white followed by yellow and out final color gold. Using the yellow under the gold will help make the gold a nice vibrant gold color.


spraying the red

STEP #5 – Give the golden the correct length of time to dry, pull the lightening bolt stencil and tape it off to protect the gold we just applied while spraying the red in the lightening bolt.


spaying lightening bolt

STEP #6 – My customer requested the lightening bolt be red so once that area is masked a nice bright red color is applied.


finished design

STEP #7 – Pull all the masking and you’ll find our design is complete. I hope you found this helpful and something you can use in your upcoming airbrush projects.

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