Sad Turtle Chrome Dye Job

Posted on February 8, 2011 by

Categories: Dyeing, Equipment/Gear, Featured, Social Media


In the Maryland Terps’ fan base there have been rumblings of the turtle shell print being used more in the unis (inserts, football helmet, @TizzleSTX has gotta pull something for the gloves and pads). Under Armour stepped it up and added it to this year’s men’s basketball uni.


It’s also been put out there by some other Maryland Alums (@mikephipps5 at G&G Outfitters did some a while back) so I thought it was time to bring it to a shiny new STX Revolver as a tribute to my alma mater (a graduate degree still counts) and home state. Side note – Shout out to Robbie Rimmer at @LaxUnlimited for getting the shell design out before I was able to. I swear I was working on it before he hooked up those silly (positive connotation) Tenacious Turtles.

The thought was to put the “Terps” script logo on the scoop in Red while taping off the rest of the inside of the head to keep it Silver chrome.


I used two bottles of liquid Scarlet Red and let it sit for quite a while to get the Red to stand out on the chrome. It looked (yep, past tense) amazing. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture. The next phase was to dye the outside Golden Yellow, which again, looked amazing.


Finally, to finish off the Maryland color scheme, I put down some shell print stickers and dyed it Black.


I gotta say I’m rather proud of being able to get the same shell design that the Terps use for the authentic look. And this is the final result…
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My conclusion is that, for the most part, chrome just wants to be chrome. I’m hoping in the future the chrome can be a little more resilient to laying stickers down on it and absorbing the dye. I’ve found that I have to use twice as much dye to get the color to pop like it would on a traditional plastic head. Dyeing on chrome can work out really well (see @ConnorWilsonLAS ‘s work, the @dhall I did, and @LaxUnlimited ‘s Dano for examples) when it’s left to fades and simple concepts on stickers. The less you have to stick on the chrome the better. Part of the experiment was finding the right tackiness of adhesive to minimize the peeling. The Blue adhesive that I used was too tacky. I’m sure it will work great on a traditional head though. The Black adhesive that I used worked out much better so keep that in mind if you want to give a project like this a whirl yourself. Here’s another word of advice: Keep in mind the masking material used (if you use it). I think it’s a lot easier to place stickers on with it so I highly recommend it. I used a thicker, tackier layer like I did for the Jagermeister job on some of the stickers and it was a fight between getting the sticker to stick without the masking grabbing the chrome. I used a different mask that was more like masking tape that worked perfectly to lay the sticker down without peeling the chrome off. Using electrical tape on the @dhall job worked out well because it wasn’t so tacky and even needed some hair dryer action to get it to stick better. All is not lost though. I have a perfectly good Revolver head here with a cool Grey base to it so I’m going to peel off the rest of the chrome redo the job. Painful, but it must be done. It won’t be as clean as I would prefer because there was some bleeding at the top of the scoop though. I think it has potential to be a really strong looking head and a step away from the marbling that I’ve been doing. If folks want to send me heads with ideas I’d be happy to do more jobs like this. My wheelhouse seems to be the marble jobs, which I love doing and I’m willing to do for people, but it’s time for more challenging concepts a la the legend Max McCool and good ole’ @49KingDyes Matt Hickman.

Oh, and a final thought…I’ve been doing this for a few years now. By “a few” I mean maybe longer than some of the readers have been alive (no joke). I’m still going to mess stuff up. It’s all research. Some times I get the answers right and some times I learn from the botched jobs to put something pretty cool together. Don’t get too discouraged. It’s all part of the process. Learn from it and get better. As always, feel free to hit me up at @MJGialanella if you have any questions or suggestions.

Posted in: Dyeing

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  • Sarah

    where did you find the shell print stickers?