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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » Painting Zombie Ball (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Christopher Moro
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Anyone have any experience painting a zombie ball to a flat, non-reflective, non-metallic color? If so, any experiences or tips? Thanks in advance.
JNeal
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It's quite simple. I'd paint it first with a spray primer. Krylon makes a fine product for this. If you want to, you can use auto primer...but it's basically the same.
After it has been primed, you may want to use a 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to take any surface roughness down. If you are really motivated, then use a 600 grit wet dry paper. I usually just use a old t shirt to remove the excess roughness.

Then paint with the spray of the color of your choice. Model paints, Krylon brand, or small cans of auto touch up paint (in spray can) are available in dozens of shades and colors. Always allow time to dry between cots... The tendency is to rush the whole process.

If you choose to paint the ball when it is already together (in an entire sphere) it will actually take longer to make sure the paint is applied evenly. You may want to paint the halves and then assemble them.

Good luck!
visit me @ JNealShow.com
Christopher Moro
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Thank you, Jonathan! That was extremely helpful.

I was just at Home Depot and they didn't have any spray primer for metal/aluminum, but they did sell me Behr Premium Plus Multi-Surface Primer & Sealer for rolling on. This is for painting droppers/holders I'm making, not necessarily for the Zombie as I'm sure a roll on primer would not keep the Ball smooth, so I'll look for a spray. Perhaps something like this: http://www.krylon.com/products/colormaster-primer/

I'm looking into changing the zombie to look like a white billiard ball. And although I have a Morrisey in storage, I'd get a new ball for this. After doing some reasearch, it sounds like the one from Viking is the best currently available.
Michael Baker
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Check a hardware or auto supply store for aluminum primer. Rustoleum makes a good one. However, I have used regular spray primer on aluminum with great results. Get a name brand like Rustoleum. You might have good luck with Krylon, but their products are sometimes iffy. Krylon also makes a paint+primer in one. I have not tried it on aluminum, but would probably still apply a spray primer first. Wal Mart stocks both brands.

Take the Behr primer back for a refund unless you want to paint your walls. Smile
~michael baker
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Christopher Moro
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Great tips, Michael. Thank you!
damien666
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What about buying a Large Christmas ball that is already white?
It is already the right color, lightweight and no massive seam..
All you would need to do is make the hole part.. Would be pretty easy.
Michael Baker
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Quote:
On Oct 30, 2014, damien666 wrote:
What about buying a Large Christmas ball that is already white?
It is already the right color, lightweight and no massive seam..
All you would need to do is make the hole part.. Would be pretty easy.


FYI - If you go this route, saw off the hanger part of the ball, and enlarge the hole with a Dremel sanding drum. Cut the top off just about any 20 oz soda bottle (the part the cap screws to and the lip just below that). The idea is to enlarge the hole in the ball just large enough that the rescued bottle top will now screw into the hole in the ball. The lip prevents it from going all the way in. Once you know it fits properly, back it out and reinsert with adhesive like Loctite Extreme or Ultra. (It's a flexible adhesive like Stick N Seal.) Let this set for a day and you will have a flanged hole that will take the gimmick MUCH better than just a hole. (Secret from my workshop! Smile )

If you still need to paint the ball, it's a piece of cake. Stick it on a wood dowel and you have a handle that makes spraying all surfaces easier.
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Frank Simpson
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Sounds like you're trying to accomplish the same sort of thing that Jason Andrews does in his act. His zombie is white and matches his billiard balls. It's quite a lovely act. See his zombie at 1:36 in this video,
StevieDee
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Michael, your soda bottle idea is sheer genius, and the solution I've been looking for over a year. I've had a great ball for some time, but hesitated messing with it because I hadn't figured out how to connect the gimmick. Thanks for sharing!
Michael Baker
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Quote:
On Oct 30, 2014, StevieDee wrote:
Michael, your soda bottle idea is sheer genius, and the solution I've been looking for over a year. I've had a great ball for some time, but hesitated messing with it because I hadn't figured out how to connect the gimmick. Thanks for sharing!


Dawn dish-washing liquid bottles are also the correct size. (I don't drink a lot of soda.) You'll likely find others.

Image
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Christopher Moro
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Wow, Michael! That's a first rate, true pro tip right there. Thank you for sharing. It's a bit over my skill level but I must say if there was anything to make me want to get more handy and crafty, this would be it.
Christopher Moro
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Hi Frank, thanks for sharing the link. There isn't a full act present there but I see the connection of a matching Zombie. Looks like some very nice magic. The act I'm working on doesn't involve multiplying balls, but yes, the white/Fakini-esque zombie is the same look I'm interested in.
Michael Baker
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So then, buy a plastic Christmas ornament from Dollar Tree or Hobby Lobby (they're in stock right now!), paint it white to match your Fakini balls, then add to it next year for Halloween just in time to buy a replacement for your white one!

Image
~michael baker
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Christopher Moro
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I've now got all the supplies. Although not the tools. I don't have a dremel. Any ideas for substitutes?
Michael Baker
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Yup. Wrap some sand paper around a pencil and go at it like it's a round file. Take your time so you don't crack the ball, because you are sanding in a different direction than the rotation of a Dremel sanding drum.

Or... if you have a hand drill you can still buy one of these and use it.

Image


It will just be a bit more cumbersome to manipulate.
~michael baker
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Christopher Moro
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Thanks, Michael!
All done except the gluing and painting. The pencil method worked. It took a while but not as long as expected. Couldn't prevent the final shape from becoming an imperfect circle though, so the inserted soda bottle top has a wobble to it. I'm hoping the glue helps make up for that :/
Christopher Moro
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Project done. Thanks everyone for your help.
Christopher Moro
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Can anyone recommend the best material type and wire gauge for the zombie gimmick? I am making a new gimmick. I

I also want to coil the finger section into a “cone”like shape instead of the usual cylinder, so would love suggestions on a cone shaped object to wrap it around that might be the best size.

Finally… The Christmas ornament fell once and cracked! I wonder if the paint made the otherwise shatterproof ornament brittle?
Christopher Moro
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No responses here, but I found the answer to the wire: Tommy Wonder recommends 4mm aluminum rod.

Anyone have thoughts on how to coil the gimmick into a oval shape (like a cone)?
Also, anyone have ideas on how to attach the gimmick to the cork?

Thanks!
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