Today’s episode is with Neil Bollmann, Jet Ski painter of the stars!
Neil was around for the glory years of Jet Ski racing and has made a big name for himself as a legendary painter, people thought his paint jobs were stickers, they were so good! Have a listen as we go back through the golden years and hear what it was like from his perspective and get many valuable tips for doing your own paint jobs. We hope you enjoy this episode and we can’t wait to see your own paint jobs after hearing these tips!
01:29 When did you first see a Jet Ski?
02:08 How much did your first ski cost?
02:53 How did you start painting? Was this your trade?
03:27 First job painting
04:29 “If your Jet Ski runs shitty, bring it to Jet Ski City”
05:04 Jet Ski City’s ski was the only one that was painted
06:03 Right time, right place
06:59 89/90 was when my painting really developed with the Candy Apple colors
07:47 How he used to do a paint job
08:07 Candy Apple colors
08:32 House Of Kolor
09:33 How did you meet some of the big names in Jet Ski racing like Scott Watkins?
10:55 The first real taste of fame and Splash Magazine
12:16 Selling good numbers in England and the Hot Water Series
12:56 Live Jet Ski racing on TV
14:49 Heading to the world finals in Havasu
15:20 Driving the van and getting pulled over
17:25 What’s the atmosphere like in the glory years?
18:50 New idea for painting Harry’s ski
21:17 What’s your favorite ski that you’ve painted?
22:01 What did a paint job cost?
23:26 People were spending a ton of money
23:55 Using lacquer primer, Imron paint, urethane, clear coat and epoxy primer
25:51 You were becoming world renowned at this point
27:07 What about race helmets?
28:12 Troy Lee (Troy Lee Designs) sees Harry’s helmet
30:20 People thought his paint jobs were stickers
31:27 Paint jobs started losing their impact in the mid 90’s
32:47 Meeting Vanilla Ice
34:53 Vanilla Ice: The Jet Ski Racer
37:59 Pulling up to my house in a white Porsche
38:46 I want to get into painting my own jet ski, what are the stages of painting a ski?
39:49 Take the stickers off (Xylene to remove glue)
41:21 Take the handle pole, pad, exhaust and pole bracket off
41:42 Reinforce with resin and fiberglass
42:16 Tell us about the resin
42:57 Painting is 90% prep
43:58 How much fiberglass do you need? 2 layers on the inside and 2 on the outside - paint inside with Imron-type paint
45:17 Electrical box needs reinforcement too
46:41 Sand it with 80 grit and put epoxy primer on
46:50 You must paint within 72 hours - the paint etches into the epoxy
47:33 Tell us about epoxy
48:40 I was basically a chemist, once the base coat is down and protected, you’re good to go
49:21 BEST ADVICE: Read the can!
49:57 What do I need to do this myself? Paint guns
51:22 Urethane primers
51:42 A guide coat is a handy trick
52:07 Sand down with 80 grit, epoxy primer on, choose color, apply base coat - what’s next?
52:25 Use Intercoat Clear when you have a lot of white in your design
52:56 Stripe work: Tape is important
53:46 The clear coat allows you to fix mistakes
54:31 Can I do this in my backyard?
55:39 You want to do this over a few days
56:21 Get a Porta-shade and a 20 gallon air compressor with a 25 or 50 foot hose
57:08 Adding your own stickers - clear coat is the last stage
58:14 Taking your paint to the next level
59:51 Things to save time and fix mistakes - 400 grit wet sand paper
01:00:36 Using Pre-Kleano to clean the surfaces BEFORE painting
01:02:36 Tell us about the sandpaper
01:03:24 When do you use 2000 grit sand paper? At the end to make it shine
01:03:52 What is your best memory from back in the day?
01:07:01 Your son’s Youtube channel RC Supremacy
01:08:11 How can people contact you? Instagram @neilskicustom
01:08:39 Where did your nickname Neilski come from?
01:09:29 Where to see some of your designs
01:10:03 Thank you for joining us Neil Bollmann!