With outdoor ballooons there is always a question: to shine or not to shine? Shine products to help balloons look shiny instead of matte have become popular over the last several years. At the same time, a lovely matte finish is what other clients are asking for instead of a shine.
Latex balloons oxidize when out in the sun and heat, or overtime when exposed to air and light inside.
Inform your clients that latex balloons get a lovely velvet sheen outdoors or when on a display over time inside, so they know what to expect.
I have been in the balloon industry since 2003 and have only used a shine product once for a paying client. It was indoors, but exposed to air from a door nearby for a week and was black balloons. The client paid a premium price for the shine product and extra time to use it on their display. When a client like Chase Bank wants shiny balloons outdoors we use foil balloons for their grand opening events.
If you do choose to shine your balloons.
Charge for the shine product, time it takes, and drop cloth
SAFETY concerns – you must use a drop cloth while you spray and as it “drys”
- The shine when on carpet, tile or wood can be extremely slippery and cause you or someone at your home, warehouse at the event or venue to slip and fall.
- Sometimes this can happen from overspray -other times from balloon popping and falling to ground, or at end of event when you strike.
- I have heard several reports of falls from fellow balloon pros
- One situation the venue that a different balloon pro used shine at has banned that company from going to their venue and is using the other company now, and states NO SHINE allowed at their venue due to someone falling.
- Make sure you have liability insurance for your balloon business to cover you incase of any accident. Click Here Free Webinar on Insurance for Balloon Designers
The balloons in the photo above were outdoors for 3 days for an annual event that happens the first week of May each year over Mother’s Day Weekend.
If you choose to use shine products on your balloons outside, test it first in your yard. My test in Lakeland, Florida I found that shined balloons, deflated much more quickly than non shined balloons and it attracted bugs.
I have videos of this in my facebook groups. Shine products were originally created to help indoor balloon retailers have a shiny look to balloons longer in extended displays inside in the air conditioning.
Party People Events installs outdoor balloons on a regular basis in Central Flordia and does not use shine products. When a client wants balloons to have a shiny appearance we offer Foil Designs which come at a much higher rate than latex. (you must practice inflating correctly or they will pop in sun and heat).
Below are photos from a Graduation Pool Party on the morning I set the event. The bright colors create a festive celebration!
The Arcs are made from 16 inch balloons under-inflated to approx. 10 inches. The Foil Tapers on the top I slightly underinflated.
Latex balloons can FUSE together Outdoors making “refreshing nearly impossible”
Many people do not realize that the sun, heat and humidity (dew and rain) can actually FUSE latex balloons together. The following photos are from 24 hours later when I went to strike the event. All of the balloons were still fully inflated. I moved them to one area to start popping.
As I started popping the balloons, I decided to take a photo so I could show you HOW the latex balloons FUSE together in the heat, sun and humidity. If a balloon popped and you tried to replace the balloon, by moving balloons around you can easily start a chain reaction where other balloons around it start popping. You can see below how the blue balloon looks like I glued it to the orange. On outdoor installations sometimes balloons can pop from heat, sun, temperature change and movement from extreme wind etc.
The more you practice and test balloons in your environment the longer your balloons will last in extreme conditions. Use the knowledge you gain from testing the balloons out to share with your clients so they know what to expect from their outdoor balloon displays.
Balloon Arch 24 hours later…there had been a big Rain and wind storm so the Foil Topiary on top of the arch moved down a little bit! But all the Balloons are still intact!
I often get asked how I create outdoor balloon decor that lasts, here are a few tips.
1.) Write in your contract that balloons may POP….no matter how many steps you take to prevent popping, the bottom line is -they are balloons, they can pop!
2.) Work with air-filled balloons on framework, lighter colors handle the sun the best. Type of framework is important. For outdoors I prefer 2 foot by 2 foot square steel base plates that gives a large footprint for stability, and I put on extra 1/4 inch steel plates or barbells if needing extra weight on windy days. I had them made locally. If a client says they want you to attach to their backrop that they bought online I typically say NO. Backdrops online often come on lightweight stands that have legs and can easily fall over in the slightest breeze.
3.) Use larger balloons and size them much smaller. I feel best when using 16 inch sized under 10 inches. Or 11 inch sized to 7 or 8 depending on heat and direct sunlight.
4.) Test things out in your environment! True balloon professionals PRACTICE and TEST out designs and ideas to make sure they will work before selling something to a client. When a client request a specific design or color I am not sure would last outdoors, I make a sample and stick it out in my yard in direct sunlight and monitor it throughout the day to see how it handles heat, sun, sometimes rain.
5.) Never stop learning! Attend conventions, classes, purchase online and in person classes. Be a part of our group coaching program, Balloon Boss Mastermind for ongoing support and education to increase your skills and confidence quickly to save you time and money.
Every time I attend a class, even if on a topic I have been to before, I learn something NEW! I’m so blessed to have learned from many of the best in our industry and always learn from others when I teach; it’s a wonderful industry to be a part of!
More questions about outdoor decor?
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