balloon decorballoon finishballoon sheen
Written By Nikki Skrobot
“And I really want those matte balloons, can you make sure you use the matte balloons?”
This is a request that we get time and time again.
It’s because of those Instagram & Pinterest posts showing us these glorious photos of those matte balloons with that perfect velvet finish.
The trendy Matte Balloons with those chalky muted tones HAVE taken over the balloon world.
(It’s definitely all that I see on my algorithm on instagram and Pinterest homepage)
Unfortunately, I have some bad news:
technically there is no such thing as matte balloons.
Matte balloons are created by the artist specifically.
But it’s okay - I’m going to talk you through it and tell you how we can create matte balloons for your event (or if you’re a decorator reading this: how you can create matte balloons for your client)
Is there a matte balloon spray?
No there is not… at least not yet. In fact, there are quite a few topical sprays for balloons that will give you the complete opposite EFFECT: these balloon sprays will make your balloons shinier. So don’t use the Topical sprays you see for balloons such as Balloon Glow or HI-SHINE if you want your balloons to have a matte finish for your event. (and as another note: if you’re doing an outdoor event in the summer you definitely don’t want to use these Balloon sprays outdoors because it can make your balloons pop!)(Video) California Hair Stylist Sets Client's Hair on Fire to Get Rid of Split Ends
The matte balloons you see on social media have a matte finish for one of three reasons:
It is a photo of an outdoor event, and the balloons have already oxidized prior to the artist/PHOTOGRAPHER snapping the photo.
What is Balloon Oxidation?
Balloon Oxidation happens when latex balloons are exposed to UV light produced by the sun. The latex balloons will react by breaking down, lose their shine, and instead gain a velvet sheen.
When balloons have been exposed to the air and sunshine they oxidize (and depending on how warm or sunny it is outside and just how sunny it is (and sometimes a few other factors like humidity) this can happen FAST.
Every balloon color and every balloon finish oxidizes differently.
The balloon sheen that seems to react with the most dramatic change is the chrome balloon from Qualatex/ the Shiny balloon finish from Gemar.
Both of the balloons are the same color: Chrome Gold. They were used at an event we decorated in West Bloomfield in Summer of 2021. The balloon on the left was used outdoors on the front porch, while the balloon on the right was used indoors on the fireplace where it was near a sunny window.
I came back to teardown the following day and made sure to keep these to show you a photo of the difference.
The matte balloons you see on social media are matte for one of three reasons… reason number two:
2. The photo has a filter on it, has been retouched before it was shared by the artist to make one or more of the colors appear different/brighter/more muted, or it has been reshared from a ‘fan page’ (and THEY could have added a filter on top of whatever filter it was originally shared with)
The actual professional balloon community is a TIGHT-KNIT group. (You’d be surprised -I’m not talking about the youtube HOBBYISTS) In our private coaching group, as well as in our professional balloon groups we participate in regularly OFTEN there are posts from another balloon artist like:
Usually, after about 15-20 balloon decorators comment WITH a TON of completely different balloon color suggestions…
the original balloon artist will comment “hi! This is my work! And here is a photo of it unfiltered because this isn’t how I posted it… I used these balloon colors…”
In the meantime, everyone else who has seen the post in the group, has saved the photos because they are not watermarked, and posted them on their business pages, posing as their own work, and possibly adding their own filters.
Do you see how this becomes a problem quickly?
And finally (and this is the big one) The matte balloons you see on social media are matte for one of three reasons… reason number three:
3. The balloons in the photo were created custom for the event using a balloon color creation technique known as double stuffing.
Interchangeable questions: “How do you double stuff balloons?”
“How do you create custom colored balloons?”
Hi, have you been on social media since 2019?
Well if you have: then you might have seen some videos about double stuffing balloons to create custom colored balloons and/or a matte finish on your balloons.
Double stuffing is taking one colored balloon, and then delicately packing it inside of another colored (or clear or print) balloon. When we inflate the two balloons together: what results is a very specific shade/hue that is either muted/chalky or vibrant.
THe upside of double stuffing balloons:
double stuffing can create very vibrant balloon hues
When creating a custom color combination (especially when it’s going to be creating a chalky/pastel color) it often creates a matte look since we are stretching the outer balloon due to the inner balloon being inflated with the air.
Double Stuffing can create extremely muted, chalky, matte balloon finishes
The two balloons can create an added bit of protection from the sun/heat and can add longevity to an outdoor piece of balloon decor (if you’re using a professional brand like Tuftex who make their balloons specifically for outdoor use)
The downside to double stuffing.
This trial & error of searching for that specific color special for your palette can take us hours
Double stuffing balloons takes us twice the time, twice the inventory, and honestly: it’s painful to tie double stuffed balloons so it takes a lot out of us: therefore double stuffing means it costs our clients more money. (usually well, DOUBLE the price wherever that color will be used)
While it’s trendy to double stuff, and a lot of the BALLOON decorators have adopted the practice of double stuffing, and almost all of the balloon HOBBYISTS double stuff their balloons so they can also be trendy (without charging for it): I HAVE TO REMIND MYSELF THAT…
THERE IS A WORLDWIDE BALLOON SHORTAGE and I stock over 65 colors in my inventory.
You can either Double Stuff or get pretty close using actual balloon colors and just trust your artist to save you some money. There is a balloon brand that will give you a pretty close approximation to a matte Balloon because so many of their colors have a Muted/chalky undertone. (i’ll tell you who: don’t worry!)
When a client reaches out to me and asks for “Matte Balloons” …
They want the Custom Colors they seek: so I quote them for it.
They’ve been following instagrammers like @bravestballoons who is notorious for using exclusively double stuffed, custom colors on some very elaborate set-ups.
This can get expensive.
Double stuffing = double the balloons = twice the amount of time it takes us to create the palette = twice the price.
Clients aren’t usually looking to spend double the price on their decor
However most of our clients who have gone as far as to seek out a quote from us come to us knowing we are a premium company to work with and know we aren’t Party City and that we’re pricey.
I tell my clients to “trust me” and let me get as close as possible to these colors. I remind them that outdoors their balloons won’t be shiny by the time the event starts anyway, or indoors: they aren’t as shiny as you think they are unless I use the hi-shine spray.
Half of the time outdoors: we’re CHASING the oxidation to get the photo: I personally want the photos before it gets too matte/velvety.
Time and time again tuftex balloons release the perfect shades with muted, chalky undertones giving us an overall matte feel which our clients are always happy with
Most pictures on social media with that perfect balloon palette have filters, the photos have had their balloons sitting outside for a long time, AND/OR they are all custom created by the balloon decorator by double stuffing.
And therefore: they are really expensive.
Unless your pockets are deep: Instead Trust your artist to guide you to the right color palette.
(And if you’re a balloon decorator: Use Tuftex Balloons. You can get their Balloons wherever you get your balloons wholesale. but they also have a handy map on their website of where you can find a Distributor near you)
Do we double stuff? Surely - we will double stuff whatever you want… it’s just going to cost more.
I encourage you to check out our color chart first to see our amazing stock of balloon colors, and then be sure to inquire with us about having us decorate for your next event.
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