As time goes by, the designs that come with our motorcycle helmet may be somewhat worn out or become boring. Other times, it doesn’t just appeal to us anymore. At this point, painting our helmet could be our only choice. Some people may just decide to get a new motorcycle custom helmet, which can be a little hard and costly.
However, getting a custom helmet painting that soothes your demand may be difficult or pricey. And this may leave us with no option than to consider painting the motorcycle helmet yourself.
You are now thinking of how to paint a motorcycle helmet, right? Although it may seem tasking as it requires some professionalism to avoid damaging your helmet. Nevermind cause we are here to lead you in the best possible and less tedious way possible.
Can You Paint a Helmet?
Painting a helmet is quite a task and should be done with adequate care since it’s used for protecting the head.
However, not all motorcycle helmets can be painted at home as it can result in damage if not appropriately done. While painting, some preparation phase differs from the other, although it depends on the painting pattern. Thus, due caution and care must be maintained.
You can paint your helmet by running a new color over the old one. But that is not a very effective method as it is short-lived because the color will peel off. You cannot just throw some paint on your helmet and call it good.
Why paint your helmet in the first place?
There are various reasons why someone may paint their motorcycle helmet. They include:
Most motorcycle helmet paintings add a look that makes bikers stand out from the crowd. So, if you consider changing your helmet and add some vibe to your look, consider painting it again.
The reason most riders get their helmet painted is their bike. Their bike is a part of their pride and happiness, and it just feels good to have a helmet that matches it.
This is the most common reason individuals get their helmet painted, especially if it is old. Painting an old motorcycle helmet helps change the entire look and appeal of it. It also saves you from the spendings of getting a new one and renews your love for the device. Besides, having a cracked or peeled helmet sort of demoralizes you from using it and can even reduce one’s self-esteem.
However, painting your helmet is an art worth giving a short. Here is how to successfully carry it out.
How to paint a motorcycle helmet
Tools and Materials, You Will Need
Before you can successfully paint motorcycle helmets, here are the materials you will need.
- Masking tape
- Airbrush/Spray Gun
- Abrasive pad
- Spray paint
- Latex gloves
Remove Dirt, Grease, and Wax
Before you begin the spraying process, the first thing to do is to ensure that the surface is clean. Although it is a simple step, it is the most neglected. So, do not skip it.
Make a mild soap solution with any household detergent. Use it to clean the surface of the helmet to take out stains and other forms of diets that may have stuck to the surface of the helmet.
After that, you have to clean out wax and grease using a wax and grease remover. Do not remove wax or grease using alcohol or acetone as they can cause damage to the surface of the helmet. Instead, get an appropriate wax and grease remover.
Also, ensure to wear a hand glove while performing this action. Otherwise, you may get your hands soiled with grease which may, in turn, add grease back into the helmet
Thus, wasting your efforts.
Prepare the Helmet
Painting a motorcycle helmet can be a bit tricky, especially if you are working with an old one. Meaning you have to remove the previous paint before painting-in the new one. Doing it the first time can be challenging as you may stand the chance of damaging the surface and reducing its effectiveness. Thus, compromising your safety.
So, to reduce this effect and be on a safer side, you can get a plane colored-helmet, either white or black. And, do a design on it.
But if you still decide to carry on with the old one, then ensure to carry out every process with ease and caution.
Firstly, detach the parts you do not want to get stained with paints, such as the visor, liners, etc.
Then, use wet sandpaper to take out the shiny layer.This is important to allow the helmet capable of absorbing the new paints.
However, do it until every layer of paint is cleared off, but do not let it go overboard. Over sanding could damage the fiberglass or any protective material that your helmet is made up of.
Using a wet cloth, clean the sanded surface and wipe it with a cloth to take out any extra dirt left on it.
This is a significant step that comes handy, especially if you are unable to take out all the inner linings of the helmet. Using masking tape, you can mask-out all the areas you do not want the paint to touch.
You can do this by acquiring lots of newspapers and stuffing them into the helmet. Then, using masking tape, fasten the newspaper in the helmet so that they do not drop.
You can also engage this step for other areas of the helmet you want to keep away from paint.
Add a Guide Coat
After that, take the dry helmet and spray some black coat on it. Ensure the sprayed coating is dry then, using 400-grit wet sandpaper and a block. Soak it in warm soapy water, use the block to sand the helmet until the surface is smooth.
However, to tell how smooth the surface is, the black coat will disappear, but if it is not smooth, it will stay black around the places where it is not smooth.
After that, wash the helmet. Then, apply wax and grease rover to a piece of soft fabric and clean the surface to remove ant dust on the helmet.
Here is the best part. But before painting the motorcycle helmet, clean the helmet again.
If you are using a spray gun, mix your paints, but if your applicator is an aerosol spray can, then shake well before spraying.
Apply the first coat of paint and allow it to dry before applying another. Continue with the process until you achieve your desired color mix, which is at least 3 to 4 coating. However, your pattern of spraying is dependent on the pattern of your construction and the technicality of your design.
Clear Coat Application
The application of a clear coat is as easy as when you are applying the main color. The clear coat is to help protect the paints and remove any form of buffing.
After taking off the masking tape, clean the helmet again using a cloth to remove any form of dust. Then apply the clear coat. You can use urethane as a clear coat but ensure to use a respirator when applying it. Apply at least four layers of clear coat as it will help increase the depth of the paint.
After that, allow the helmet to dry for about 24 hours, then use a 1500 grade wet sandpaper to take out any other imperfections. Finally, buff the entire helmet surface with a polishing compound.
Unmasking the Helmet
When you are done with the entire task, you can take out the masking tape and clean the surfaces with a clean and dry fabric to remove any spec of dirt.
Reassembling the Helmet
After everything is dried and set, reinstall the parts that were removed and fix them properly. However, if you find it difficult, you can consult the manufacturer’s manual. Ensure all nuts and screws are fixed properly.
Safety and Warning
When cleaning out grease and wax from the helmet, do not use Acetone or Alcohol as they can cause damage to the surface.
If you are using Urethane as a fine coat, use a propitiatory respirator.
Type 2 – The More Advanced Helmet Painting Option Preparation
- Acrylic paint
- A pencil, a marker
- A paintbrush
Creating color foundation step: At first prepare structure of the surface of the helmet. You will get chance to use your preferred color for doing it.
But keep in mind that you don’t like to paint the surface same as type 1. You can use the paintbrush to paint the area you like to draw.
You can use a pencil to mark the skeleton of your thoughts and ideas. This may be bad if it isn’t properly dry. Therefore you have to wait as long as it gets completely dry.
Color the skeletons with so many colors to envelop the paint same as step 1. But you mustn’t color the new layer when the old one is completely dry.
You may use the marker to draw the figure once again to make it more vivid.
There are mainly two types of helmets which are very beautiful to look at. We would like to introduce it to you. It is surely a nice gift for your family members, your lovers, friends, and others.
We have no time to spend with you. You will get lots of painting services on online.
Additionally, you may buy lots of decals and stickers from different stores to add it to your helmet.
Though painting services are more professional particularly 3D on motorcycle helmets. We aren’t happy with the painting by ourselves.
We have more exciting and valuable knowledge that we like to preserve for future.
You must be careful as paint can stick on your hands or the surface of motorcycle helmet at the time of painting. This can destroy the painting. We hope you will succeed and best of luck.
How to paint a motorcycle helmet like a pro!
How to Repaint a Motorcycle Helmet FAQs
How much does it cost to paint a motorcycle helmet?
The actual price for getting a custom motorcycle helmet painting is about $300. However, the price varies with the technicality of the design you are painting.
Can painting the helmet damage it?
It is difficult to damage a helmet from just painting it. However, the process of scrubbing off the old paint can cause damage if overly done. Also, will reassembling the parts could result in a bridge in safety if not rightly done.
How do I know the paint to use for my helmet?
There are various paints for painting a motorcycle helmet, and some of them can be destructive. However, before purchasing a paint for your helmet, ensure to consult the manufacturer to know the one best suitable for the job.
Aside from painting, what other way can I customize my helmet?
There are other ways of renewing your helmet without painting it like using a Vinyl wrap or Plastidip. Although, these choices are not as durable as painting your helmet because they peel up easily.
How can I remove paint without scrubbing?
Removing helmet paint without scrubbing it is possible with the use of paint stripers like acetone, but the process is very tedious and can lead to helmet damage if not carried out rightly.
Painting a motorcycle helmet can be soul glading at the end. It gives a sense of accomplishment when you just stare at the new custom helmet beauty of yours.
So, if you are considering painting your helmet, this guide is very resourceful as it provides some ethical options. However, you must consult your manufacturer before painting to avoid altering the integrity and safety of your helmet.
I will love to hear from you and how successful your helmet painting journey went. Don’t forget to take those safety precautions. Stay safe and Riding.
William Demello is a professional biker and racer with over 10 years of experience. He believes in safety first, that’s why he analyzes the helmet before other relevant elements. With this long experience, now he has decided to share his experience with others. Know more at the about page.