The design of motorcycle helmets can be a bit boring. Some riders like a customized helmet. The way to get a customized helmet is to paint it yourself. So, do you want to design your helmet? Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to paint motorcycle helmets.
- Remove helmet liners and velcro paddings.
- Cover things you won’t paint with masking tape.
- Clean the helmet with soapy water.
- Draw guidelines.
- Apply water paint or spray paint.
- Apply a clear coat.
Don’t start just yet. This is not as easy as it seems, there are some difficult steps. More importantly, using the wrong kind of paint can damage the safety helmet.
Is It Okay To Paint A Motorcycle Helmet
Although some people advise on not painting safety helmets, you can paint a plain helmet without damaging it. The thing is, you can’t paint any helmet. Also, in some places, helmet painting is regulated by law. So, the more precise answer is, some helmets you can paint, some you can’t.
Check with your local DMV for any laws that prohibit painting safety helmets. Some states regulate this because petroleum-based products damage the protective shell of the helmet. Hence, making it unsafe.
Some helmet manufacturers leave instructions on how to paint their products. The manufacturer should leave the information on what kind of paint can you use. If the helmet can’t be painted over, the manufacturer will state that in the manual. To make sure, check with the manufacturer, that is if you are not finding anything on the helmet.
Lastly, you can paint over only plain black and white helmets. You can’t really paint over other colors. If you can customize with different colors, go for the colored ones. Remember though, you should not try to scrub off the original paint.
What Kind Of Paint Do You Use On A Motorcycle Helmet
Before you do anything else, you need to decide on the type of paint you will be using. There’s only one limitation, you can’t use petroleum-based products. This is the case with most helmets. However, some won’t allow paint at all, so check the manual to make sure.
First, check the manual for any limitations. If there are none, you can choose water-based acrylic paint and spray paint. Check the product’s chemical compound, see if a petroleum solvent is used. Either way, most water-based paints and paint sprays are okay.
For specific designs that include lines and curves, I would recommend water paint. It’s just easier to get those fine lines when you are handling a paintbrush. If you are going for stripes, or just painting an entire surface, spray paint is the best. These are just my recommendations, both types of paint are okay.
Painting A Motorcycle Helmet – Step-by-Step
Once you’ve got everything in order, you can start painting. You will need soapy water, soft cloth, masking tape, paintbrush, water paint or spray paint, markers and pencils, and clear coat.
- Remove the liners and Velcro paddings.
You don’t want to paint over this stuff. Even if you are not worried about how it would look, the attachments would be in the way. Also, remove any visors and shields. You will be painting over the shell, so that’s the only thing you will need.
- Clean the helmet.
Painting is done on a clean surface. If you want that good helmet shine, you need to ensure the surface is shiny first. Just clean the exterior of the helmet with warm soapy water. Do not use any other cleaning detergent. Wipe with a soft cloth. Do not rinse or scrub the helmet, this can damage the protective layers. Most importantly, do not try to remove the original paint. This is a big no-no. You paint over the original paint.
- Draw guidelines.
I’m guessing that most of you have a specific drawing in mind. That is if you don’t want to just paint a plain color. If you are just tired of the plain white helmet and want to go for another color, skip this step. Those curves, tricky lines, and details won’t be easy to draw while painting, especially with a brush. The best way to go at this is to sketch out your drawing with a pencil first. This helps a lot.
- Apply paint. Work in layers while allowing time for the paint to dry between layers.
With water acrylic paint, you can just use paint brushes of different sizes. The paint is safe and the brushes won’t damage the shell in any way. Make sure to not paint over anything you don’t want to, like air holes. You should be able to get the precision you want with a paintbrush. If you are going to be using spray paint, things are a bit different. Thing is, if you want to draw something, you are going to need an airbrush. Otherwise, you won’t be able to get the right design. If you are just going for stripes, the spray will do.
- Remove the masking tape after the paint has dried completely.
- Add a clear coat.
Clear coat is the finishing layer you add to the last layer of paint. This is basically transparent paint. It’s added to ensure that shiny look, it protects the paint from oxygen and the sun. Lastly, the paint won’t spill. Check the product for instruction. Usually, 3 or 4 layers of clear coat are enough.
That’s it, now you know how to paint a motorcycle helmet. Hope this guide helped you. One last piece of advice. Don’t paint over expensive, high-quality helmets. It’s just not worth it. If you want a cool helmet, get a plain one, and paint over it. Keep the good helmet, you can use both. Also, if you want your helmet to be really good, and you are looking for quality painting, take it to an expert. You will pay but the expert surely knows how to paint better than you.
Related Questions And Other FAQs
Does Spray Paint Damage Helmets
Spray paint does not damage the exterior of the helmet. However, any liners, air holes, padding should be covered with masking type. Even the inside of the helmet, the fumes can reach the foam inside. Try using an airbrush instead of the spray can for precision painting.
How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Helmet
The cost of a motorcycle paint job varies from helmet to helmet. It can go from 50$-600$. Adding text or a name to the helmet costs 50$. A proper painting job will cost you up to 300$-400$. Adding chrome platings will raise the price to 600$.