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Have you ever wandered around a bike shop or browsed the internet for hours on end only to come up empty handed because you couldn’t find that perfect helmet design? I feel your pain with this. I have spend endless hours looking for a design or a color that was going to stand out from the rest.
Some of the helmets in the stores near me are so plain and boring and everyone in my town seems to have the same one. So, I sat down and pondered the question, “Can you paint a motorcycle helmet?” How great would it be to have your own unique design on a helmet that no one else had? So, can you do it and how easy is it? Let’s take a look.
You see all kinds of people out on the open road with stickers covering every inch of their helmets, so why would you not be able to use paint on them as well? In short, a helmet can be painted, but it isn’t as easy as it seems. You can’t just slap some spray paint on your dome cap and call it good.
By painting your helmet, you could potentially be putting your head in harm’s way. If you sand through the surface of your helmet into the plastic or fiberglass, you are weakening the surface of your helmet. This is why you have to be extremely careful when taking the old paint off of it.
One of the other things that you need to watch out for is if the solvents of the new paint are capable of softening the helmet. If you have a damaged area of your helmet, you could do further damage with these plastic eating solvents.
Here is a friendly tip: Instead of sanding down the helmet and potentially damaging the structure of it, opt for a plain white or black helmet. This will make painting it much easier. This way, you already have a plain color to start with instead of trying to sand through designs and multiple coatings of paint.
A plain helmet may also be less expensive than a fancy designed helmet that you are just going to take the paint off of anyway.
Here is some good news for you! If you are or know a mechanic who has access to basic painting tools, you can get this job done a lot cheaper than taking it to a professional.
All you need to paint one of these are the following:
These simple tools will help you transform your plain dome piece into something worthy of talking about at that next get-together or getting a thumbs up from a fellow biker on the road.
Here is the next important question, is it safe to do? Can you paint a motorcycle helmet without compromising the shell of it? Well, really, it depends on the materials that are being used. As I said above, certain solvents will eat away at the shell, making it weaker and less likely to be fully effective in the event of an accident.
If painting is something that you really want to do, I would contact the manufacturer first and ask them if it is something that can be done to their helmets and what can be used. If you can’t paint it safely, there are definitely some other options that may tickle your fancy.
What on earth is Plastidip? I’m sure that question just popped into your head if you are new to this. Plastidip is a type of spray on air-dry rubber coating. Unfortunately, the Plastidip has been known to peel right off after some time of use. Not to mention, certain chemicals that makes this rubbery spray-on material could bond with the chemicals in the helmet and cause it to deteriorate.
So in short, I personally would not use Plastidip on mine, but if you want to, it is completely up to you. If it starts to peel, your helmet’s going to look like crud. If you take a look at this video, you can see that as soon as the Plastidip is put on, there is already some scuffing. I can see using it to preserve the original paint job, but not as a paint job itself.
If you have concerns about it, contact the manufacturer of the helmet to make sure you can use it without compromising the safety features of the helmet and yourself. If you aren’t a fan of this procedure, let’s see about vinyl wrapping it.
Vinyl wrapping seems to be the easy way to “repaint” a helmet. I have gone to a few motorcycle shows that had demo’s on how to vinyl wrap one. Although, these guys were professionals and were able to do it in a matter of minutes. I cannot say for certain how long it would take a newbie.
Vinyl wrapping is essentially taking a big sticker and placing it over your helmet. It takes a lot of time and patience to do for someone who is just starting out. Vinyl wrapping seems a lot safer than painting because you aren’t using harsh chemicals, just some sticky paper.
Yes, it may seem like the easy way to go, but a friend of mine did it to his helmet and his Vinyl wrap started to peel after some time. As with almost anything sticker-like, it is bound to peel and lose effectiveness.
This seems a little off topic, but I have actually heard of people using Rain X on their helmet to try to keep the water from building up in all of the wrong places, thus, damaging their paint jobs. Is this something that you can do? I mean, it works on cars, right? So why not a motorcycle helmet or windshield?
You can use Rain X on your helmet visor or motorcycle windshield, but, it has to be the specific Rain X for plastic. Most motorcycle companies state in their pamphlets that you can use Rain X or another type of product for your helmet, as long as it is specifically for plastic. Regular Rain X is for glass and could potentially damage the plastic.
I do have to mention, though-do not use Rain X on the whole piece, as this could cause damage to that pretty paint job you just did. Only use it on the visor or windshield, nothing else.
If you are considering painting your motorcycle helmet, I highly recommend contacting the manufacturer before you do so. They may be able to point you in the right direction towards what paints can and cannot be used on their helmets.
As I stated earlier, it may be easier to just get a plain colored helmet and painting over it instead of sanding it down since that’s what can cause the most damage. The mix between sanding it down and using a harsh chemical paint on it could definitely cause some safety issues.
If you have some comments or some tips on how you safely painted your helmet, please feel free to leave it below. We always love hearing from fellow motorcycle enthusiasts!
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