spray painting a helmet?

Message
Author
User avatar
Hondagirl
Legendary 500
Legendary 500
Posts: 652
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 5:34 am
Sex: Female
Years Riding: 0
My Motorcycle: 2008 Honda Motard XR400
Location: Japan and CT
Contact:

spray painting a helmet?

#1 Unread post by Hondagirl » Sun Jul 18, 2010 2:59 am

Has anyone tried? Or is this a complete no brainer?
I have had a red helmet for ever since my last bike was red I just always got red helmets. My new bike is black and gold but my helmet is still only 3 years worn so I was just playing with the idea of spray painting it gold... :boat:
Honda Motard XR400
Traded: Honda SL230 and Yamaha XJR400

User avatar
Johnj
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3806
Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 1:34 pm
Real Name: Johnny Strabler
Sex: Male
Years Riding: 34
My Motorcycle: A Bolt of Lightning
Location: Kansas City KS

Re: spray painting a helmet?

#2 Unread post by Johnj » Sun Jul 18, 2010 10:34 am

They say not to paint your helmet. It breaks down material, making it more brittle.
People say I'm stupid and apathetic. I don't know what that means, and I don't care.
Image
Always wear a helmet, eye protection, and protective clothing. Never ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

User avatar
Thumper
Legendary 500
Legendary 500
Posts: 577
Joined: Wed May 10, 2006 11:40 pm
Real Name: K.A. Thompson
Sex: Female
Years Riding: 9
My Motorcycle: '14 BMW F700GS
Location: Dixon, CA
Contact:

Re: spray painting a helmet?

#3 Unread post by Thumper » Sun Jul 18, 2010 11:06 am

An alternate for painting is to get a helmet skin....just Google "Helmet Skinz" and you'll have tons of options for getting the color you want, without any risk to damaging the helmet.

User avatar
Hondagirl
Legendary 500
Legendary 500
Posts: 652
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 5:34 am
Sex: Female
Years Riding: 0
My Motorcycle: 2008 Honda Motard XR400
Location: Japan and CT
Contact:

Re: spray painting a helmet?

#4 Unread post by Hondagirl » Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:07 pm

Thanks. Just the info I was looking for. I suspected it was a nono because I never heard of anyone doing it. Now I have the facts.
And thx for the tip Thumper.
Honda Motard XR400
Traded: Honda SL230 and Yamaha XJR400

User avatar
HYPERR
Legendary 3000
Legendary 3000
Posts: 3158
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 5:13 pm
Sex: Male
My Motorcycle: Year/Make/Model
Location: CT, USA

Re: spray painting a helmet?

#5 Unread post by HYPERR » Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:30 pm

Hondagirl wrote:Thanks. Just the info I was looking for. I suspected it was a nono because I never heard of anyone doing it. Now I have the facts.
And thx for the tip Thumper.
One of my helmets is airbrushed as you know. :mrgreen:

My friend had a lime green helmet when he had his lime green Kawasaki ZX10R traded it on a VRod so he spray painted it flat black. This is the only color that probably looks good from a spray can. Any other color looks like dodo due to the poor quality paint from a spray can.
2008 Ducati Hypermotard 1100
2006 Kawasaki KLX250S
2004 Honda CBR600RR
2002 BMW R1150R
1996 Ducati 900SS

User avatar
Hondagirl
Legendary 500
Legendary 500
Posts: 652
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 5:34 am
Sex: Female
Years Riding: 0
My Motorcycle: 2008 Honda Motard XR400
Location: Japan and CT
Contact:

Re: spray painting a helmet?

#6 Unread post by Hondagirl » Sun Jul 18, 2010 9:45 pm

yeah..plus I would no doubt make a total mess of it.
Does anyone use helmet skins? They would stop the helmet getting little scratches.
Honda Motard XR400
Traded: Honda SL230 and Yamaha XJR400

User avatar
coffee_brake
Legendary 300
Legendary 300
Posts: 318
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 10:17 pm
Sex: Male
Location: Augusta, GA

Re: spray painting a helmet?

#7 Unread post by coffee_brake » Sat Jul 24, 2010 11:04 pm

The same paint that made the helmet in the first place is what is in the re-painting. Mind, you want to tape off the openings at the neck and face shield, just use masking tape and newspaper to make a barrier. Not hard.

You'll sand the helmet with 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper with a little soapy water, no need to go through the color. You just want to scuff the clear coat.
Then you can use a very good quality color (I like Duplicolor available form auto parts stores), follow the directions on the can for 2-3 coats.

Then, I have always clear-coated the helmet with either automotive grade stuff or with the spray can stuff. The equipment from Harbor Freight for the auotomitve grade stuff was less than $70, the clear coat itself doesn't cost much either, just ask the guys at the paint shop what you need and what to do. It's seriously easy. The prep work is far more involved than the actual painting, painstaking cleanliness like you'd do with preparing food for your family. I've painted two bikes, not just helmets, and had good results just by asking lots of questions and watching it being done.

I have painted all my helmets, one for each bike, since it's so hard to find a helmet to fit my tiny head that I buy whatever color fits me that I can find.
You won't make a mess of it if you can successfully paint your toenails....
Jenn S.
AMA #658162
2005 Concours
2001 Vmax
1992 CB750

User avatar
MZ33
Site Supporter - Silver
Site Supporter - Silver
Posts: 814
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2007 4:57 pm
Sex: Female
Years Riding: 3
My Motorcycle: fabulous 2008 Kawi Versys
Location: Columbus, OH

Re: spray painting a helmet?

#8 Unread post by MZ33 » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:21 am

Jenn, you crack me up! I've missed hearing from you! (It was the toenails comment that got me) Re-post pics of your paint jobs, please, so we can see how well you do it. (You can post toenail pics too, if you want.)
[img]http://i39.tinypic.com/16jla1l.jpg[/img]

___________________________________
Civility and democracy both require effort.

User avatar
dj biker
Rookie
Rookie
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 11:09 pm
Sex: Male
Years Riding: 34
My Motorcycle: 2007 Harley Davidson Heritage Classic
Location: Tennessee Ridge, TN
Contact:

Re: spray painting a helmet?

#9 Unread post by dj biker » Mon Jul 26, 2010 12:56 pm

coffee_brake wrote:The same paint that made the helmet in the first place is what is in the re-painting. ....
AMEN, I have painted a lot of helmets over the years with great results as well. Have at it, it is easy, just be sure to prep properly and you will have a great looking helmet for pennies!

User avatar
Hondagirl
Legendary 500
Legendary 500
Posts: 652
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 5:34 am
Sex: Female
Years Riding: 0
My Motorcycle: 2008 Honda Motard XR400
Location: Japan and CT
Contact:

Re: spray painting a helmet?

#10 Unread post by Hondagirl » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:26 pm

ooh I would LOVE to see pics too!!! :clap:
Honda Motard XR400
Traded: Honda SL230 and Yamaha XJR400

User avatar
NorthernPete
Site Supporter - Gold
Site Supporter - Gold
Posts: 3426
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 10:24 pm
Real Name: Pete
Sex: Male
Years Riding: 11
My Motorcycle: 1988 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500
Location: Northern Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Re: spray painting a helmet?

#11 Unread post by NorthernPete » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:20 am

Im gonna have to agree with johnj, dont spray paint your helmet, breaks down the material.
1988 VN1500

User avatar
MZ33
Site Supporter - Silver
Site Supporter - Silver
Posts: 814
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2007 4:57 pm
Sex: Female
Years Riding: 3
My Motorcycle: fabulous 2008 Kawi Versys
Location: Columbus, OH

Re: spray painting a helmet?

#12 Unread post by MZ33 » Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:32 am

This video speaks to the issue, among other things. It's a little long, but worth it, IMHO.

http://www.superbikeplanet.com/2008/Oct/091016arai.htm
[img]http://i39.tinypic.com/16jla1l.jpg[/img]

___________________________________
Civility and democracy both require effort.

User avatar
dr_bar
Site Supporter - Diamond
Site Supporter - Diamond
Posts: 4531
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 10:37 am
Real Name: Doug
Sex: Male
Years Riding: 44
My Motorcycle: 2007 Yamaha Royal Star Venture
Location: Surrey BC, Canada

Re: spray painting a helmet?

#13 Unread post by dr_bar » Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:08 am

MZ33 wrote:This video speaks to the issue, among other things. It's a little long, but worth it, IMHO.

http://www.superbikeplanet.com/2008/Oct/091016arai.htm

Great link, I guess that puts a couple of issues to bed...

The painting one and a simple drop of your helmet bit, it's good to know my judgement on that latter one was good...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Four wheels move the body.
Two wheels move the soul!"

Wrider
Site Supporter - Gold
Site Supporter - Gold
Posts: 5285
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 7:46 pm
Real Name: Ryan
Sex: Male
Years Riding: 4
My Motorcycle: 2005 Kawasaki Z750S
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Contact:

Re: spray painting a helmet?

#14 Unread post by Wrider » Fri Nov 12, 2010 7:33 pm

Thanks for the link MZ!
Have owned - 2001 Suzuki Volusia
Current bike - 2005 Kawasaki Z750S
MMI Graduation date January 9th, 2009. Factory Certifications in Suzuki and Yamaha

User avatar
HYPERR
Legendary 3000
Legendary 3000
Posts: 3158
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 5:13 pm
Sex: Male
My Motorcycle: Year/Make/Model
Location: CT, USA

Re: spray painting a helmet?

#15 Unread post by HYPERR » Fri Nov 12, 2010 8:32 pm

Good link MZ and total kudos to the guy from Arai for being pretty straight up and cutting out the bullsh!t. Painting a helmet assuming it is done by a pro is ok and a dropped helmet is ok too. A lot of helmet guys will not admit this in the US, the land of frivolous lawsuits. The only thing he was wishy washy about it was the lifespan of the helmet. If a helmet is meticulously maintained and it is a top brand like Shoei or Arai, and the wearer is not a sweathog, it will easily last more than the 5 years which is quoted by the industry like a broken record.

I have a custom airbrushed Shoei that is almost 7 years old and it still looks and feels brand new in and out that I plan on using for at least a couple of more years. I do however have a Dainese that is almost 10 years old that I will retire in the very near future.
2008 Ducati Hypermotard 1100
2006 Kawasaki KLX250S
2004 Honda CBR600RR
2002 BMW R1150R
1996 Ducati 900SS

User avatar
Hondagirl
Legendary 500
Legendary 500
Posts: 652
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 5:34 am
Sex: Female
Years Riding: 0
My Motorcycle: 2008 Honda Motard XR400
Location: Japan and CT
Contact:

Re: spray painting a helmet?

#16 Unread post by Hondagirl » Sun Nov 14, 2010 6:31 am

Yeah that was really educational and interesting, thanks for posting that MZ. The part about when your head is in the helmet making it that much heavier and therefore damage greater made so much sense! How many people have dropped their helmet off their bike seat and bought another because of that myth.

I do want to spray paint my helmet but I still haven't gotten round to it.
Honda Motard XR400
Traded: Honda SL230 and Yamaha XJR400

Post Reply