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spray painting a helmet?

Posted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 2:59 am
by Hondagirl
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:

Re: spray painting a helmet?

Posted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 10:34 am
by Johnj
They say not to paint your helmet. It breaks down material, making it more brittle.

Re: spray painting a helmet?

Posted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 11:06 am
by Thumper
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.

Re: spray painting a helmet?

Posted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:07 pm
by Hondagirl
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.

Re: spray painting a helmet?

Posted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:30 pm
by HYPERR
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.

Re: spray painting a helmet?

Posted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 9:45 pm
by Hondagirl
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.

Re: spray painting a helmet?

Posted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 11:04 pm
by coffee_brake
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....

Re: spray painting a helmet?

Posted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:21 am
by MZ33
Jenn, you stick 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.)

Re: spray painting a helmet?

Posted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 12:56 pm
by dj biker
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!

Re: spray painting a helmet?

Posted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:26 pm
by Hondagirl
ooh I would LOVE to see pics too!!! :clap:

Re: spray painting a helmet?

Posted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:20 am
by NorthernPete
Im gonna have to agree with johnj, dont spray paint your helmet, breaks down the material.

Re: spray painting a helmet?

Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:32 am
by MZ33
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

Re: spray painting a helmet?

Posted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:08 am
by dr_bar
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...

Re: spray painting a helmet?

Posted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 7:33 pm
by Wrider
Thanks for the link MZ!

Re: spray painting a helmet?

Posted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 8:32 pm
by HYPERR
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.

Re: spray painting a helmet?

Posted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 6:31 am
by Hondagirl
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.