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How to Paint a Motorcycle Helmet

How to Paint a Motorcycle Helmet

Every motorcycle enthusiast wants to look good while riding their motorcycle. However, to ensure your safety, you must wear a helmet to prevent severe head trauma in the event of a crash. If you don’t like the way your helmet currently looks, you can customize it. Painting a helmet can hide scratches while changing its look and reflecting your personality. Your helmet can depict art, have quotes printed on it, or include graphics. Read this article to learn how to paint a motorcycle helmet.


1. Equipment Required to Paint a Motorcycle Helmet

  • Red Scotch Brite Pads
  • Sanding Paper
  • Sanding Machine (Dual-Action Polisher)
  • Masking Tape
  • Microfiber Cloth
  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Primer
  • Glazing and Spot Putty
  • Spray Paint
  • Clear Coat

2. How to Paint a Motorcycle Helmet

Painting a helmet may sound simple but it requires the same level of expertise required to paint a motorcycle frame or fuel tank. Painting a motorcycle helmet is a procedure with multiple steps.

2.1 Disassemble Parts Vs. Cover with Masking Tape

There are two ways to approach painting a motorcycle helmet. One method is to remove every part of the helmet, including the visor and the foam/padding, to make it easier to paint the surface. However, it is not necessary to remove every part and you will not be able to reassemble the helmet to its original look. The other method is to only remove the visor and cover the parts you do not wish to paint with masking tape. Check the owner’s manual for instructions on how to remove the helmet visor safely.

2.2 Clean with Isopropyl Alcohol

Before you paint your motorcycle helmet, take a microfiber cloth and pour some isopropyl alcohol on it. Wipe down the helmet with the cloth to get a clean surface. The isopropyl alcohol helps remove oil, grease, dirt, and other contaminants from the helmet’s exterior to ensure better adhesion between the paint and the surface of the helmet.

2.3 Sand the Helmet

You do not need to remove the current paint on the helmet to repaint it. Remove the stickers and sand the helmet down using a Scotch Brite red buffer pad. You can also use a dual-action polisher to sand the helmet to save both time and effort. Make sure to sand the entire exterior of the helmet.

2.4 Remove Dust Using an Air Blower

After sanding the helmet, remove any dust on the surface by using an air blower. If you can still find a glossy spot on the helmet, it means that you must sand it again. This will provide a rough surface to make it easier for the primer and paint to stick.

2.5 Prepare a Workspace

To spray paint the motorcycle helmet safely, prepare a workspace to ensure the paint does not get all over the walls and floor. You can prepare a workspace by covering a small area in your garage with plastic sheets.

2.6 Wear Protective Clothing

Many types of spray paints contain toxic chemicals that can be hazardous if it touches your skin or is inhaled. Make sure to wear gloves, a respirator, and long clothes to cover yourself.

2.7 Apply Primer

Apply at least four coats of primer. Make sure to wait for at least 5-10 minutes after applying each coat to give the primer time to dry. After you finish the four coats of primer, wait at least 45-60 minutes before applying the first coat of paint. Spraying on primer will give the helmet a rougher surface to ensure the paint sticks effectively.

2.8 Fix Imperfections

After letting the primer dry for 45-60 minutes, you will find it easier to spot the imperfections on the helmet’s surface. Take the glazing and spot putty and put it on a plastic plate.

After you have identified the imperfections on the helmet’s surface, apply the glazing and spot putty and wait for half an hour. When the spot putty dries, sand it down using 400-grit sandpaper. After sanding, make sure to clean the surface using an air blower and wipe it down with a tack cloth.

2.9 Spray Paint the Helmet

Apply the first coat of paint using a spray can or a spray gun. Make sure to move the spray can in a uniform manner over the helmet’s exterior to avoid adding multiple paint layers and high spots. Apply at least three coats of paint, waiting for each coat to dry before applying the next coat.

2.10 Add Designs and Art on the Helmet

Add Designs and Art on the Helmet

If you want to make stripes or paint your helmet in multiple colors, use masking tape to cover the areas on the helmet you want to color differently. You can also add designs, art, and quotes on the surface of your motorcycle helmet using different paint colors and brushes.

2.11 Apply Clear Coat

After the paint is dry, apply the clear coat. Make sure you are wearing a respirator, gloves, and long clothes to prevent your skin from making contact with the chemicals. The clear coat provides a lustrous and glossy finish for the helmet.


3. Can You Paint a Motorcycle Helmet?

Yes, you can paint a motorcycle helmet. It is safe to do so if you are not using paints that contain harmful chemicals. Such chemicals can react with the helmet’s material and cause its quality and durability to degrade. Most U.S. states allow riders to paint their helmets as long as it does not damage their structural integrity.

However, you are not allowed to use darker colors that reduce visibility. Make sure to use paint that is compatible with your helmet’s materials.

4. Takeaway

If you have an old helmet covered in scratches but can’t afford to buy a new one, painting the helmet can help make it look like new. Fix any damage using spot putty and sand the surface while painting your helmet. You can also use multiple colors and make several designs using paint brushes. Make sure to buy paint that can be applied to the helmet without damaging the material.

You can also paint your motorcycle frame, gas tank, and plastic parts if you want to further customize your motorcycle’s appearance. To transform your ride into an ideal touring bike, Viking Bags offers several motorcycle parts including backrests, sissy bars, handlebars, crash bars, fairings, and seats. To help carry belongings on a motorcycle tour, Viking Bags also has several luggage bags available, including motorcycle trunk bags, saddlebags, sissy bar bags, and tank bags.

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