painting a helmet

Jan 22, 2010
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Anyone know if it's possible to paint on the plastic shell of a standard road helmet, like Giro or Lazer? Or will it damage the shell? If not, what kind of paint would one use? Anyone with experience with this?
 
Jul 15, 2010
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You would need to use a plastic primer and test a little section to ensure it wont react. Basically the stuff they use on car plastics and an auto parts store is perhaps the best place to get.

If your test is OK you will need to scuff up the shell a bit with a fine sandpaper,before masking it all up and hitting it with the primer.

Then topcoat and I would clear coat it as well.

To be honest its a fair bit of stuffing around....It would take a huge amount of time and effort to do it well and as bike helmets have a hard life and you are painting on a less than idea base, I would think you would have a pretty tired looking lid pretty quick.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Not to mention the two other issues
- you would be adding weight to the helmet - why?
- you would invalidate the standards sticker on the helmet and if it were noticed you would probably be stopped from starting a race - also some insurers would attempt to dodge payout on such an issue...
 
Feb 14, 2010
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I touched up some fading highlights on a helmet a couple of years ago. The ony prep I did was to wash the helmet with a laundry detergent solution and rinse it well with water. The water-based acrylic model paint I used stuck tight and hasn't chipped or anything-- but the colour faded from the sun (as had the original highlights). Next time I will use water-based acrylic lawn furniture paint: that should stand more sun exposure (unless formulated for shade?;) )

I wouldn't recommend any sandpapering, scratches are places for cracks to propagate from! Or it would have to be a very fine grit.
 
Jan 14, 2011
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2 experiences

First, I spray painted my "old" helmet orange to use when I'm off road during deer hunting season. No desire to become a victim of some trigger happy "sportsman". Just a can of spray paint. Looks like cr@p but does the job.

Second I used an enamel paint, like what's used for models, to paint out the name of a certain team on my newest helmet. Good price but I don't want a pro team name on there. Also painted out the skyline of the Kremlin..... (hint)

rough up the surface a bit with wet-dry sandpaper, paint away.
 
Aug 4, 2009
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When the helmet is tatty enough to repaint its time for a new one. I have only ever seen one good paint job on a helmet done by a car painter at Ford factory he was a real artist with air brush.

My old helmets go moldy inside so time to replace it when the inside turn green.
 
Jan 22, 2010
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It's more about not really liking the color options, so I just want to put some accents on a helmet, not paint the entire thing.
 
Guidokcd said:
It's more about not really liking the color options, so I just want to put some accents on a helmet, not paint the entire thing.
I think you are good to go using enamels designed for plastics. A light pass with some very fine sandpaper before applying the enamel would be good.
 
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