When you finally have your own motorcycle, one thing you want to do is to customize it to your taste and stand out. So it comes to no surprise that some owners takes customization to the next level by including their gears into their personalized project.
Customizing a gear takes a lot of patience and practical know-how which was practices a long time ago, but you need the proper equipment like a sander or polisher, an air brush, some spray gun with paint of your choice. Lucky for us, there are many DIY videos or books available that you can see in YouTube or books at stores to give your gear a new defined finish.
Now without further ado, I will now teach you the step by step guide on how to paint a motorcycle helmet.
There are many styles of helmets available right now in the market and it included finishing like glossy or matte types but the costs varies as well. That’s why I strongly recommend that you buy the black or plain white helmet when you want to alter its look because it is cheaper. Just be sure to get the right fit for you.
The first choose a good helmet of Half face, Open face or any style you like!
First step before anything else is to prepare the working space. The space should be dust free and dry. Be sure that you have the right tools ready and accessible all the time. When painting the best way to avoid so much strain is by having your own mannequin head or a DIY Styrofoam head placed on top of the work bench.
Next step is to remove the visor properly or other attachments on the helmet. Once you have done that, you should then degrease your helmet. You can do this by using a dish washing liquid or any detergent.
After that step, next thing to do is to sand it with the use of a wet 400 grade sandpaper. This step will remove the sheen and will help the paint adhere more to the helmet. It should be well sanded and must look really dull and flat. Afterwards, clean it all up with wet fabric, dry it and make sure that there are no dust left before proceeding to the next step.
You can then mask off all the remaining things or fittings on your helmet. Use some vinyl tape and some clear paper to cover corners and bends.
When you make sure that all the things you don’t want to be painted is well protected, now it is time to apply the base coat. Base coat is very important cause it will help your top coat to last and avoid your coatings to run. Let it dry. You can then apply the design you want.
In order for you to separate the colors make sure that only the parts that you want to be painted are exposed. You can use masking tape for symmetry. Remember to expose only the area you want the paint to be, totally have it dried and repeat the process until you finish the design you want to achieve. Be careful when removing the tape, be sure the pain tis completely dry so that it will not ruin your design.
Once your design in completely done, its time to apply your Urethane final clear coat. You can apply 4 coats to have a enough gloss and coverage but adding a few more will create a more defined depth and gloss.
Let the clear gloss dry for about 12 hours to one day depending on how many coats you applied. Then have it wet sanded to clear imperfections and remove dusts. Use a 1500 or the 2000 sandpaper for that job. Last thing to do is to buff it will to get the nice polished look you have always wanted.
When all is done, you can now add the attachment that you have removed earlier.
The process of doing a do-it-yourself helmet painting maybe hard but the finish product is something to look forward to especially if you have a particular design that you want to achieve.
About the Author
Jacob is an avid motorbike collector and a rider who customizes helmets since 1985. Owns his own motorbike repair shop in New Jersey.