How to Paint A Motorcycle Helmet: Guideline and Customization Design Ideas You Need To Know

How to Paint A Motorcycle Helmet

When making a custom painted motorcycle helmet there are exact steps to follow. And don’t disregard the helmet safety regulations in your locality.

Can You Paint a Motorcycle Helmet?

It’s possible to paint a helmet in any design you want. But, don’t mess with the helmet chemistry and its safety protection ability. Custom helmet painting is thrilling and you can easily get carried away. 

Therefore, know what the local authorities say about painting motorcycle helmets. Your painting must still adhere to the local authority’s regulations. For example, your helmet must have DOT, SHARP, ECE, or SNELL safety ratings and symbols.

Step-by-Step Helmet Painting Guide

Step-by-Step Helmet Painting Guide

Follow the below professional steps on how to paint a helmet:

Gather Your Materials and Tools

Bring all the materials you’ll need within your reach. That may include a spray gun, sandpaper, knife masking tape, and primer paint. 

Dismantle the Helmet

Dismantle your helmet carefully taking note of its design. If unsure about the process, consult your helmet manual. Applying warm air to the decals and sticks makes them peel off effortlessly.  

Prepare the Helmet Surface

Wear latex gloves to keep finger marks from the helmet. Then use a safe cleaning agent to remove oil traces from the helmet. Before you continue, ensure there are no cracks or fractures in the shell. 

You can employ fine-grit sandpaper to remove sticker adhesives and existing paint. After sanding, apply wax remover on a soft cloth and use it to wipe off the surface of the helmet.

Mask Areas Paint Can Tarnish

There are areas you don’t wish the paint to tarnish, for instance, the helmet’s interior. Cover such areas with an old newspaper. A tape can further help secure the old newspaper to the wall and prevent it from falling off. 

Spread the Primer Undercoat

A primer undercoat fills up the tiny gaps and holes. As a result, the helmet painting work looks even and professional. Before applying the primer, wear a pair of latex gloves. Stick to about 2 or three coats for best results. 

 Apply the Guide Coat (Optdional)

A guide coat must have a contrasting color with the primer. The contrast helps to identify the areas that are high or low on the helmet surface. So, spray a light black paint evenly on the exterior surface and allow it to dry.

Then use fine grit sand paper dipped in warm soapy water to sand away the guide coat. Continue sanding until the guide coat diminishes. Do not remove the primer.

Finally, wipe away the dust from the surface using a soft cloth

Optional Base Coat

You can either apply the base coat or skip the step. About two or three base coat layers are enough. The base coat minimizes existing bubbles and gives the final paint stick better on the surface. 

Apply the Paint Now

First, ensure the surface is free from dust. And if you have paint spray, shake it thoroughly. But if it’s a spray gun, mix the paint properly before use. 

For the best result in motorcycle helmet painting, maintain a fixed distance between the can and the helmet surface. Further, do not change your spraying pattern or speed.

Let the first layer dry before applying another coat. Three or four layers are adequate. 

Finish With a Clear Coat

Finish off the custom motorcycle helmet painting by applying a few final clear coats. Let it dry for over 24 hours. 

Remove the Tape and Old Newspaper

When the helmet has dried, peel off the tape and remove the newspaper carefully.  Wipe off the inner helmet with a dry cloth. 

Assemble Back the Helmet

Fix back all the parts you had disassembled. Tighten all the screws and nuts. 

Tips for painting helmets

Custom painted motorcycle helmets look cool. But before you customize the look of your helmet, take the following precautions:

Invest in the Right Paint

Know the right paint that doesn’t compromise the structural integrity of your helmet’s shell.  In unsure with the choice of paint consult a professional or your helmet’s manufacturer. Besides weakening the shell, some paints may not stick well and peel off prematurely.

Make a Rough Sketch

Don’t start off by drawing the custom helmet painting image on the hood directly.  Instead do a mockup sketch on a piece of paper. That way you can perfect your skills and gauge out if you like the overall look of the  image. A sketch is easier to modify than an image on a helmet. If necessary  draw out several mock up images.  

Don’t Rush

Coming up with painted motorcycle helmets that are appealing is an art that needs to be cultivated. So don’t rush in the process. Instead, take your time to understand each and every step. 


Hopefully, the above tips have taught you how to paint a motorcycle helmet. Use the tips, and your helmet will always look new and shiny. Remember to care for your helmet closely to avoid damaging helmet paint.

Clean the helmet regularly using clean water, mild detergent, and a soft washcloth. Keep the helmet where other objects, insects, or people cannot damage its paint. A helmet cover can protect it from such threats. If you don’t trust your helmet painting skills, hire a professional to help you with the process. 

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