Helmet Repainting

Discussion in 'Australia' started by jollyrodger2005, Feb 7, 2008.

  1. jollyrodger2005

    jollyrodger2005 DIRTY OLD MAN

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    I recently purchased ( very cheaply ) my son's MX helmet but hate the colour ...so i would like to know if anyone has done a repaint or repair to a helmet..what sort of paint or products should you use ?
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  2. prestonpaul

    prestonpaul What?

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    Find out what it is made of first.
    It should be on a lable inside somewhere. If it is plastic (as most cheap helmets are) it can't legaly be painted as the solvents in the paint can degrade the plastic. If it is fibregalss or composite then it is ok to paint. As to what sort of paint to use, I have no idea, You could probably try asking at a specialist auto paint shop. If i were to guess I would say that the pros would use an air brush paint from House of Kolor or the like.
    All the best.
    Paul.
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  3. Mouse

    Mouse I'm only smelly

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    for airbrushing have a look at vipond which you could possibly use on plastic.

    for painting a glass shell pretty much any 2 pack auto paint is good.

    if its plastic nada otherwise.
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  4. jollyrodger2005

    jollyrodger2005 DIRTY OLD MAN

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    Thanks guys..it's a O'neil Special Edition fiberglass..cost him $380..cost me $150..:lol3
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  5. kiwirider650

    kiwirider650 Adventurer

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    jollyroger, a cheap helmet is one thing but a repaired/painted one is surely to end in tears. the boys head is worth more than your house! only my opinion ----- but, i believe no helmet should be tampered with, they are cheap and nasty enough nowdays as it is!!! great topic for discussion though anyone else have an opinion? cheers R
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  6. Mouse

    Mouse I'm only smelly

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    given i paint fibreglass for a living and my painter has been doing it for a lifetime I can safely inform you that painting a fibreglass lid will not damage it.

    give thought to the fact that the boats are the pointy end of the hobart fleet cost about 10m or so just to build and they are without excpetion constructed more lightly and using far more exotic materials than your helmet. and they are painted...

    they also cost about 4-5m a year to campaign but thats a whole different story. 1 guy outfitted a boeing to cart his 100ft yacht around the world circuit and carries 2 spare $500k rigs with him just in case. (and that is 500k each for just a carbon fibre 160' stick and spreaders - at 2003 prices :yikes ) i did hear he races like crap tho :thumb


    most glass helemts are pretty fundamental in construction and materials - a bit like the mass production boats. even the exotic are simplistic enough.

    besides, how do you think they finish helmets at the factory???
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  7. troy safari carpente

    troy safari carpente Team f5oolery

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    Back when the whole "custom helmet" paint job thing started in MX circles in the mid 80's there were a lot of airbrush whizz's getting around the place who were doing custom lid's... In many cases they'd take your helmet, sand it down/strip it using various forms of chemical and/or abrasive methods, then put a flash airbrush design on it with graphics etc. and clear coat it.

    One problem was (for the racing fraternity) that often the applicable standards decal (SNELL, ADR or whatever applies in the particular country) on the outer shell was removed as part of the process. Some riders fell afoul of scrutineers etc. because of this.

    It was also a fact that helmet manufacturers got wind of this "trend" and
    1. started offering more "customized" designs as standard and;
    2. began to print information that warned specifically about repainting helmets etc. (even placing adhesive decals or stickers on helmets was claimed to have adverse effects on helmets integrity). This obviously has repercussions from both the warranty and insurance viewpoint.

    Some of the more established aftermarket "painters" addressed this problem by becoming "authorised" by various manufacturers to do "custom art" on helmets... but in 99% of the case this meant painting up a new "raw" helmet... not sanding down and refinishing a used one (more expensive and time consuming). Another way to "control" the market... a "new" custom painted lid from an authorized airbrush design company, come with factory warranty and all the safety standards decals... a "re-finished" one doesn't!

    So as mouse said... you probably can re-paint the lid... if it's fibreglass/composite... and you use the right paint and preparation methods/materials... but what it means as far as the saftey standard authentication and or warranty... that's your guess... Then again maybe that's not an aspect that concerns you? :thumb

    PS: Candy apple ORANGE over metal flake silver, with black metallic highlights would look great on the helmet of a 640 Adv rider. :D
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  8. Mouse

    Mouse I'm only smelly

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    when you paint glass helemts:

    if the existing finish is paint you only need to 'scratch' it enough with bout 240 grit paper for the paint to stick. if you need to fil it then use a good filler not just cheapo car bog. epoxy will stick to anything, polyester bog will not stick to epoxy.

    if it is gelcoat ditto but you need to prime it as well or the paint will not stick.

    you are not stripping the helmet back to glass to paint it!!!!! you are only seeking a mechanical bond between the existing and the new.

    the correct paints will not affect glass - most of the better auto paints are appropriate, i'd perhaps beware of using an epoxy primer which'd be overkill anyway.

    the shitty part of the job is the masking involved and/or the need to remove the internals. but from a technical point of view painting glass lids is a doddle.

    but if you cannot spray paint well i reckon you'd better not learn on a helmet!

    I've a new staff member who is going to do helmets - his background as a graphic designer, street artist etc is perfect. parts of his cv inc skateboard graphics and stuff like hot tuna so i'm going to let him lose on a couple of my my arai and see what comes.

    just don't hold your breath cause he mightn't have any spare time before august.
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  9. rigs_au

    rigs_au Corripe Cervisiam

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    Theres a brilliant product called ESP ( Easy Surface Prep ), that eliminates the need for sanding, or other abrasives.
    You wipe or paint it on, and 2 hours later apply your top coat of paint. It makes many surfaces that usually cant be painted, paintable.

    I used ESP on the fibreglass panels on my boys Quad bike cos we got it cheap cos it was a crap colour. Saved hundreds on the bike, ESP and paint cost $30.

    Was also recommended by a professional painter mate of mine.

    Cheers
    #9
  10. Mouse

    Mouse I'm only smelly

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    a professional painter of what?

    i will not touch esp with a barge pole but then we paint objects sitting in an extremely hostile environment. and i've seen the results over time from using it.

    but i guess a helmet is replaced regularly so esp away...

    if you really wanted to get carried away paint your helemt with a linear urethane (commonly referred to as truck paint) - you wont be able to patch repair it successfully but it'll retain its gloss forever.

    I'm also extremely circumspect of clears over paint unless you get a good chemicl bond. the clears fail on boats reliably no matter how well we apply.

    btw the sort of paints we use cost around $110 per litre ex gst.
    #10
  11. jollyrodger2005

    jollyrodger2005 DIRTY OLD MAN

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    Quote " btw the sort of paints we use cost around $110 per litre ex gst."

    OUCH!!!!
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  12. Brendan J

    Brendan J Pfft

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    Jolly there is three people I can recomend for repainting your helmet
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  13. Brendan J

    Brendan J Pfft

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    sorry damn fat fingers LA Designs, Browns Graphics and Krals Kreations all three and not cheap but do a very good job. Just make sure they dont cover or rip off the standards sticker.
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  14. jollyrodger2005

    jollyrodger2005 DIRTY OLD MAN

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    thanks anyway Brendan..might have a go at it myself..don't want nothing flashy just some orange and black to match the bike..trying to spend my quality time at work ( 10 hrs of a 11 hr shift )to come up with a design.
    #14