HOW TO Prep a Motorcycle Helmet for Painting

HOW TO Prep a Motorcycle Helmet for Painting

The painting of a Helmet

The painting of a Helmet

Paul Cotton wrote this question: “I received your dvd and paint pens for xmas and the dvd got me inspired. I was wondering before you paint a motorcyle helmet how do you prep it?”

Well, Paul, here’s the simplified version:

1.) Remove everything from the helmet (screws, padding, insides, etc.) Some rubber parts on some helmets won’t come off – in that case, tape them off.

2.) Wet sand with 400 grit sandpaper

3.) Then wet sand with 600 grit sandpaper

4.) Keep sanding until you get all of the gloss off

Every helmet will be different – some easier than others. Once it’s ready to paint – now the real challenge begins! You know how hard it is to paint a round object??!!

Life is Good – Drew

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  • Chad T Dillon
    Posted at 15:56h, 20 November

    Does sanding down and repainting the helmet nullify the DOT certification?

  • Keir
    Posted at 14:56h, 22 August


    I am from the UK and I’d just like to point out that back in the 80s the British government ran a high profile public awareness campaign highlighting the hazards of customising motorcycle helmets. This had been triggered by a significant number of failures of the device when involved in road traffic incidents, leading to an uneceptable number of fatalities. The problem was caused by the application of adhesives and cellulose based paints to the helmet causing degradation of the constructive plastics often making them brittle and rendering it worthless as a safety item.

    I am highlighting this point as I believe it would be prudent for you to include information prominently on your website with regards to the hazards of customising personal protective equipment and for your readers to be aware that any alteration to a certified crash helmet is prohibited by the manufacturer.

    Kind regards,

    Keir Morrison

  • Mello Cruise
    Posted at 13:11h, 08 February

    I have HJC 09 Helmet
    with a stock design..flames..dragon..pinstriping etc..
    how do I remove that design so that I can repaint it?

  • Gary L Atkinson
    Posted at 13:23h, 03 June

    Great! Written so a country boy like myself can understand.
    not that country boy is less intelligent, just don’t analyze

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  • Laura
    Posted at 08:51h, 10 May

    Is there a certain shell that lends itself more to this process? Plastic?

  • Drew Brophy
    Posted at 08:42h, 19 March

    Howdy You can use uv sprays or additives, as far as different helmets go, some have stickers and rubber parts which can be a problem. Just make sure you can remove stickers and clean the surface well, you might have to tape off rubber or plastic parts if they can not be removed.

  • Laura
    Posted at 06:55h, 19 March

    Also, can the same method work for other helmets, such as a helmet designated for an ATV?

  • Laura
    Posted at 06:47h, 19 March

    Beautiful….just what I was looking for. Do you use a sealant with a UV protectorate in it?

  • kp
    Posted at 12:59h, 18 January

    do you prime with anything after the sanding?

  • Paul Cotten
    Posted at 07:03h, 08 January

    thanks Drew for answering my question, it helped

  • joey
    Posted at 08:49h, 06 January

    So, wet sand?! Wouldnt known that. Thnx for the tip. It helps.

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