How to Paint a Motorcycle Helmet?

How to Paint a Motorcycle Helmet

Riding motorcycles is a badass kind of hobby. It’s thrilling to feel the wind whip against you as you cut through air at a high speed, the machine throbbing underneath you.

It’s all about personality and attitude, and your helmet figures heavily in that. Your helmet should express your unique personality and personal sense of style. You can transform a drab-looking helmet into something special by painting it.

Don’t know how to paint a motorcycle helmet? We’ve got you covered with the necessary knowledge. Read on to find out what you should do.

Tools and Materials You Will Need:

  • Reference picture and stencils (if you are doing a pattern)
  • Airbrush or spray gun
  • 400-grit sandpaper
  • Matte spray paint
  • Clear coat
  • Primer and flat black quick coat
  • Masking tape
  • Scotch-Brite abrasive pad
  • Knife
  • Latex gloves


1. Take great care when purchasing paints. Some may contain chemicals harmful the helmet’s base material. Go to a renowned outlet because they are knowledge about paint and can recommend the best choice for painting a motorcycle helmet.

2. Do the painting in a clean area since it is likely paint will fall upon any items that are around your working area. Therefore, work in a space that isn’t occupied. Dusty surfaces are also not recommended because dust is likely to attach itself to the wet paint, leading to a shoddy job.


1. Dismantling the Helmet

You don’t start painting the helmet immediately just the way it is. You have to first disassemble the removable parts of the helmet. These include the screws, the lens, and the strap that goes under a rider’s chin.

Remove the interlining carefully, and then set all the pieces aside (away from the painting area to ensure paint doesn’t drip on these parts).

In case you are unable to remove all of the inner lining from the helmet, you must do some masking before you commence painting.

2. Helmet Preparation

Use a basic cleaning detergent to clean the helmet’s surface: removing grease. To ensure you don’t stain the painted surface with your fingerprints, wear latex gloves.

Inspect the helmet to ensure it has not suffered any damage. So long as the helmet’s base is intact, you can re-paint the helmet keep on re-painting the helmet again and again.

If there are any stickers on the helmet, remove them. You can peel them off. If removing the stickers is tricky, use a hair dryer or heat gun to apply heat to the stickers, and then it will be easier to remove them.

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To remove the old paint and sticker glue, rub the 400-grade sand paper material upon the helmet. If you don’t do this an just paint on top of the old paint, the helmet will have a horrible look. To ensure best results, you should run the sandpaper along the grain rather than against it.

Use the 400-grit sand paper or Scotch-Brite abrasive pad to get rid of any shiny surface from the existing paint. If you don’t do this, the new paint won’t stick.

3. Helmet Masking

As mentioned earlier, in the event that you’re unable to remove all the inner lining of the helmet, masking becomes necessary.

Masking tape will help you cover the areas that you don’t want touched by paint at all. Basically, you gather some old newspapers, which you scrunch up into a ball and stuff it in the helmet. Use the masking tape to fasten the stuffed-in newspaper ball to ensure it doesn’t fall off.

4. Adding the Primer Undercoat

Now for real work: apply an undercoat to the surface. After painting the surface with an undercoat, take a break and ensure you don’t continue until the undercoat has completely dried upon the helmet.

You should not apply your design while the undercoat is still wet.

Ensure you apply at least 2 to 3 layers or coats of primer.

Do not spray beyond the masking tape, since the paper can absorb the paint and this cam rest in the base getting stained.

Leave your work (the helmet and the primer) to dry overnight.

5. Add a Guide Coat

Use a spray can of flat black quick coat to lightly mist coat the helmet’s outside surface and then give it time to dr.

After the guide coat dries, soak 400-grit wet-n-dry sandpaper and a block in water that is warm and soapy.

With great care, sand the helmet down smooth using the block.

If the black guide coat remains black in some areas, it is not yet completely smooth. Continue sanding until the entire guide coat disappears, but not the primer.

After you have completed sanding, wash the helmet clean. Apply wax and grease remover on a piece of cloth which you’ll use to wipe off any dust that is on the helmet.

6. Painting

First wipe down the helmet to get rid of any dust particles.

If using a professional spray gun, mix your paints. If using an aerosol spray can, shake the can.

Begin spraying away from the painted area, and then coming on to it at an even distance with a constant speed. Ensure you don’t stop in the middle to avoid runs. As you run off the painted area, stop spraying, only starting again as you come back over again. Do this from the left to the right, repeating the motion until you have applied an even coat across the entire helmet.

Ensure you have enough paint for at least 3 to 4 coats.

Let the first coat dry and then apply another until it looks satisfactory to you.

Note that in this article, we operate under the assumption that you are painting the helmet in one color. Painting multiple colors has an extra set of steps to follow.

7. Clear Coat Application

Applying a clear coat gives protection while eliminating the need for buffing.

You apply the clear coat in a similar manner to applying the main color.

To enhance the paint’s depth, apply up to clear-coat layers, and then let it dry for approximately 24 hours.

Afterward, smooth the helmet using a 1500-grade sand paper to ensure a nice finish.

8. Unmasking the Helmet

Remove the masking tape.

Run a clean, dry cloth under the surface the masking tape as covering. This is to ensure you remove any debris.

Peel back the masking tape and the papers gently to ensure you don’t remove the fresh paint.

9. Reassembling the Helmet

After the helmet has fully dried, reinstall the parts you removed. If in trouble, consult the owner’s manual which came with the helmet.

Tightens all the screws to ensure they never fall of when you’re riding.


There you have it: a reliable procedure of how to paint your motorcycle helmet!

Try it out today.

Why don’t you take out your helmet and express your personality and sense of style in paint?

It feels good to wear a helmet you know you painted yourself.

Avatar for Joshua D. Mattie

    Joshua D. Mattie

    My motorbike addiction began with 50cc at 5 years old. I rode motocross as a teenager & into my 20's when I worked as a mechanic. This helped me to see the light—sportbikes & cruisers became a passion. Now I'm building BikersRights to be the #1 resource for everything on 2 wheels!

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