General Cycling Discussion - Helmet - Can I spray paint it?
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This is kind of a silly question....
Last year I purchased a Bell Phi Pro helmet on sale. I love the fit, the light weight and the air flow, but the color is really lame (for me, anyway!)
I would like to spray paint it black.
Has anyone ever done this before? Do you think it would hurt it or make it look even worse?
12-17-02, 11:57 AM
Basically, you can either find a paint that will alter the foam and plastic... or a paint (such as artist's water paint) that won't stick at all.
I would suggest that you keep it as is, or use a helmet cover (nice in Winter but not in Summer), or be creative with reflective bands to add more colour, improve your safety and create a nice effect.
BTW, consider one thing: you don't see your helmet.
If you did intend on spray painting it, you should first scuff up the finish in order for the spray paint to have a surface to stick too. One other thing too consider, a black head bucket would tend to retain more heat energy from the sun making for a warm head! :D
12-17-02, 12:22 PM
:) Try some of the paint at your local Hobby shop.I think this will stick well on the plastic shell of the helmet and like MHub said scuff it up.
12-17-02, 12:27 PM
Many paints--solvent or oil-based--will simply eat away the styrofoam. If that happens, the helmet will not protect your head.
Try going to a sticker/sign shop. They sell vinyal sheets in just about any color imaginable. You can heat up with a heat gun or blow dryer for the tough spots.
12-17-02, 08:25 PM
A few years back, I spray painted one of my helmets and didnt have any problem with the styrofoam getting eaten away.
12-17-02, 08:35 PM
A lot of manufacturers state on their packaging and warranty cards that painting helmets will void the warranty.
Paint it if you like but beware that it may or may not effect the integrity of the helmet.
I personally wouldn't take the chance. The only way you might be able to tell if it has made a difference to the helmet is if you crash - and that's not a good time to find out.
Plastic + Solvent = Bad
I've seen solvents eat plastic...I'm a chemist, trust me.
There is a reasom that spraying a helmet voids the warranty.
12-17-02, 11:55 PM
Doesn't anyone remember painting all those car models when you were a kid.Seems to me they were plastic.Pretty sure I have an old can of that paint I'll have to find it.:)
12-18-02, 12:11 AM
Originally posted by Gojohnnygo.
Doesn't anyone remember painting all those car models when you were a kid.Seems to me they were plastic.Yes, but those cars didn't contain great lumps of styrofoam that are designed to stop your brains from becoming mush.
12-18-02, 12:21 AM
Originally posted by MediaCreations
Yes, but those cars didn't contain great lumps of styrofoam that are designed to stop your brains from becoming mush.
No, but the glue had the opposite effect... :eek:
12-18-02, 01:59 AM
Originally posted by MediaCreations
Yes, but those cars didn't contain great lumps of styrofoam that are designed to stop your brains from becoming mush. Yes,I see what your saying,It would probably be ***** taping off all the air vents. To protect the styrofoam.
12-18-02, 06:36 AM
i used to have a helmet that i hated in color. does anyone remember those helmet covers that fit like a shower cap (but ultimately more stylish) --> maybe it was just a rain cover and i used it all the time.
besides....if you paint it, you bought it pal!! hahaha
Pass the glue Dirtgrinder.
12-18-02, 10:23 AM
:) Here is a link on how to paint plastic. http://sportbikeguy.com/garage/floor/painting.html
Good grief... I think I'll just buy a new helmet... or live with the one I have...
thanks for all the feedback!
You asked the question.
12-18-02, 03:30 PM
It will work despite the warnings of the forum chemists.
The only problem you will have is that the paint will scuff and reveal the color underneath. Of course, you will have plenty of paint left over in the can, so you can spray it again and again.
May I suggest enamel for a stronger finish. Krylon is the choice of many home colorizers.
12-18-02, 11:55 PM
You can paint it, if you don't mind voiding it's warranty.
12-19-02, 12:00 AM
I too have a Bell Phi Pro helmet, its plain white! I wonder if i could get it custom painted... maybe to match my BikeForum jersey? :)
Yea, see! My bike is yellow and black. My Bell Phi Pro helmet is the powder blue in front that fades to white and gray in the back.
No offence, lady riders, but it's just a little too girly for me. (ooh... will I get a nasty gram for that one? :eek: )
I want something that injects fear in my competitors!!! Something with teeth that spews fire as I fly by! (or as they fly by me!)
Or just plain black would do.
Guess it's my noggin, so I could paint it and void the warranty... but that's kind of odd anyway... a bike helmet with a warranty. If you need to use the warranty... aren't your concerns at that point a little beyond the $60 helmet? :lol:
Since I ride at night I'd like a highly reflective helmet. Does anyone know of a helmet that is white and very reflective (not just a reflective strip on the back or sides)?
12-22-02, 07:33 AM
First of all OF COURSE you need to mask the areas you don't want the paint to fall onto! Water based paints will never stay on glossy surface.
I wouldn't want to spray paint anything, firstly because it gets nasty, secondly it never lasts long for an usage like that. Everytime you touch it some bits will stick onto your hand. Not only does it dirty your hands( worse if you eat with washing it first), the paint falls off from the helmet making it very ugly.
Then you can never get the nice finish of the paint because the paint on the helmet is painted under the top plastic layer, thus it's very glossy.
If yiou have the right equipment, like vaccum-form machine, you can pretty achieve something professional looking, but then again, it's too expensive.
As for the reflective part, there are industrial reflective coatings. I can get it, but not from shops. Or you can use those ugly looking luminious orange or green spray paints:(
01-14-03, 01:32 PM
:) Check this site out they do custom bicycle helmet painting it cost alot.http://www.blowsion.com/graphic/helmets/helmet11.htm
01-14-03, 04:07 PM
Here you go,:p
I just looked and yes my bell helmet liner is Lexan painted on the INSIDE. this would mean you could remove the liner, strip the paint, and repaint all with put exposing the styrofoam to paint! At least this would work on mine.
01-14-03, 05:20 PM
I thought the solvents were damaging to the helmet :(
Regular bicycle helmets are extremely difficult to paint because of all the vents. Even the picture above is quite poor quality as poor masking is evident even from that low-res picture.
As for paints: solvent-based paints will destroy styrofoam. You can paint the hard shell but if you get any on the foam, it is toast.
Water based paints, while not as vibrant, are the way to go. They are more difficult to use but don't affect safety. Despite what has been said, water-based paints are very good. Many cars are painted at the factory with water-based paints now (for environmental reasons).
Really, this isn't a "I'll take 10 minutes to spray" decision. It is time-consuming, takes skill and patience. It would be cheaper to buy a new helmet in the color you want.
If you do custom graphics it is really unique and beautiful- again, skill, time and patience.
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