What paint can I use on a helmet without compromising the strength of the shell? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-16-2009, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Question What paint can I use on a helmet without compromising the strength of the shell?

I was just reading LP`s thread about custom paint, and big rep mentioned painting his helmet with a spray can. I have read articles warning about damaging a helmet with paint.

What kind of paint is safe to use on a helmet, that will not weaken the shell? I am considering changing mine from a slighly scratched up flat black, to a Hi-Vis white or yellow for daylight hours and adding some reflector designs for night time visibility.

What do I look for? And what do I stay away from?

Gordon

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-16-2009, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OlHossCanada View Post
I was just reading LP`s thread about custom paint, and big rep mentioned painting his helmet with a spray can. I have read articles warning about damaging a helmet with paint.

What kind of paint is safe to use on a helmet, that will not weaken the shell? I am considering changing mine from a slighly scratched up flat black, to a Hi-Vis white or yellow for daylight hours and adding some reflector designs for night time visibility.

What do I look for? And what do I stay away from?
Any paint will be fine, sand with 320-400 grit paper you will be good to go. As long as you dont use paint stripper or take a grinder to it you won't change the integrity.


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-16-2009, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks lance, I was afraid the solvents in some types of paint would dissolve or melt the shell, and weaken it.

Gordon

1991 VN 750 -"Cosmic Lady" or "Bad Girl"?
Purchased May 16, 2008
Approx.19,300km (12,000 miles)

H-D windshield
Relocated R/R
MF-AGM battery
Fiamm Freeway Blaster horns
F&S luggage rack and engine guard
Kury Offset Hiway pegs
July 13, 2016, Riding on the DARKSIDE now, Classic Radial 165/80-15


TOP TEN THINGS A NEW RIDER/OWNER SHOULD DO. Click on link.
https://www.vn750.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9127
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-16-2009, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by OlHossCanada View Post
Thanks lance, I was afraid the solvents in some types of paint would dissolve or melt the shell, and weaken it.
Just stay away from laquer based paints, just sand enough to good adhesion then use a gray Scotch Brite pad. Use latex gloves and clean surface with wax and grease remover before painting. Do not touch the surface with bare hands, the oil from your fingers will cause the paint to "fish eye".


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EAR SHAVED AND RE-JETTED W/K&N'S
DUNLOP ELITE K591 FRONT & REAR
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SYNTHETIC BRAKE FLUID
SYNTHETIC OIL & GEAR LUBE
PLEXISTAR 2 WINDSHIELD
SPLINES LUBED
ACCT'S GREASED W/TOC SPRINGS
COASTERD
LEATHER SADDLE BAGS
LEATHER TOOL AND ROLL BAG
PICKUP COILS GAPPED AT .018"
NGK CAP, WIRES, IRIDUMS
BARNETT FRICTION PLATES & SPRINGS
CUSTOM GRIPS, MIRRORS, LEVERS
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-16-2009, 04:59 PM
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Your mistake here was not mentioning which helmet you have. Different makers use different materials for the shell, so usually it is just a good idea to contact the maker to be sure.

Polycarbonite helmets in particular can be effected by some paints. Old fiberglass helmets had some issures, but I think the problem was the fumes from the paint degrading the liner...not the paint itself effecting the shell.

So not knowing what helmet you have , or more importantly what the shell is made from, my suggestion to contact the maker stands.

And do remove the liner before painting.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-16-2009, 05:10 PM
 
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yeah im kinda going to elaborate on what km said... alot of times the major worry is actually damaging the foam liner... same thing if you put any solvent on a piece of foam.. its going to melt... the outer shell is good unless you sand too far... basicly a light sanding just to rough the surface is good enough to paint on... but as km said make sure with the manufacture that your ok to paint it..
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