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You may want to revitalize the colors in your helmet. Or you want to give it a new design instead of buying a new one. Regardless of the reasons, painting your helmet is doable. Here is a list of five steps on how to paint your snowmobile helmet.
To paint your snowmobile helmet, follow these steps:
- Clean the helmet.
- Protect the areas you don’t want to paint.
- Outline your design.
- Apply a protective layer.
Painting your snowmobile helmet is an easy task. If you are interested in crafting, this could be your next DIY project. However, there are a few things you need to know about helmets before you start this process.
Your snowmobile helmet is an essential piece of equipment. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are using a sled; you need a helmet. Since this is a pretty traditional piece of equipment, you might want yours to stand out.
Some helmet options in the market include:
- Dual helmets
- Full face helmet
Its primary role is to guard your head if you ever fall off the snowmobile. Riding a snowmobile is similar to riding a motorcycle. All of your body is exposed, and if you have an accident, a head injury could happen. A helmet can help you to avoid any severe damages caused by rocks, ice, or logs that could be hidden in the snow.
Additionally, most helmets come with insulation layers. Keeping your head warm is vital, especially if you are going for a long ride. Low temperatures have been related to severe headaches.
Finally, a snowmobile helmet can protect your face and vision. If you choose a snocross helmet, you’ll need to get a pair of goggles to cover your eyes.
Now that you know the function of a helmet, let’s go over its parts.
- Faceshield. You can remove it manually if you have a modular helmet. Look for a locking system on the sides of your helmet.
- Sunvisor. It is an internal piece you can find in modular helmets. To remove it, you will pull it downwards until you can grab it with your hand and pull it outwards.
- Faceshield mechanism. You might need a screwdriver to remove this piece.
- Protective collar. You can remove it using your hands. Pull it until the plastic snaps out of the neckline.
- Breath deflector. It is a mask-like element that keeps your breath out of the helmet to prevent fogging. Note that not all helmets come with this component.
- Outer shell. It is the most outer part of the helmet. It is the section you will be painting.
- Chinstrap. It is a small strap you fasten to prevent the helmet from falling off your head.
- Headliner. It is the most internal part of the helmet. It is in direct contact with your head.
We have around four materials used to build helmets.
- Carbon Fiber
Carbon fiber is primarily black. To add color to this material, you would have to sand the surface. However, it is not recommended to sand your helmet because this process weakens it.
Just as with carbon fiber, you can only paint fiberglass after you sand it.
- Polycarbonate Composite
Most modern helmets are made using this material. You can paint polycarbonate composite without sanding it.
- Forged composite
It is the newest generation of carbon fiber. To create this material, you need to weld carbon fiber pieces together. You can paint on forged composite.
Before you start applying paint to your helmet, there are a few preparation steps you should follow.
- Remove the face shield and any other part you don’t want to paint.
- If you can’t remove these parts, cover them with masking tape. However, it would be best to remove them because the paint could get through the strips if you don’t cover every single part.
- Make sure the material can be painted without the need for sanding.
- Wipe off dust and any grease residue in your helmet. Make sure you clean it thoroughly to avoid imperfections in your final result.
- You could use rubbing alcohol or soapy water to clean it.
- If you are painting a polycarbonate composite, you will need to prime your surface.
- Inspect your snowmobile helmet for any cracks or dents. If you find any, do not paint it. Instead, consider replacing the helmet.
After you have prepared your helmet, it is time to start painting.
- First, you have to outline the design you want.
- Once you have your design, start painting.
- You could choose water-based acrylic paint or spray paint.
- Allow the paint to dry.
- Apply a protective coat
- You can use polyurethane, polyacrylic, or urethane protective finish.
The reasons vary from one person to another. Some people paint their helmets because they want them to stand out from the rest. If this is your case, you have other options available such as switching to a newer helmet.
Other people claim they want to paint their helmets to make them more visible to other riders. Worry no more; helmet manufacturers have thought about it. Sometimes your visibility is compromised by heavy snow. There are new helmets that come with integrated LED lights you can see from long distances.
Does painting a helmet weaken it?
Yes, it can happen. It may depend on the kind of paint you use and the material of your helmet.
What kind of paint do you use on a helmet?
Use water-based paint. It is less abrasive and won’t weaken the outer shell of your helmet.
Can you vinyl wrap a helmet?
Yes, you can. It is an excellent option if you want to change the style of your helmet. Another pro about vinyl wrap is that you can remove it and have your helmet back to how it initially looked when you first bought it.
You could use the vinyl wrap as a protective layer to avoid cosmetic wear.
Can I put stickers on my helmet?
Yes, you can. Make sure you get an adhesive that is suitable for the material of your helmet’s outer shell. Here’s a small table of glues you can use on each material
|Carbon Fiber||EpoxyCyanoacrylate adhesive. Commercially known as SuperGlue|
|Fiberglass||SuperGluePolyurethane adhesivesAcrylic adhesives|
|Polycarbonate Composite||SuperGlueEpoxyPolyurethane adhesives|
Do stickers weaken helmets?
Yes, they do. It depends on the adhesive chemical used to apply the sticker. The glue you use will interact with the outer shell of your helmet. If the compound you use is too potent for the material, it will erode the helmet.
How do you Plasti Dip a helmet?
To plasti dip your helmet, you will follow the prep steps in our “how to prepare a snowmobile helmet for painting” section. After your helmet is clean, you will start spraying a thin layer of plasti dip. Let it sit for a couple of minutes, and then repeat the process twice again. Once you have applied three layers of product, let it sit for 24 hours until it is dry.
Painting your snowmobile helmet is an easy task. You can have a newly painted helmet in five simple steps. It would be best if you only used spray paint or water-based acrylic paint to do it. If you use another type of paint, it may corrode the outer shell.
Safety is always first; make sure you follow these instructions before you paint your helmet.
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