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Mexican Hard Shell Taco
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5,894 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So my helmet was showing some wear marks after two years of using it daily...


It all started when I decided to wash the liner, then I thought, why not paint the freaking thing???

Wow, that sounded great on my mind, paint it, get rid of all the scratches (it had scratches all over it), and make it look like new...


I had never tried to paint something like this before.


Stupid me thought that an old rattle can of black paint that I had would do the trick...

Stupid enamel just messed up the helmet. So I wen't running at 2am to a Wally's that is open 24 hours and bought some laquer and clearcoat...

Everything was going fine until the fourth hand of colour, sprayed to heavily and the paint ran. I decided to ignore it and proceeded to clearcoat it.

Well, it didn't looked THAT bad. Until it dried up more, and then the stupid enamel under the laquer bit my a$$. Paint was uneven, not orange peel, and the enamel did something to the laquer, so it looked like if the helmet had bad acne scars in some parts...

Then I noticed some parts were still silver under direct light...

Then noticed the terrible finish it was taking as it dried up...


SO, I'm helmet less, next weekend is a trackday (first in Mexico), and I'm without a helmet. Not to mention that I'm without transport for the week (as I only use my bike for transport, no helmet = no bike), and the worse part...

I'm broke as a joke. No way in hell I can afford a new helmet, even less, on time for the track day...


So I'm going to wake up in 4 hours, run to home depot or whatever, buy a better quality paint and try to fix it. I need some advise to try to make it look as good as possible.

I'm thinking that I should start with a GOOD sanding, all the way to the original paint and remove all the enamel and laquer (that will be a PITA).

Then try laquer followed by clearcoat.

How much time should I leave every coat of paint to dry before applying the next coat?

How many hands of paint, 6?

Man, I really screwed up this time...
 

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PREFACE: Sorry man, i think that sounds like a bad idea all the way around. Solvents can do some funky things when used the wrong way (as you have found out lacquer on top of enamel never works).

If you try to sand it all off, you have to be careful not to go too deep because the lacquer will cause the EPS to dissolve if there is direct exposure. Which is a really bad thing. I know most helmet manufacturers state that their helmets should never be repainted because the solvents can damage materials of which the helmet is made.

HOW TO: Now, if you do get it all sanded down and want to paint it there is the right way and the quick way. Here is the quick way: simply lay down the lacquer primer (make sure it's not enamel primer) and sand it. Then tack off the dust and lay down your basecoat. Let it dry and then apply another coat. Since this is just a temporary fix, just add a couple of coats until it looks like it is covered. A good quality paint should allow you to use a few thin coats. Then let it sit for a couple of days. Go slow and use light, even coats. Good finishing can take days if you want to do it right.

EPILOGUE: My advice would be to borrow someone elses helmet that fits and forget about using this one at the track (or at all).
 

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SBN Rookie ;-)
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686 Posts
Try on ebay dude. I scoped the shops trying them on, then got the helmet i wanted brand new on ebay for about 30% of retail.

LOL it sucks doing shit like that hey? You get yourself into it, then you realise you've fudged yourself, then in your hurried attempts to fix your mistake you've screwed-pooch beyond repair! FAAAAAAAARK!

Other than that, i wouldnt worry about how it looks as much as whether it is still hard enough to protect your noggin. From what the manufacturers say, it might not be.
 

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newenough.com
cant hurt to check them out, maybe pay a little extra for express shipping(i know you said youre hurting for cash) but you are talking about a very important piece of gear... track day or otherwise. hope it works out well for ya bro, and have a blast at the track!
 

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From back in da' day
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2,777 Posts
Go back to "Wallys" and get a helmet, they sell Bell brand hel;mets that are DOT/SNELL for like $85. It aint a Shoei but itll get you through a track day without looking like a tool.
 

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Do they have Walmart in Mexico? :)

How to salvage a helmet paint job. hmmmm.

There are safety issues here. The helmet is made of thin plastic. Regular paint will eat the plastic. Lacquer will dissolve the plastic. That helmet now might be too brittle and may not be suitable to offer any protection for use.

I suggest just get a cheap helmet. May not look as good, but at least you know it's not compromised.

[edit] Next time you tackle a paint job on plastic, try Krylon paint for plastic.
 

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Mexican Hard Shell Taco
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5,894 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I knew about paint eating the helmet. The fact is that this helmet was painted at the factory, so I was carefull enough just to sand the original paint, to get it dull enough for the new paint to stick, didn't went as far to get past the original paint, most of it is still there (but looks like ass, all dull).


No, Wally's doesn't sell helmets in here. Cheapest DOT approved ones are around $100. But my stupid big head won't fit in an XL Nolan ($180), and it is extremely hard to find a larger helmet than that.
 

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Head Rooster
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3,438 Posts
Here's whatcha do. Don't tell any-fucking-body you painted it and wear it as is. They'll all think you're a badass rider cause of how scuffed and shitty looking your gear is.
 

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Mexican Hard Shell Taco
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5,894 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Well, I'm still trying to get the helmet fixed. Now I'm trying with rustoleum "hammered finish" paint. Its turning out OK, and it hides the chips and scratches on the original paint.

In the meantime, my GF lent me money so I was able to buy a new helmet.

Here are some pics.
 

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Head Rooster
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3,438 Posts
Pics of old lid NOW!
 

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Mexican Hard Shell Taco
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5,894 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
I NEVER painted the EPS (the styrofoam), just the outer carcass on the helmet.

Finished paining it yesterday with Rustoleum Metallic Hammered finish. It doesn't look GREAT, but it looks OK. As it will be my daily helmet I don't care a lot. I use it daily and carry it everywhere, so it will get bumps all over and several scratches.

Will post pictures of it as soon as it is assembled.
 
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