Can You Paint A Bike Helmet?

Are you looking to spice up the look of your bike helmet without buying a new helmet? Painting your existing helmet may sound like an excellent idea for achieving this goal, and get in with your creative side by exploring or coming up with beautiful designs. However, you are likely pondering, can you paint a bike helmet?

You can paint your bike helmet, but you’ll need the correct products to achieve the desired results. You must make sure the helmet’s shell and the paint used are compatible because incompatibilities can weaken the shell material causing damages and compromising your safety during bike accidents.

This article will help you find the best paint, learn how to paint your helmet without damaging it, and answer other questions you may have.

can you paint a bike helmet

What Kind Of Paint Do You Use On A Helmet?

Water-based acrylic paints are your best option when painting all types of bike helmets because these types of paint are safer for your helmet. This is because water-based paints don’t use solvents that tend to damage helmet shells.

However, before applying any paint on your helmet, take time to find out from your bike manufacturer the kind of paint that will safely work on your helmet.

Check the labels and tags that came with the helmet when you bought it for information on the types of paints to avoid.

If the labels and tags do not offer any helpful information, contact the customer for recommendations on the ideal paint to use.

Avoid painting a helmet with exterior damages because the solvent in the paint can penetrate the outer shell, causing cracks.

If you choose a water-based acrylic, ensure you apply multiple layers to get a durable paint job. This is necessary because water-based paints tend to peel easily, unlike solvent paints which create a covering that will stick for a long time.

An excellent water-based acrylic paint to use on your bike helmet is Apple Barrel PROMOABI 18pc Matte Finish Acrylic Craft Paint Set.

This American-made quality paint comprises bright, fun colors, convenient size, and offers smooth application, easy cleanup, and a matte finish.

Is It OK To Spray Paint A Bike Helmet?

Since the paint and brush method takes more time and can be more tasking, you may contemplate using spray paint to decorate your bike helmet, but is it okay to do so? Spray painting your bike is acceptable but remember that spray paints also have solvents that ruin your helmet’s shell.

Ensure the paint and helmet are compatible. In addition, over-spraying the helmet can make the excess paint sip into the shell and foam, leading to damages over time.

You can protect your helmet from the effects of over-spraying by applying only the appropriate amount of paint and covering the interior using items like old newspapers before painting. You can also stuff the helmet opening or holes with paper.

Make sure you spray a clear coat to prevent it from flaking off easily. Additionally, consider applying a thin layer of base coat (primer) to ensure the paint sticks on the helmet for a long time.

How to paint a bike helmet

How Do You Paint A Helmet?

Paint your bike helmet successfully by sanding the helmet, washing with water and detergent, covering the arts you do to paint using masking tape, sketching the design, painting, then leave it to dry.

However, before doing any of that, check the laws in your area to ascertain the legality of helmet painting if your bicycle has a motor. This is because helmet painting may go against road safety laws.

Keep in mind that different police officers interpret these laws differently. Once that’s sorted out, make sure you have the correct paint.

Here’s what to do to paint your helmet:

1. Sand The Bike

A strong foundation is a key to long-lasting paint, and that’s what sanding offers. Therefore, sand your helmet before painting it, making sure the sanding block/ sandpaper gets to all areas, including all corners, edges, and venting.

Watch out for the already painted surfaces because you may get to the outer fiberglass or plastic shell when sanding these surfaces. Doing so will weaken the outer shell making it ineffective in protecting the inner layer from scrapes and bumps.

You could consider getting a new helmet to paint. If you choose this option, ensure you purchase a black matte or plain white helmet to avoid the need to remove any pre-existing gloss finish or painted design.

An excellent bike helmet you can paint is OutdoorMaster Skateboard Cycling Helmet (View on Amazon). This durable, multi-sport helmet has a matte finish, an additional removable lining, and double adjustment.

2. Clean The Helmet

You must wash your bike helmet using clean water and detergent to remove dirt and grease if you want the paint to stick on the helmet’s surface.

Put warm water in a container, mix it with household detergent, put it in a clean rag or cloth, and use it to clean the helmet’s outer surface. Once it’s clean, dry it with a clean fabric free of lint and leave it to dry completely for about an hour.

3. Remove Or Remove The Parts You Won’t Paint

If your helmet has removable fittings, remove them, then cover the other parts you will not paint, such as inner vents and the shell with masking tape. Ensure the only exposed area is where you’ll paint.

Protect the helmet’s inner parts with plastic or paper and masking tape. Try to avoid removing essential elements because doing so may weaken your helmet when painting it.

4. Sketch The Design

Make your design using tape, stickers, or stencils, taking your time to ensure you realize your vision. Black thin lines will enhance the design’s visibility from afar.

5. Paint

By now, everything is ready to start painting. You can decide to paint your bike helmet with a brush or spray paint it to decorate it.

Apply the base layer first, then add highlights, shadowing, and other finishing touches. Ensure every layer dries before applying the next to allow every layer to bond with the helmet’s surface.

Changing the color of my bike helmet

If you spray paint it, use an airbrush rather than an aerosol can because an airbrush lets you paint the helmet more evenly. Do not paint any safety stickers, and remove the masking tapes you used to create the design after the paint dries fully.

6. Apply Clear Coat

Use about 3 to 4 clear coats to safeguard the paint. Shake the clear coat for approximately 1 to 2 minutes to let the clear coat and solvent mix properly before applying it to your bike helmet.

Lightly coat the helmet, moving the can from side to side until you cover the whole surface. Allow the coat to dry for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, then repeat the application 2 to 3 times.

Spray paint or brush paint a bike helmet

The clear coat you use should be suitable for plastic. An excellent example of a clear coat that will deliver exceptional results is Krylon K01303007 Acrylic Spray Paint Crystal Clear. It’s smudge-proof, moisture-resistant, and ideal for use on plastic, paper Mache, glass, metal, dried silk flowers, ceramic, plaster, metal, and wood.

How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Helmet?

Depending on the painter’s expertise, the complexity of the design, the materials used, and the duration it will take to complete the job, painting a helmet can cost you up to more than $100.

If you choose to paint your helmet yourself, you will only account for the materials needed for the job. These include the paint, sanding block or sandpaper, and clear coat.

You may also decide to buy gloves, masks, primer, guide coat, and spray guns.

However, if you go with a professional, the overall cost will account for the amount of work done on your bike helmet. It will likely cost you more to do a complex design on your bike than a simpler one.


1. Is It OK To Paint Bike Helmets?

It is okay to paint bike helmets. However, it is essential to use the correct paint that is compatible with the helmet’s shell.

You can make sure the paint will be effective and safe for your helmet by finding out the bike helmet’s model number and brand and consulting the manufacturer for guidance on the paint to use.

Additionally, check the paint to ensure all the solvents found in the paint will not be harmful to your helmet.

2. Can I Paint A Mountain Bike Helmet?

You can paint the helmet of a mountain helmet to make it more stylish and better reflect your personality. Make sure you use the right kind of paint to safeguard your helmet’s integrity and so that the helmet’s new look is appealing.

3. Does Painting A Helmet Weaken It?

Painting your bike helmet with the wrong paint can damage it. The solvents in the paint will erode the polycarbonate found in the helmet’s shell, leading to small cracks on the helmet over time, therefore, weakening the helmet.

4. Is Painting Your Helmet Legal?

Painting your bicycle helmet doesn’t break any laws provide your bike doesn’t have a motor. If your bicycle is motorized, check the local laws to ensure you are not breaking any road safety rules by painting your bike helmet.

5. Can You Spray Paint A Cycle Helmet?

Spray painting is an excellent way to achieve a smooth expert-like finish on your bicycle helmet. It also helps you paint your helmet quickly, and since helmets are small, you can paint yours entirely with a single can of spray paint.

In Conclusion, Can You Paint A Bike Helmet?

Put on your creativity hat and transform your bicycle helmet into a safety accessory that will reflect your style and personality.  You don’t have to use a plain dull helmet if you do not have to.

However, do not compromise your helmet’s functionality for visual appeal, so exercise caution. Ultimately, you can be safe and be stylish if you find compatible paint and apply it 111on your helmet correctly.

Also read: How often Should You Replace Your Bike Helmet?