Painting a flip up helmet


Gravity Guru
So I got this friend who believes me so much that she handed her old helmet to me for practice panting. I knew it’s not gonna be easy for me but since I push myself to the limit all the time, I gladly promised her to get something done with it.

I’ve studied all the things I should know about painting a helmet and I think I understand all the basics like washing, sanding, priming, painting clear coat with good 2k. But the thing is, this helmet isn’t really the easiest type to start with. :D It’s a flip up helmet and there’s just so many little parts and Im not sure which ones I should take off and which not and how should i paint them, every part separately? :D Oh jeez..

So what I would like to ask is: where should I start? And I’m curious how does paint and clear coat effect to air vents? I attach pics so you can see theres this black air vent part on top and in front.

I appreciate any help since I really hope I somehow manage to pull this off.


i would say the air vents you would want to either take off or mask off,unless you plan to paint them aswell, in which case see if you can cover the rear of the vents (inside helmet) then scuff them up and paint as you would the rest of the helmet???/

i havnt worked on helmets myself but plenty of folk on here have and im sure one of them would be along soon to give you some better advice...
I've never painted a flip up before so can't be much help, but def mask out the vents. Also as the flip part slides over the black ridges, I assume that area needs to be pretty tough, and not knowing how confident you are with clearing, or what clear you are planning to use, it might be easier to mask out and keep the black parts, and just paint the red areas. Sorry, not much help.
I just took one apart to paint, and wish I hadn't!!!
There are a couple of parts, which when putting it back together need to be on the correct side and a certain way round.
Definately mask off any vents, and if it has an internal sun visor i'd mask off the slider mechanism for that as well.
The only other problems I can see is the helmet parts are going to rub when it's flipped open, which may cause scratches in your clear coat.
As it's for your friend she may be prepared to keep it closed! in which case i'd paint it without taking it apart..
It might be worth doing a search on you tube, someone may have a step by step video on how they tackled their's.
Best of luck
Thanks to all of you for your advice already, you say it's not much but it still helps me think the best solution. :)

I was thinking painting also those vents, since there is some scratches on them. Im gonna paint the helmet all black and then flames on it so even if i dont paint them it doesnt really matter since they are black already. Im just thinking what's best for overall look..
I just took one apart to paint, and wish I hadn't!!!

Agreed... Some helmet vent covers come off very easy and some break off very easy because they aren't designed to come off once the factory puts them on! If you're in doubt don't mess with it. I generally don't mask off vent open/close switches or the openings themselves (do mask off the inside of the helmet well though). Provided you're not hammering on heavy coats of color and clear, they will still work fine.

A tip for masking the interior of a helmet although this may not work well for the flip up design of this one. Rather than attempting to mask off the interior with tape and/or paper, I prefer to set the helmet on an empty gallon reducer container. Push the container up into the helmet and mask the lower trim directly to the container. Them mask over the visor opening and you're good to go. This provides a stable platform to work from that can be rotated without touching your painted surface.
T-ball helmet.jpg
I don't currently have a helmet in the shop, but here's a t-ball helmet set up the same way to give a better idea of what I mean.
Thanks! I think i just leave those vents on and paint it like that. And im gonna try that masking tip of yours, see it if i get it work. I feel already more confident. Luckily it is her old helmet and she knows im practicing.