Repairing scratches on helmet?



I will be starting to work on a helmet soon but need to repair some scratches before I do... anyone got some advice on how to go about this.

If the helm is clearcoated and it are just light scratches you can probably sand it down till they are gone. Else you'll have to use putty to fill the scratches and sand the helmet till it's smooth again. I normaly use "steel putty" (no clue if its an English word its a straighforward translation from Dutch) but only have used it on very minor repair work. If something is realy damaged they can have it repaired somewhere else I only paint :p (and doing good repair work is an artform by itself)

If the scratches are realy bad apply a thin layer of putty at the time and make sure it's dry before applying the next layer (although if this is the case I'd wonder if it would be worth it).
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Most of the scratches are very light and a little sanding will do the job... there is about half dozen that are like... I'm not sure how to explain it but its like they are bite marks... or if the helmet was pressed into small little stones and left bite marks in a few places... they are not bad but still couldn't paint it the way they are... I will try using some putty... I'll ask in local hardware store to see whats the best material for plastic...

The helmet belongs to me... I have no bike... so it is going to be a portfolio piece:)

Cheers hd!!

Regular automotive grade body filler will work fine. If fairly shallow get a light weight one or a high quality glazing compound.

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Sand it with 200 and fill the deeper scratches with a body filler like rage gold. Primer it and wet sand with 600 and you ready to go.

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Thanks all for you help on this one!

I'm prolly gonna find it hard to get Rage Gold here in Ireland... I,m sure I'll get something close...

Off topic... the guitar I was doing with eddie on it turned out a disaster... some of the paint lifted when i was cleaning it and I couldn't get it to sand correctly... I've gone and sanded the whole thing and gonna start all over again... must of been something I did incorrectly at the prep stage:(... very dissapointed to say the least... I will prolly leave it for a couple of weeks now.
the guitar I was doing with eddie on it turned out a disaster... some of the paint lifted when i was cleaning it and I couldn't get it to sand correctly... I've gone and sanded the whole thing and gonna start all over again... must of been something I did incorrectly at the prep stage:(

A little trick to prevent stuff like that happening (especialy if you plan on using masking tape. After the prep work spray some paint on a small part of the object (preferably some hard to reach place where it might not have sanded enough) and put some masking tape on it. I normaly leave it on there for an hour or so and than pull it off. If the paint stay's on you can be reasonably sure you can work on it.

This has saved me more than once (especialy when people came with stuff that was already ready to paint, prepped by themselves or friends etc).
Hey Poly, just a hint, instead of looking in a hardware store for the filler - go to a panel/ body shop and ask them the product they use for filling fine scratches, if you get a filling compound fine enough and your technique is good you can get away without needing primer - but as suggested a filler primer would be best. You should be able to find a filler primer and your body filler in an automotive store. Otherwise ask the body shop where they get theirs. :D
Thanks for the heads up hd... I'll be sure to be doing plenty o testing this time around... I was very disappointed. ?. Specially since I was near the end of the job... and getting ready to do the back... I'm not sure if I should sand it down with 600 wet/dry after primer or not... I don't think I did this time... but I did clean it first.. after I primed it that is.
Cheers AT!.. there is a motor store close by... so I.ll drop into them in a few days.

Sanding primer helps with adhesion and with a smooth finish. I sand it to look for imperfections, but also for adhesion. Most primers state to sand after a time frame. Some paint systems are compatible to paint directly over primer with no sanding/scuffing, but they have a window of time. That's mostly reserved for industrial paints like John deere paint.

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A word of warning about helmets. (And I just know this is going to be unpopular)
You need to be very carful what you do with helmets. if you fill scratches there is a danger of pulling the filler out with the masking and if you cut the masking while it's on the helmet the possibility if cracking the filler and having that bit fall out.
If you agree to paint a helmet and you affect the strenth of the helmet (by sanding or any other form of modification) in any way you are liable to prosicution (worst case scenario) if in the event of an accident the wearer suffers head damage! :hororr:
Basically there is a morality thing here, and consider how you would feel if someone wearing a helmet you had painted were to die because you tinkered with structure of the helmet.
My advice would be to go to a profesional helmet painter and do training course.
Just my two penoth worth.
Interesting point. If the scratches are severe enough, the integrity of the helmet has already been compromised. The shell of a helmet isn't all that thick, it's job is to hold all the safe stuff, a deep scratch or crack affects it's ability to do that...
Poly's helmet is just for display purposes I think, but it's a good point. If you drop a helmet, whether it looks damaged or not, you are supposed to replace it according to manufacturors, but does everyone? I painted a lid for a friend and it looked like it had had a hard life, he said he was only going to display it. But then I saw him riding around in it. I explained how I would feel if he had an accident and it failed, and even though it was probably already damaged before I got hold of it, I would always wonder. He looked sheepish, but I have seen him wear it again. Now, for the sake of my conscious, if it's not for my own display purposes, I will only paint brand new out of the box lids.
NEMOPa... that is very true... but these are just scratches that can be sorted with a bit of sanding... but there is slight bite marks here and there too that need a little filling.... should be ok... I hope

I'll post a piccy up to show you guys...
Here's the pic...


I would feel the same as you do squishy... but I thinks some people are gonna do what they want no matter what is said to them... but this one will be for show
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Looks to me like the helmet has had a hard life and looks like it is well past it's sell by date to me.
If you were to sand those blemishes out there would be no helmet left .......
I'm a Biker and I personally wouldn't touch this one with a bargepole, I've scrapped helmets that have looked almost new compared with this example mate.
Is the owner intending to use it on the road?
the helmet seems to be in good sound order other than what you see in the photo...
Oddball... I agree with you too... but this is my helmet and it will not be sold... just for show... and for practicing on helmets

Thanks to evey one for the tips and advice... I will post the finished job as sonn as I have it done... I've a lot of projects going at the same time... airbrushing, painting, sculpting and what not