How to Paint a Bump Helmet

Painting Your Bump Hemet

I recently acquired a helmet from Pro-Tech Helmets, an American company producing a good quality product for the budget minded adventurer.

For the uninitiated, a bump helmet is simply a non-ballistic helmet used to protect the wearer from bumps, scrapes and hits to the head.  They are great for rappelling, search and rescue, and any activity requiring simple protection for the head.

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My helmet came molded in olive drab, so I knew right away I wanted to customize it for me. I took the chin strap off and all the hardware including the velcro pads.  In hindsight I would have left the velcro on and masked over them. 

List of paints:  Tan, Khaki, Light Green, OD Green, Brown, Black.  I used Dupli-Color Krylon Paint.  It works on plastic and is true to color on the cap.  

Step 1-  Wash your stripped helmet with soap and water.  

Step 2-  Choose a good primer for plastics.  Follow the directions on the spray can and spray the primer on the helmet.  Put at least two good coats on and let it dry. 

Step 3-  Spray your base paint first.  This will be the lightest color first.  Paint the entire surface the tan or khaki.

Step 4-  I used a sniper veil for my pattern.  You can find them at surplus/ military stores under $15.   

I liked it because of the weave pattern it gave.  Put the veil over the helmet, making sure it is tight against the helmet.  Spray your next color on top of the veil.  This is where you can be creative in your work.  You can paint the whole helmet this next color or use stripes/ passes to give it a specialized look.  Let this part dry then move to your next color.  At this point use swipes of color to breakup your pattern.  By this I mean spray one direction with the light green, and follow up with a different direction with OD Green.  The idea is to blend your colors so you have a mixture of color overlapping with the 3D look of the weave pattern.  

Step 5-  Here is the fun part.  Once the helmet is dry and you like the look of it now you can add the camo patterns.  I used stencils that I drew out but you can use a cardboard box and cut out the patterns you want.  Use examples online to make it look right.  You don't want clutter, you want camo!  

Simply hold the pattern over the spot and paint!  Start adding in different color pattern/camo combinations till you like what you see.  Use examples of other work and match your environment to where you will be working.  You can even add a custom design via stencil.  See if you can spot the "Dagger and Eight" our Search and Rescue logo in one of the pictures.

Step 6 - I put the veil back on and painted a few swipes to blend in some of my rough areas.  Again, get creative and customize your helmet any way you want!


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Have fun and enjoy!

B Stewart