General Need advice with painting my helmet

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James May

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I take part in the BUKC and want to create a personalised helmet design. I have a HJC I70 (yes, I know it's a motorcycle helmet but for this level of karting it's good enough), which has a polycarbonate shell. Eager to get the paint job done as soon as possible, I ordered a can of universal primer and spray paint and in the meantime I masked up the helmet. Only when it arrived and I read the label did I realise that both the primer and paint contains acetone, which is highly corrosive to polycarbonate.

However, I later stumbled across this video. The guy uses the exact same Montana branded spray paint that I bought. The only difference is that he sprayed a plastic primer before using the universal primer. Is this enough to avoid damaging a polycarbonate helmet? I'm not sure what helmet he used, but polycarbonate, ABS and fibreglass are the most common plastics for helmets, all of which can be dissolved by acetone.

Also, my helmet has come painted from the shop, but obviously I'll have to sand that back to allow the primer to stick. Maybe the remaining thinner layer will protect the shell, but I don't want to gamble. Do I buy a plastic primer just in case? Also, how much acetone is typically contained in spray paints and how much damage can they cause? I'm not painting a large area, just a stripe about the width and length similar to the flag on Seb Vettel's Ferrari helmet.
 
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SBKDisco

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Best to check with the manufacturer. Generally fibreglass helmets can be painted without any problems, as can some others. However, if you paint a helmet that is unsuitable for doing so, the paint will to all intents and purposes melt the shell, rendering it useless.
 
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Adam

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I have no clue on the helmet issue in all honesty, never had experience in that field.

However, just wanted to say welcome to you both and thanks for getting involved! 👍 :D
 
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