A brand-new season is almost here! But before you can run onto the field, chances are you need a great, new look to tie your uniform together. If you’re like many players, that means a snazzy, new decal applied to your helmet. There’s no need to hire a professional to stick a decal onto a helmet. In fact, all you need is a blank helmet, a new decal and a little patience. Then, just follow these easy steps—plus a few extra tips—and you’ll be ready to start another winning season in style.
Helmet Decal Pro Tips
Make it StickFirst off, make sure you’re using a high-quality, durable decal that’s designed to withstand rigorous, athletic impacts. Aside from choosing a reputable decal company, a well-made decal should be at least as thick as a dime. With a thinner or cheaper decal, expect the sticker to quickly rip, tear, wrinkle or fade well before the season is over. Once you have your decal and are ready to apply, make sure the helmet is completely clean and dry. There should be no dirt, grease, grime, dust, moisture, etc. Any of these materials will make the adhesive significantly less effective as decals are made to attached solely to plastic. It also never hurts to give the helmet a quick wipedown with a microfiber cloth—or soap and water with plenty of time to fully dry—before application. Also, who doesn’t like showing off a bright, shiny helmet during the big game? Just be sure to wait until after every decal has been attached before waxing your helmet or adding any other substance created to make your helmet look your best. These materials will substantially decrease the adhesive’s effectiveness.
Can I Paint My Helmet Before Applying a Decal?Sometimes, your helmet color has to change thanks to a team or uniform switch. We get that the price of sports equipment can add up, but avoid the temptation to save a few bucks by re-painting your helmet yourself. This seemingly quick, affordable fix can quickly cause more harm than good. Remember, all helmet decals are incredibly sticky and they will firmly attach to the paint. As soon as the decal is peeled off for any reason, expect a large chunk of paint to come along with it. Unless you don’t mind the old paint color showing through, this will mean a touch-up. At best, repainting your helmet causes a less-than-ideal aesthetic for several reasons. For example, unless you happen to have the old paint on hand, matching the paint exactly will be difficult. Also, even if you can match the color, you’ll likely experience uneven paint levels making the helmet look bumpy, cracked and of low-quality. At worst—and possibly most importantly—many helmet and decal companies void the warranty or guarantee of their product if it has been significantly modified by a non-professional. In most cases, any painting by the owner is considered a modification. That means if anything goes wrong with the helmet from a minor scratch to major damage, the company can legally decide to not replace, repair or be liable for any helmet-related issues. That’s why it’s best to just replace the helmet altogether or get it repainted by a professional helmet reconditioner who is licensed by the helmet’s manufacturer. These helmet experts will ensure that your helmet does more than just look incredible and stand up to the upcoming action. They will also be sure that your helmet exceeds all safety standards—and keeps that warranty fully intact.
What if the Decal Isn’t Shaped Right For My Helmet?Sometimes helmet decals don’t arrive perfectly shaped or sized for your particular helmet, but worry not. Here are a couple of common decal problems and how to best solve them. If your decal is so large that the image needs to go under the face mask, don’t fumble around trying to place or slide the decal underneath it. Not only is this method challenging—it can also lead to a crinkled or an uneven final look. Instead, take an extra few minutes and simply take off the entire mask. Then apply the sticker. We promise the exquisite, streamlined final look will make it worth the effort. If the sticker awkwardly falls over holes, cracks, edges, etc., it’s also fine to cut the decal itself with scissors or a blade so it perfectly fits the shape and size of your helmet.
Applying the DecalNow for the fun part—actually applying a new decal to your helmet. All it takes are these seven easy steps. Place the clean helmet flat on a table
- Slowly peel the decal from the backing and carefully avoid wrinkling or tearing. Avoid touching the adhesive. After all, you want it to stick to the helmet—not to yourself.
- Locate the area where you wish to place the decal
- Lightly place the center of the decal onto the correct area of the helmet
- Stop and take a look. Make sure it’s straight and positioned in the perfect spot. If it’s not, carefully pull it up and repeat until you’re happy with the location.
- Once you’ve found the perfect position on your helmet, use your thumb and palm to firmly press the edges of the decal from the center out until it’s tightly attached.
- If there are any wrinkles, carefully pull up that area and re-stick until the entire decal is completely flat against the helmet.