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  • Leather helmet question...

    I recently burned the paint up on my N5A badly enough to need repainting. The previous paint jobs (white, nine months ago... black over the original yellow a year before) are proving difficult to remove. Is there some way to strip them without harmng the leather? Also, is there any kind of "reconditioning" the leather needs before I slap the new paint on? I've repainted leathers before, but never done a complete strip-down... and any tips would be appreciated!

    I'm hating my salad-bowl Metro right now...
    Hey, it's MY opinion, not that of my department or peers.

  • #2
    There are a number of good products on the market for stripping paint off leather. I recently did my leather and used a gel stripper from ZIP-STRIP. Allow the stripper to work awhile and it will take off all the paint without harming the leather. Once you have all the stripper off, neutralize it with a wash of white vinegar. I used KRYLON black barbecue paint and it works great! Those of you painting your helmets white can use the high heat propane tank white.
    stay safe----
    "Never trust a smiling dog"
    Delaware F.O.O.L. FTM-PTB-EGH

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    • #3
      Hey Lumpy call AFE and see if they can help you. I could have sworn that a friend of mine sent his there or somewhere else to have it redone.
      You could always use a sand blaster
      take care
      Matt

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      • #4
        Lumpy.....

        Call Manassas City Fire Department. There is a guy that works there now or is a volunteer there named Kevin....(???not sure of last name???)...He worked for me at Vint Hill and stripped mine and reparited it. Did a great job. But...call Cairns....They will tell you. I do know that they once told me that they painted the helmets with Sherwin Williams exterior enamel gloss paint and when it dried it was no longer flammable. Also heard that they bake it in an oven at a medium level temp to help cure the paint.

        At any rated...This guy Kevin did my helmet for me and it looks great.

        STan
        09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
        ------------------------------
        IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
        "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
        BMI Investigator
        ------------------------------
        The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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        • #5
          I've also used that gel stripper with good results. Just be sure to put a thick coat of it on and give it time to work. If you've already got a couple of coats of paint on the helmet it may take a couple of applications, but it works well and does not damage the leather.

          For repainting, I found shooting a coat of primer first, letting it dry, then the gloss coat holds up best over the long haul. Never saw a big difference in the brand of paint as long as it's one of the name brands - Krylon, Rustoleum, etc.

          Whatever Cairns does to paint their leather helmets, they need to reconsider. I've never found the factory paint job on a leather to hold up well at all, it usually flakes off the first time it sees any fire.

          My sympathy on having to wear a salad bowl
          ...hang in there and get that leather back in service soon.

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