How to paint a motorcycle windshield

Updated April 17, 2017

The compact nature of motorcycles makes personalising them a slightly difficult task. The vehicle's windshield presents an ideal location for adding your own personal touch. Motorcycle windshields are made out of either polycarbonate or acrylic and can be easily be painted on. Polycarbonate is an extremely strong plastic that's almost as transparent as glass. Impact modified acrylic is DOT approved for use as a windshield and has the advantage of being more transparent than glass. Painting these surfaces is easily done with products found at any craft store.

Plan the design you want to paint on your windshield. If you're going to be creating a design, it's important to make sure that the design you want doesn't obscure your vision. Make a template of your windshield on a sjeet of paper so that you can get the full effect of the design and make the painting process easier.

Outline your finalised design with a permanent marker. Make sure every line and detail has been drawn over so that everything stands out clearly. Cut away the excess paper, leaving only the design template behind.

Clean your windshield. Before you begin the painting process, it's important to remove all dirt and particles from your windshield to create an ideal painting surface. If you're using any chemicals, wipe them away completely using a damp cloth so that the chemicals don't affect the paint.

Tape your template to the front of the windshield in its proper position. Windshield painting is best done on the inside surface so that it won't become chipped or damaged prematurely by road debris or insects. Check a final time to be sure that your vision isn't obstructed before continuing.

Paint one colour at a time, using acrylic enamel paint. Since the image will be viewed from the front, start with the smaller details and gradually work your way to the background colours. Use fine brushes for detailed sections and wide flathead brushes to fill in blocks of colour. To avoid smudging, let each colour dry completely before adding another colour.


Paints other than acrylic enamel ones can be used on polycarbonate or acrylic windshields. Motorcyclists planning to do very detailed work on their windshield could try using pinstriping paints and brushes to create extremely fine lines. Be careful when cleaning your windshield after you've applied the paint. A few careless swipes with a soapy cloth could mean having to touch up your work.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Permanent marker
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Windshield cleaner
  • Cloth rags
  • Acrylic enamel paint
  • Paintbrushes
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About the Author

Joanne Robitaille's first journalistic experience was in 1994, when she did school reports for a local newspaper, "Shoreline." Her articles now appear on various websites. Robitaille has a Bachelor of Arts in English and creative writing from the University of Windsor.