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Author Topic: How to paint rubber?  (Read 26239 times)
draxthedestroyer
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« on: August 19, 2010, 06:22:22 pm »

i have a few rubber pieces that i want to paint. i have tried a few techniques almost all have failed. i have tried spray paint, plastic bonding spray paint, brush paint and rub and buff. all failed. i was wondering if there is any semi cheap ways to go about painting the pieces i have.
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Narsil
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« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2010, 06:28:25 pm »


I believe that rubber cement or liquid latex thinned with a suitable solvent with pigment added is the usual thing for painting rubber.
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Dave the Troll
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« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2010, 06:42:20 pm »

A technique used when painting latex weaponry (i.e. painting latex onto Platezote) is to paint a thin coat of Evostick on before you paint.  Then paint with latex with added acrylic paint for pigment.
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The Dark Power
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« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2010, 06:47:26 pm »

For painting silicon rubber you have a to use more silicon since that's the only thing that will stick to it.  I use a combination of silicon bathroom sealant, oil paints and white spirit to do that.

You may find that the bathroom sealant will adhere to whatever type of rubber you're using so that might be worth a go. 
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twilightbanana
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« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2010, 06:17:25 am »

Another technique used for latex weaponry is drybrushing with acrylic paints, or in some cases just painting straight on. Acrylics stay somewhat flexible after drying.

What is the item in question, and how is it going to be used? A solid block of rubber would be a lot easier than rubber hose that still needs to bend and kink, for instance. Different types of rubber behave differently (natural, synthetic, sillicone, PVC with lots of softeners?). Also, the colour you want to achieve will affect which technique can be used effectively (metallic colours can be challenging).
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draxthedestroyer
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« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2010, 02:47:38 pm »

I am trying to paint two rubber items. One is a painting mask. And the other is a pair of rubber lab goggles.
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Aleister Crow
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« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2010, 03:52:20 pm »

Are you certain that they're rubber and not vinyl?

In the case of vinyl, then vinyl dye (most automotive stores carry it) would work perfectly. It may work on actual rubber, but I'm not sure.
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« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2010, 03:59:38 pm »

I'd love to paint an old gasmask, but I'm pretty sure everything you put on there will just crack and chip off. Sad
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Mr. Boltneck
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« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2010, 06:21:24 pm »

That's a tough one. Most elastomers are a bastard to paint, simply because the paint film fails to flex and stretch with the substrate. Then there is the more general problem that the molecular bonds in many plastics tend to preclude the formation of bonds with anything else, like paint, after curing has set in, complicated by any surface treatments which may have been done either for molding release or for protection from the environment. Lab and safety equipment can be problematic in this way, as it tends to be made as non-reactive as possible.
I have had some luck painting vinyl by using (this will not astonish, I know) vinyl paint. Back in the 1980's, I airbrushed some inflatable 6'-tall Godzillas with the stuff, and it held up rather well. Clean the surface first to remove mold-release residue and any skin oils.
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