Acrylic paint on plastic


Since acrylic paint is offered as an artist's paint, of course, the use of plastic is obvious. But depending on the application and requirements, not every acrylic color is equally suitable. Depending on the plastic, further pre- and post-work may be necessary. How you work with acrylic paint on plastic, we have put together here.

First of all, it is mainly used instead of oil paints

Acrylic paint was patented and developed in the 1930s. However, the breakthrough came in the following decade. Acrylic paints were now offered in larger quantities as artist supplies. Compared to hitherto customary oil paints, the main advantage came from the fact that acrylic varnishes dry much faster.

Meanwhile found in many other areas

Acrylic paints quickly became so popular that they have long since found their way into numerous hobbies and home improvement, and even into crafts and industry. However, to properly process acrylic paint, the composition and operating principle should be known. For example, acrylic paint consists of the following components:

  • color pigments
  • Binders (acrylic binder or acrylic resin)
  • Dilution (water or organic dilution)
  • possible additives (faster drying, thinner, thicker color, etc.)

Working principle of acrylic paints and acrylic paints

Acrylic paints are already diluted with water, so they are 1-component paints or 1-component paints. Water-diluted acrylic paints can be further diluted with water to apply the paint by means of glazing.

The binder is of particular importance

When the acrylic paint is applied, the thinner evaporates. As a result, the acrylic particles are deposited so close together that they formally stick together and form a waterproof surface. Now there are the acrylic colors but in different compositions.

More and "thicker" acrylic binder or more or less water as a dilution. But especially the binder can affect and allow very thin layers or just be applied relatively thick.

Not every acrylic color is suitable for every plastic

This is the first point to keep in mind when using acrylics on plastic. For example, if you are dealing with plastic models or small-scale figures, it may be the case that a wrongly chosen acrylic paint is too thick and certain details are easily covered.

On the other hand, not every acrylic paint is good if a plastic part is heavily loaded. So a higher mechanical load, for example, by regular Anlangen.

Preparing from the plastic before painting or painting

The roughening of the plastic surface may also be important in particularly smooth plastic surfaces, so that the acrylic paint can not dissolve quickly. With thinly applied acrylic paint on the plastic, however, the sanding marks would then be apparent. Therefore, it may also be necessary to prime the plastic with acrylic paint before painting.

Consider mechanical stress with a seal

Due to the fact that some acrylic paints, as already mentioned, also react poorly to mechanical stresses, further sealing with clearcoat may be necessary. These are often 2-component paints with chemical thinners and hardeners. You must therefore ensure that the clear coat with the plastic, but also with the acrylic paint tolerates.

Tips & Tricks

Not only on plastic, the properties of the selected acrylic paint as well as their pre and post work on the workpiece are crucial. Even with acrylic paint on wood or metal, the properties of the material must be considered.


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