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GMBurns2000
03-30-2018, 07:36 AM
Hi,

I work mostly with oils, watercolors, etc., so please forgive the newbie question on this. I'm going to be doing a kickstarter project in a few months and for one of my less expensive rewards I'm thinking of decorating some spare plastic light switch plates. I've never painting on plastic like this before, so I'm curious if anyone has any suggestions on the type of paint / brand I should use.

There's a lot of info out there on spray painting, and I don't really have the space to do that, so I'm looking for brush-on paints that will last for a while against standard household cleaners or regular water. These are standard plates someone gave to me a few months ago and said, "hey, maybe you paint these and get some use of them." So here I am.

I assume I'll have to sand and prime the plates.

Any suggestions? Thanks (and referrals to threads that answer this that I couldn't find on my own are definitely welcome).

Thanks!

talisman
03-30-2018, 09:02 AM
Not sure but do a few tests.
I agree would sand the surface a tad to give it some tooth and then when finished spray with a matte or gloss sealer (depending on the sheen you like).
Good Luck!

LavenderFrost
03-30-2018, 10:06 AM
You can use any paints, just finish with good protection. Just not sure what the best product would be. I have learned from working with polymer that some products don't work together but I'm not sure if this is an issue with acrylic. I would use something like a furniture or floor varnish but not sure if it can be applied directly to acrylic. Need one of our more technically minded members to give advice.

If you need a place for spray painting, just use the inside of a cardboard box.

GMBurns2000
03-30-2018, 11:18 AM
Thanks for the responses. Yes, I do plan to finish them. I should have mentioned that before.

Another reason for no spray paint is I plan to do a bit of drawing with the paint, so also a little easier for brush work.

Hopefully one of the more tech folks can chime in. Appreciate the responses thus far though.

Eraethil
03-30-2018, 12:27 PM
Acrylic binds mechanically, so the key will be sanding the smooth switch plate surface. Use a gesso after that to maintain as much tooth in your primer as possible. A good hard varnish after the paint and it should work out just fine. Do a roughly painted test with the first one!

Trikist
03-30-2018, 12:53 PM
There are wall switch plates that are designed to be painted with acrylic wall paint. I can not see why they would need prep. Gary

GMBurns2000
03-30-2018, 02:51 PM
Acrylic binds mechanically, so the key will be sanding the smooth switch plate surface. Use a gesso after that to maintain as much tooth in your primer as possible. A good hard varnish after the paint and it should work out just fine. Do a roughly painted test with the first one!


What do you mean by "A good hard varnish" exactly? Are there kinds to avoid? I was thinking a spray-on varnish or sealant, thinking that a brush-on might actually affect the acrylic.

(edit: typo)

GMBurns2000
03-30-2018, 02:52 PM
There are wall switch plates that are designed to be painted with acrylic wall paint. I can not see why they would need prep. Gary

I might do that going forward, but for now I'd like to use the ones given to me. No idea if they are the type you are suggesting. They didn't come with the labels, even though they are obviously never used.

contumacious
03-30-2018, 03:44 PM
What do you mean by "A good hard varnish" exactly? Are there kinds to avoid? I was thinking a spray-on varnish or sealant, thinking that a brush-on might actually affect the acrylic.

(edit: typo)

I would probably use a satin urethane outdoor worthy varnish for the final sealing coat unless I wanted a high gloss for some reason.

GMBurns2000
03-30-2018, 05:27 PM
I would probably use a satin urethane outdoor worthy varnish for the final sealing coat unless I wanted a high gloss for some reason.

OK, thanks for that. That helps.

DaneelOlivaw
03-30-2018, 06:22 PM
You can get a marine grade, non-yellowing polyurethane... that will pretty much take anything you can throw at it, from dirty hands, to natural oils from fingers, etc etc.

Eraethil
03-31-2018, 12:51 AM
Any decent varnish will do. To be clear, don't just finish with an isolation coat of acrylic gel or polymer medium. They may sometimes be easily scratched off.