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Pingo

Painting on resin, tips and advice

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I'm interested in hearing people's experience in painting on resin (which is to say two-part polyurethane resin, used for many detailed or larger miniatures).

 

I've only painted a few resin pieces, mostly terrain, and while some were fine, some have at least in parts a slick and slippery surface which repels water and is extremely difficult to get paint to adhere to.

 

These are the ones I'm having difficulty with.  I scrubbed them multiple times with hot water and detergent, and they still have some surfaces that feel, I would say, almost soapy in slickness and on which paint beads up extremely.

 

I actually had to paint them with  brush in one hand and a hair dryer in the other to dry the paint before it could bead up, and it still took three or four layers of paint to get an even coat.  I am concerned this might not be a great practice; it certainly is rough on detail.

 

What are people's practices for painting on resin, especially the recalcitrant stuff?  Do spray primers help?  Would a light sanding be in order? (I am cautious about that option because of the toxicity of resin dust.)

 

Anyhow, there doesn't seem to be a thread dealing with the specific matter of painting on resin, so this is here to gather people's experiences.

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My experience with Resin is limited thus far to bases from places like Secret Weapon and actual miniatures. I prep my Resin like I prep my Metal. A nice scrubbing with warm water and soap using a stiff bristled tooth brush, then cleaning mold lines, then priming with brush-on primer followed by normal paint. I know that resin has mold release agents which make it repel water and/or paint if not properly cleaned and primed. 

 

@Pingo - As far as your specific problem goes, I'd maybe try a more powerful de-greaser to remove the mold release agent. Perhaps simple green would take care of it for you or a more concentrated dish soap?

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You gotta prime that stuff.  I've used a similar two-part resin myself, and there's no way to get acrylic/latex/waterborne paint to stick to it without first putting a primer coat on.  And wash/sand/pick as much as you can stand.  May even need to be something powerful like Rustoleum that will stick to anything.  I've heard of incompletely cured resin weeping a bit too.  So if it's a freshly cast piece, you still may need to just wait a while.

Edited by BLZeebub

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I accidently replyed to the wrong thread.

Impact has some info on their website for how to prime Trollforged resin which is fairly hydrophobic. The info there might work here as well. They reccomend specific spray primers. Also I've found the Brown liner tecnique that people use on bones minis worked pretty well on my Impact Chibi pumpkinhead guy. My only other experience with resin was a mini from a Spanish French company and I didn't have much trouble with priming that one if I recall. Just used a brush on primer. Although I don't remember if I used my black primer which doesn't need to be thinned or if I used my old Ral Partha white primer which does need to be thinned.

 

Edit: It was Fenryll in France

Edited by EvilJames
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I have only painted a couple resin minis and bases and i primed them with vellejo airbrush primer and they painted up the same as resin. I think you just need to prime them with a good spray primer or brush on that you would use on metal.

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I've only painted a dozen or so resin bases from Secret Weapon Miniatures, Fenris Games and Micro Arts Studios. I do the usual 'wash them in warm/hot water and dish soap and scrub them heavily with old toothbrush' and then prime them with Liquitex white gesso thinned just a little bit of water, roughly 5-1. So far I haven't had any particular issue, though Fenris Games stuff usually takes a couple of coats to get good coverage.

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As it happens I am painting a polyurethane mini right now.  They definitely need washed with soapy water.  Sanding is probably not necessary for a terrain piece, but I skimped on my current mini and am regretting it now.  Smoothing imperfections with brush on sealer just isn't the same.  Priming is a must, but you have options.  I pretty much use the brush on variety for everything now and it works as well for resin as metal. 
 
As an aside, I keep meaning to ask for clarification of your use of "toxicity."  Are you referring to something like occupational asthma or some type of pneumoconiosis like is cause by coal or silica dust?  Or farmer's lung like some people around here have - though my understanding is that this is more of an allergic reaction to a specific allergen in the dust.  Let's see if I can find the actual medical term.. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

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Whenever I play around with a resin piece I generally soak it 24 hrs in Westley's Bleache White. It's a tire cleaner. After the soaking I will scrub it further using whatever dish soap we have in the house. General rule of thumb is if a piece of tape sticks to the piece it's clean.

 

As far as painting I've always spray primered my pieces mostly using Dupicolor primer (majority of my primer use).

 

If you do any sanding, even after priming, make sure you wear a dust mask as resin bits are extremely tough on the lungs & other delicate parts.

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I had an issue with Finecast where it was reacting badly with my primer. I washed it with a grease cutting dish soap and let dry.  Sprayed the primer and it did not want to stick in some spots (flaked off).  I stripped it down and then sprayed the Finecast with dullcote and let dry, then primed it normally.  No more issues. YMMV, and depend on the resin.

Edited by Bloodhowl
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