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Painting the Unpaintable

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I'm making a set of runes for a LARP. In this game, runes need to be carved from the bones of your enemies and I had recently killed a 55 gallon crab, so I  bought an orange plastic trash can to cut up into bits. The cutting job went pretty well and my soldering iron does a nice job of carving runes into it, but I'm trying to add some paint to variegate the appearance of the crabshell and add depth to the appearance of the runes. Unfortunately, applying paint directly to the plastic is underwhelming and even GW's Imperial Primer is doing a terrible job of sticking to the plastic.

 

Does anyone have any clever suggestions for other media/methods to help paint adhere besides drowning the pieces in spray primer?

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I'm making a set of runes for a LARP. In this game, runes need to be carved from the bones of your enemies and I had recently killed a 55 gallon crab, so I  bought an orange plastic trash can to cut up into bits. The cutting job went pretty well and my soldering iron does a nice job of carving runes into it, but I'm trying to add some paint to variegate the appearance of the crabshell and add depth to the appearance of the runes. Unfortunately, applying paint directly to the plastic is underwhelming and even GW's Imperial Primer is doing a terrible job of sticking to the plastic.

 

Does anyone have any clever suggestions for other media/methods to help paint adhere besides drowning the pieces in spray primer?

depending on the exact type of plastic, you may be able to use fabric dye to give it a little something.  could also try something like a spray of krylon fusion, doesn't give a painting surface but does stick to some plastics that are otherwise unprimable. Could also "paint" your runes by roughing the area you already melted, and pouring a bit of colored wax in.

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Have you tried the Reaper Liners?

They work well on Bones.

 

Also...did you wash the plastic with a detergent?

You will need to!

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could also try something like a spray of krylon fusion, doesn't give a painting surface but does stick to some plastics that are otherwise unprimable. 

 

 

I prime most of my plastic minis with Krylon ultra flat Camoflauge with Fusion spray paint and find it makes an outstanding painting surface. Is there any reason why it wouldn't make a good painting surface for his project? 

 

Also...did you wash the plastic with a detergent?

You will need to!

^This

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I second exactly what CorallineAlgae says.

 

 I also wanted to add, just to offer something different as a last ditch method to try, that back in the deep dark ages long ago, before there were sophisticated plastic-specific primers, the folks that used to paint the soft plastic Arfiix style HO figures would sometime "prime" them by giving them a thin coat of white glue (like Elmers). Paint would stick to the dried white glue, and the white glue was just flexible enough that it wouldn't crack with the bend of the soft figures.

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There are primers available for outdoor plastic furniture that may be worth a try.

 

I'm in the UK, so not sure what the equivalent in the US would be, but I've had success with Valspar Plastic Primer.

 

I have a habit of buying cheap toy cars and weathering them for zombie type games. My current project is a dumper truck, and spraying the white container bit with black primer just didn't work. The plastic primer, however, left a nice rough surface that took paint without any problems. Even scratching it with my fingernail did nothing.

 

As others have said, wash it thoroughly first. Sanding with a 1000 grit paper won't do any harm either, and a trip to your local hardware or car store may turn up some useful primer options.

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There are primers available for outdoor plastic furniture that may be worth a try.

 

I'm in the UK, so not sure what the equivalent in the US would be, but I've had success with Valspar Plastic Primer.

 

 

Krylon with Fusion is one US brand formulated for such plastics, but I think Valspar is available and Rustoleum also makes a product that will work.

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​Try "Killz" primer.  A friend of mine who is a prop master tells me this sticks to pretty much anything.  Comes in rattle can and brush on.

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There are primers available for outdoor plastic furniture that may be worth a try.

 

I'm in the UK, so not sure what the equivalent in the US would be, but I've had success with Valspar Plastic Primer.

 

 

Krylon with Fusion is one US brand formulated for such plastics, but I think Valspar is available and Rustoleum also makes a product that will work.

 

Valspar is Lowes' house brand of paint, so perhaps they'll have something.

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