Painting Acrylic

Hi,

I’ve been asked to make a pair of signs for changing rooms at a local gym. They want them cut from a grey acrylic which has become a corporate theme throughout. What i’m not sure on is once i’ve carved out the Man and Woman, how am i best to paint in the area? Do i just need to be super carful or is there a trick?

Normally when i’m painting in a sign its in wood and i would use a sanding sealer, paint in and then sand back to give a nice crisp line but if i sand the acrylic is will wreck the surface.

Thanks.

You should use the 2 color plastic. It would be the easiest way to do what you are after.
something like this:
https://www.inventables.com/categories/materials/acrylic?utf8=✓&selected_filters[Effect][]=2+color

I am sure there are other companies that sell similar items.
NOTE: I have not tried this but its an idea and a starting point.
If your going to do a paint job what I would try is this:
1st carve the grey plastic sheet using V bit and a v carve path. Probably want to use a V-bit that is suited for plastics. You do not need to carve too deep. A V-Bit that has a flat tip will give you a nice carve with a beveled edge. Just make sure what ever you want to do is planed out. (We can help you there if you want.)
Some of the guys here have lots of experience in this area with much more know how than me.
then paint as carefully where the carved portion is in and then use a rubber squeegy or similar then scrape off the over painted areas. then after the paint has dried a bit then use a rag and carefully wipe the rest with a solvent that is for the paint only. (be careful some solvents will dissolve plastic.)
You do not need to sand or prep the surface as I think you want it to just look similar to the restroom signs only customized to the graphic you intend to cut.
once painted and cleaned up then you can use a sealer.
the paint should be something that will stick to the plastic and be easy to work with. The sealer can be used as a spray type. One of the best stuff I have used is this: http://www.coastairbrush.com/proddetail.asp?prod=Save_T_Fixative_by_Coast_Airbrush
Even though its for t-shirts it does a great job on a variety of surfaces. Its mainly used for air brush paints.
I would use the Createx brand of paint as you can get a good paint that you can easily work with and it cleans up very easily.
There are other ways but just my 2 cents worth.

You could always carve on the backside of acrylic in a mirror mode? That way too surface is nice and smooth .

Unfortunately I’m using a coloured acrylic sheet not clear.

Post a link to the material you plan to use, if you don’t mind.

I mask the acrylic with a vinyl mask first, then route through the mask into the acrylic, then spray paint holding the can at a distance so it goes on a little drier, peel of mask and clean any paint that may have bled under mask with paint thinner. Should be flawless.

Good one.
They have that masking material that is backed by a paper. sticks very well to plastic but does not leave residue when removed.

You want to use vinyl no paper, paper gets rough fuzzy edges that get in your way and in your paint. I use a product made just for paint masking. Contact adhesive should work but may leave a residue behind you’ll have to get off.

1 Like

"Grey 53-01

Our vibrant solid Acrylic coloured acrylic is suitable for a wide range of applications from including Acrylic Splashbacks, Acrylic Shelves, Acrylic Signs, Visual Communications, Laser Cutting, Acrylic Displays, And many other applications. Acrylic sheet cut to size is a great product, Acrylic is available in many variants, Clear, Opal, Frosted, Coloured, and many other special effects."

Hi I was in the sign industry for 20 odd years and our method was to use ordinary enamel paint flooded into the engraved areas and allow to almost dry before cleaning up. To deal with the excess get a 2p coin and use that covered in a couple of layers of lint free cotton material, just dampen with turps or white spirit and gently rub the over spill making sure that you hold the “rubbing block” flat to the surface. It works every time.

2 Likes

Wow. Great advice.
Thanks for sharing.
I have lots of time airbrushing but very little in the sign bus.
:slight_smile: