Acrylic paint is a great medium for artists of all skill levels. It’s affordable, it dries quickly, and it doesn’t require a lengthy setup to use. However, it might not be the best option if you plan on painting something made of plastic. Acrylic paint will almost certainly stain the surface and leave behind an unpleasant smell that can be difficult to get rid of. Read on to learn how to seal acrylic paint on plastic so that neither smell nor color impact lasts any longer than necessary.
How To Seal Acrylic Paint On Plastic
Step 1: Selecting the paint and primer
The first thing you’ll want to do is select the right paint and primer. Remember, acrylic paint can be used on a variety of surfaces. This means you can use water-based acrylic paint on almost anything. But the trick is to use the right primer before painting with acrylic on plastic. When using acrylic paint on plastic, you should use a primer designed specifically for acrylic paint. The primer will help the acrylic stick better to the plastic and will add extra protection against UV rays and moisture. When choosing a primer, be sure to read the label carefully and make sure that it says “acrylic” somewhere in the description. If you’re painting on a dark surface (like a black plastic bag), you should also look for a primer that has a white base. This will make the paint easier to see when you’re painting the final coat.
Step 2: Thinning the paint
Once you’ve selected the right primer, it’s time to thin the acrylic paint. You should always thin acrylic paint with water before using it on plastic. When using acrylic paint on plastic, the paint will build up on the surface and crack. Thinning the paint with water will give it enough flexibility to settle on the plastic surface and create a smooth, even coat. You’ll want to use about a 1:1 ratio of water to paint for the best results. For example, if you’re using a 1/2 cup of acrylic paint, you’ll want to mix in about a 1/2 cup of water. When in doubt, always add less water than is recommended. This is especially important when painting on plastic because the paint will need to be thicker to cover the surface.
Step 3: Drying time
While acrylic paint dries quickly, it’s important to note that it dries even more quickly on plastic. You should allow the paint to dry for at least 24 hours before moving the item or placing it in direct sunlight. If you move it before the paint dries, it will most likely crack. If you’re painting on a plastic bag or container, you might want to wait 48 hours just to make sure it dries thoroughly. If you’re sealing a large item, you may want to do smaller sections at a time. This will make it easier to move the item and help prevent the paint from cracking. It will also give you a chance to move each section into the sunlight so it can dry faster.
Step 4: Sanding
Sealing acrylic paint on plastic is easy and straightforward, but there is one important step you need to do before applying the sealer. If you don’t sand the surface first, the paint will not stick and the sealer will not be able to penetrate the surface. You can do this with either fine-grit sandpaper or a finishing sander. If you want to speed up the process, you can use a tack cloth to wipe the surface clean before applying the sealer. Again, you should only sand the area where you plan to seal the paint. You don’t want to sand the entire object.
Step 5: Applying the sealer
Once you’ve sanded the surface and allowed the primer to dry, it’s time to apply the sealer. Sealers are specially-formulated to cover acrylic paint on plastic. You can use either a spray sealer or a brush-on sealer for this step. If you’re painting on a large item, a spray sealer will be easier to use. If you’re painting on smaller items like plastic bags, a brush-on sealer will be easier to control. You’ll want to use a sealer with a white or clear base. This will make the acrylic paint easier to see when you apply the final coat.
Step 6: More sanding
Even though you’ve already sanded the surface before applying the sealer, you’ll need to do it again after the sealer dries. This will help the acrylic paint adhere better to the surface. Again, you only want to sand the area where you’ve applied the acrylic paint. You don’t want to sand the entire item. Once the paint and the sealer are completely dry, you can move the item and use it normally. You can also use the item to decorate your home or give someone a unique gift.
Why Does Acrylic Paint Smell And Stain?
It’s the nature of the beast
First, let’s talk about what acrylic paint is. Acrylic paint is different from watercolors and oils in that it’s made from synthetic resins and usually has a high pigment volume to keep costs down. The resulting product has a distinctly artificial scent and an odd texture, as well as being extremely sticky. Acrylic paints are made with a type of plastic, which is why they smell so strongly. The smell will also linger on your hands for a while after using the paint. This is completely normal and nothing to worry about. When working with acrylic paints, you are working with a synthetic substance. These types of paints are created in a laboratory and contain chemical ingredients. These chemicals are what make acrylic paints so vibrant and colorful.
Acrylic paint is made with chemicals
As mentioned above, acrylic paints are made from synthetic resins. Acrylic paint is usually made with a combination of water, acrylic binders, acrylic gels, and pigments. You can also find acrylic paints that contain a small amount of oil. Acrylic binders are like the glue that holds the other ingredients together. Acrylic gels are what give the paint its texture and consistency. Pigments are the color additives used in paints. Oil can be added to acrylic paints to extend the drying time. When you’re working with acrylic paints, you will notice that they have a distinct odor. This is the smell of the chemicals that make the paint come together. Acrylic paint is also very sticky, which can be off-putting for new artists.
Acrylic paint has oil in it
Many acrylic paints contain small amounts of oil, as well as other synthetic substances. This is because acrylic paint dries more slowly than oil paints but also dries significantly faster than watercolors. Oil painting is a traditional painting medium made from natural oils (such as linseed oil). Acrylic paints are a synthetic version of this medium. The presence of oil in acrylic paints helps increase their shelf life. It also thins the consistency and helps the acrylic paint flow more easily from the brush or palette knife. Oil is also used in the mixing process to extend the drying time. Depending on the brand and type of acrylic paint, it can take hours, even days, for the paint on your canvas or paper to fully dry. Most of the time, you will use acrylic paints on top of each other, so the oils in the paints won’t affect the outcome. But if you’re trying to use them on their own, be sure to let them dry completely before adding new layers.
The paints are meant to be used on top of each other
Most of the time, you will use acrylic paints on top of each other, so the oils in the paints won’t affect the outcome. But if you’re trying to use them on their own, be sure to let them dry completely before adding new layers. However, some acrylic paints are made with a solvent that allows them to be used on their own. If you’re working with solvent-based acrylic paints, they may smell like paint thinner, have a thinner consistency, and appear more watery. If you’re working with acrylic paints that are meant to be used on top of each other, you’ll notice that the smell is more like the smell of paint. It will also be less sticky than solvent-based paints.
How To Protect Against Discoloration
In addition to sealing the acrylic paint to prevent staining and smells, you can also use a medium that doesn’t contain water to prevent your painting from discoloring.
- To do this, you’ll want to choose solvent-based acrylic paint. Solvent-based acrylic paint doesn’t contain water and will, therefore, not discolor your painting.
- Be sure to read the label of your paint to ensure it’s formulated to be used on plastics.
- You’ll want to look for something that’s labeled “for non-absorbent surfaces.” Acrylic paints are water-based, which means they’re formulated to be absorbed by non-porous surfaces like paper.
Acrylic paint is a quick and easy medium that’s great for artists of all skill levels. While acrylic paint is a great choice for some art projects, it’s not ideal for everything. If you’re planning on painting something made of plastic, you’ll want to seal the plastic with an acrylic sealer first in order to prevent the paint from staining and smelling. You can also use solvent-based acrylic paint, which will not discolor your painting.