This is a fun project!
This is the paint system we used when we were in our research and development stage. The results are pretty darn good if you’re patient.
We have since upgraded our system to include automotive paints as they dry harder much faster, but the DIY option is still viable. Although our paint is about as tough as it gets for PVC, all paint scratches and wears. Normal rattle can paint you can get off the shelf is only a little less robust than ours if you let it cure properly.
First off, make sure you read and follow all the paint and chemical manufactures safety instructions! Every paint system is different. Have and use your Personal Protective Equipment!
Here is a quick rundown of the steps:
Preparation is everything when it comes to painting. PVC is still very difficult to paint but the modern systems are getting better. Scuff off all the gloss coating with a red scotchbrite pad and any remove any printing on the PVC. Round off any sharp points and scratches and then clean it twice with a wax and grease remover. Mask off anything you don’t want coloured. Now you can apply a coat of plastic adhesion promoter if it suits your paint system. Follow the paint manufactures instructions for drying time and then you can top coat it in any colour you like!
They will be in a useable state if you follow the time frame they print in their instructions however, full hardness will not happen in 24hrs. Most of the hardness is achieved in first 72hrs. From our extensive paint testing, we are yet to come across an ‘off the shelf option’ that takes less than 30 days to achieve its maximum potential.
If you are over coating one of our painted sheaths to freshen them up you can pretty much follow the same procedure above. Keep in mind the modern spray can paint is very high quality but do not expect the same level of durability you will get from quality automotive paint systems. If you were after a custom colour, a lot of auto paint stores can pressure pack a single can for you and it will likely be good quality paint!
As always, safety first! Follow all paint manufactures instructions! Nitrile gloves, a quality respirator with a carbon filter, face shield, coveralls and work in a well ventilated area or spray booth etc. These are the minimum. Every chemical is different and the manufacture might recommend something more comprehensive!
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