Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

December, 2007

Painting Plastic Surfaces

Q: I am looking for a type of paint that will not scratch off of plastic surfaces and will hold up under oily conditions. Would you have any suggestions for the type of paint I should use and suppliers for this paint. Thank you for your time and help.

A: Typically, polyurethanes and epoxies are hard, abrasion resistant and can withstand oily conditions. The key issue is how to prepare the plastic surfaces for paint application, and this is dependent on the type of plastic being used. Polyurethanes and epoxies are available from most paint companies, but quite honestly, in my opinion the challenge is to identify the most appropriate method for preparing the surface for painting. The goal is to not only achieve good initial adhesion, but more importantly to insure that adhesion remains good over the long term.

Also, depending on the configuration of your product and the number of items that are coated per day, you might be able to select between liquid and powder coatings. Economics plays an important role in this decision. Two of several advantages of powder coatings are that they do not emit VOC, and their application results in little, if any hazardous waste.


Ron Joseph

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