Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

May, 2006

Painting Natural Rubber - Non-Toxic Paint

Q. We have a general question regarding the most durable, non-toxic (when dry) paint to be applied to a pet toy made of injected natural rubber. Our manufacturer is appling piebald colortones with an airbrush and is durable, however the paint can be scratched off the surface with considerable effort. We are looking for a non-toxic paint solution that can be considered permanent once applied. We believe our team is currently testing with an acrylic based paint. We wish to assist our manufacturer with suggested solutions.

A. Unfortunately we do not recommend non-toxic paints, because the definition of non-toxic is too broad and depends on the type of exposure the paint will need to endure the type of end use that is experienced by your product. However, several paint manufacturers supply so-called non-toxic paints to the surfaces of toys, food equipment, etc.

First, why are you not getting sufficient adhesion from your current paint to the natural rubber? If you are happy with your existing paint, you might want to explore methods to improve its adhesion.

Secondly, if you would like to retain our consulting services, we will inquire from paint manufacturers what paints they are selling to the type of industry in which you operate. They can then supply the appropriate data sheets that describe their products.

Please get back to me if you would like to pursue this further.

Best wishes,

Ron Joseph

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