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- Auteur : Misteriddler - Mise en Page : Zorg
Painting plastic with a spray can

In this tutorial, we will apply primer and paint with a spray, because few of us own a spray gun to make a beautiful painting.

Painting on a plastic material is the same thing as previously seen. In this case, we will use a New Astro City loud speaker bezel, which is very often yellowed..

Many amateurs live them like this, because they think it is complicated to make a nice painting, slick and white as they were in the past. This stands also for yellowed coin slots... and other thing. They can of course be cleaned with steel wool + cleaning agent to get them white, but for our need we had nothing else kept on hand... and Tibo absolutely wanted to paint his plastic stub !

The original bezel lookl...

To start, take off the bezel ; when this will be done, you will notice the nasty men from Sega had the great idea to stick all around it a foam seal... which for sure badly aged for you too.

Remove this ugly seal, remove also all remaining glue. Be carefull ! Do not use undeluted acetone to get rid of the glue, or you will see your beautiful bezel getting blistered everywhere... Use instead "Essence F" (?? I can't find the English word ??) which is a cleaning agent you will find in every hardware store, or possibly nail polish solvent (as Tibo + Kaneda tried) but be careful it contains acetone.

Then it is time to start the priming, the step which will ensure you a nice execution... but mostly will ensure you your paint will stick to your bezel. In that purpose, you will need to "scuff" (yes, I know, it's awful) your bezel so that your primer sticks as much as possible. You will start sanding (manually) all the externals of your bezel (everything which can be seen) without forgetting the small nooks... and the edges (very important). To sand, use grain 120 sandpaper. Remind to sand regularly without focusing on some points, and without pressing variously to avoid getting many micro-scuffs...

There is no need to sand too much... Sand only the surface until there is no more slick area... Then sand again using grain 600 sandpaper (fine-grain). Sand once again uniformly and carefully.

Uneventfully, you should get a matted look bezel, unpleasant to touch... Clean it with paper (no rag to avoid naps)... The bezel is ready for primer and should look like this :

A closer look to the scuffs we made :

To apply the primer, we will choose a spray can, easily foundable in shops, and easier to use than a spray gun.

I used a neutral primer (don't use a coloured anti-rust primer) to avoid needing to apply many layers of paint to cover a coloured primer...
No need to be in a hurry : a simple mist without wanting to cover everything in one pass, making slow gestures.

For more details about spray can use, have a look to chapter : "Chapter 4/ Applying primer with a spray" of tutorial "Sanding, preparing and painting metal..."

The secret is not wanting to cover everything in one pass... this will avoid drips. Also keep in mind waiting at least half an hour before grabing the bezel

Once the first primer layer is applied, sand with grain 600 sandpaper, then apply again a new layer of primer.

Let things dry, then sand again (grain 600). Watch closer your bezel, and touch it : it must be matte, but slick looking, without sensing any defect nor scuff when you touch it... If that is not the case, then you have not covered enough the bezel during your "misted" passes... In that case, start again primer / drying / sanding until you get a good result.

If you don't have time to do it now, then you will have to do it between two layers of paint (this will take more time, as paint takes longer to dry) or you will have to waive the slick look of your bezel as it was in the past.

Be warned you will never get the same look and coating with a spray can instead of a spray gun. In this tutorial, we exaggerate the number of layers and sanding to get a coating nearest as possible to a nice slick coating... But no one compels you to be perfectionist.

Here is what you get with two sanded primer layers, and a layer of spray paint :

Nice, but not enough to get the slick look like in the beginning... One layer of paint has been applied for the test, I now need to sand it, the apply a new one, wait for it to dry and so on until I get a slicker result... That is longer than if I hat cautiously fixed my primer layers... But in the end you get the same result.

When the primer result is OK, you can apply the paint : Choose a bright white.
Same operating mode : don't be hurry, and pay attention to start spraying the paint outside of the object... targeting slowly at it to avoid drips...
Try also to keep a constant flow, far enough from the object, without altering the pressure or stopping. Keep in mind working smoothly to avoind drips.... which are very difficult to remove afterwards...

 

Then apply a new layer of paint if you want... It will have to be thicker than the previous one, without drips. This will be the coating layer.

You can also apply a spray varnish if you like... Choose a varnish with does not get yellowed, and choose a bright one if you want something flashy, or satin-finished if you want to get original look..
Be careful when applying varnish : this is fussy (tutorial to come).

Here we are, with a little bit of patience, you get something perfect... If you are not used to it, train with a small piece of plastic before working on your Astro bezel.

I hope you have learnt some tricks, and that you will not hesitate to do it yourself... With patience, without being a specialist, you can get very nice effects, even with a spray can. Enjoy !

 

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