Last Updated: September 25, 2020
Have you ever painted on something made of rubber, and within a matter of days, it was chipping off? Or perhaps you couldn’t even get the paint to stick to the rubber at all.
The paints used, the technique, and the type of rubber all make a difference for long-term results. If you’re going to spend the time and the money to paint on a rubber item, you want to make sure it will not only look good but also last for a long time.
This article will show you the right way to paint on rubber, whether it be for an interior or exterior project. We will discuss how to prep the rubber surface, the best paints, and how to protect it to make it more durable.
Not all rubber is created equal for painting. Many people will paint rubber tires to decorate their yards or occasionally you will see paintings on rubber rain boots. Rubber can be hard or soft and the more malleable the rubber, the more difficult it will be to keep a coat of paint on your item.
For example, if you were to paint lovely decorations on a rubber swim cap it will be difficult for the paint not to crack due to the flexibility of the cap. But if you were to paint a hard rubber handle that doesn’t bend, the paint won’t crack but it may peel or wear off with use.
Let’s discuss the best methods to paint rubber, including indoor and outdoor use.
Removable rubber coating: This coating comes in a spray can and works well to stay on your item until you are ready to peel it off. It is a good option if you want to paint something that you aren’t 100% sure you want to remain that way. This spray gives you the opportunity to try it out first. When ready to remove, just pull it off.
Acrylic paint: This paint is intended for indoor projects that won’t see a lot of wear and tear. After allowing the first coat to dry, apply a second coat. Then once completely dry apply a paint sealer.
Exterior paint: First cover with a coat of primer and then use either a spray or a brush to apply the exterior paint. This type of paint is more durable and can handle the outside elements.
Commercial-grade marine paint: This is for serious projects such as painting on rubber parts of a boat or swimming pool where they will be exposed to water. It is the most durable and will resist chipping, cracking, and fading.
With a little bit of planning and knowing what type of rubber you plan to paint on will help determine which paint is the best to use. Spraying on the paint does a better job on rubber than brushing or rolling on the paint. Remember to clean the surface and allow it to dry between coats and you will get great results.
Featured image credit: stux, Pixabay
David Janus is the founder and CEO of Paint Sprayer Magazine. He has over two decades of experience in the spray paint industry and still enjoys writing about new products and technologies.
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