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How to choose the right Spray Paint for your 3D-printed part?

2024.03.01  861 clicks

Written by Abigail    June 26, 2024 Updated


Common Types of Spray Paints


As we've discussed in the previous article, spray paint comes in a pressurized can and can be sprayed through a nozzle. Spray paint can give your 3D-printed parts a smooth and professional finish, but you must choose the right spray paint for your project. There are many types of spray paints, each with its characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages.


3DSPRO Spray Painted Samples


3DSPRO Spray Painted Samples


Here are some of the common types of spray paints and their features:

 

1. Oil-based Spray Paint

This type of spray paint is made from oil and resin, and it dries by evaporation. Oil-based spray paint is durable, water-resistant, and easy to apply. However, oil-based spray paint also has a strong odor, takes longer to dry, and requires a solvent for cleanup. Oil-based spray paint is suitable for metal, wood, and plastic surfaces.

 

2. High-heat Spray Paint

This type of spray paint is specially formulated to withstand high temperatures, up to 1200°F. High-heat spray paint is ideal for 3D-printed parts exposed to heat, such as engine parts, grills, fire pits, and stoves. High-heat spray paint is resistant to cracking, peeling, and fading. However, high-heat spray paint requires a primer, has a limited color range, and may emit harmful fumes when heated. High-heat spray paint is suitable for metal surfaces.

 

3. Enamel Spray Paint

This type of spray paint is made from synthetic resin and dries by oxidation. Enamel spray paint is glossy, hard, and smooth. Enamel spray paint is ideal for 3D-printed parts that need a shiny and polished look, such as jewelry, ornaments, and decorative items. Enamel spray paint is also easy to clean and maintain. However, enamel spray paint also requires a primer, takes longer to dry, and may yellow over time. Enamel spray paint suits metal, wood, ceramic, and glass surfaces.

 

4. Lacquer Spray Paint

This type of spray paint is made from cellulose and dries by solvent evaporation. Lacquer spray paint is fast-drying, clear, and glossy. Lacquer spray paint is ideal for 3D-printed parts that need a protective and transparent coating, such as models, sculptures, and artwork. Lacquer spray paint is also easy to apply and reapply. However, lacquer spray paint also has a strong odor, is flammable, and may crack or chip over time. Lacquer spray paint is ideal for metal, wood, plastic, and paper surfaces.

 

5. Chalkboard Spray Paint

This type of spray paint is made from latex and dries by water evaporation. Chalkboard spray paint is matte, black, and writable. Chalkboard spray paint is ideal for 3D-printed parts that need a fun and interactive surface, such as signs, labels, and boards. Chalkboard spray paint is also easy to erase and repaint. However, chalkboard spray paint requires a primer, multiple coats, and a curing time. Chalkboard spray paint suits metal, wood, plastic, and glass surfaces.

 

6. Acrylic Spray Paint

This type of spray paint is made from acrylic resin, and it dries by water evaporation. Acrylic spray paint is versatile, colorful, and durable. Acrylic spray paint is ideal for 3D-printed parts that need a vibrant and creative look, such as toys, crafts, and graffiti. Acrylic spray paint is also easy to mix and blend. However, acrylic spray paint requires a primer, may fade or peel in sunlight, and may clog the nozzle. Acrylic spray paint is ideal for metal, wood, plastic, and fabric surfaces.

 

7. Epoxy Spray Paint

This type of spray paint is made from epoxy resin and dries by chemical reaction. Epoxy spray paint is strong, adhesive, and resistant. Epoxy spray paint is ideal for 3D-printed parts that need a tough and protective finish, such as tools, appliances, and furniture. Epoxy spray paint is also easy to clean and waterproof. However, epoxy spray paint requires a hardener, has a short pot life, and may emit toxic fumes. Epoxy spray paint is ideal for metal, wood, ceramic, and concrete surfaces.

 

8. Frosted Spray Paint

This type of spray paint is made from acrylic resin, and it dries by water evaporation. Frosted spray paint is translucent, textured, and frosty. Frosted spray paint is ideal for 3D-printed parts that need a decorative and elegant look, such as vases, lamps, and mirrors. Frosted spray paint is also easy to apply and remove. However, frosted spray paint also requires a clear coat, may scratch or smudge easily, and may not work well on dark surfaces. Frosted spray paint is suitable for glass and plastic surfaces.

 

9. Glow-in-the-dark Spray Paint

This type of spray paint is made from phosphorescent pigment, and it dries by water evaporation. Glow-in-the-dark spray paint is invisible, luminous, and fun. Glow-in-the-dark spray paint is ideal for 3D-printed parts that need a spooky and magical look, such as costumes, props, and Halloween decorations. Glow-in-the-dark spray paint is also easy to charge and recharge with light. However, glow-in-the-dark spray paint requires a primer, multiple coats, and a dark environment. Glow-in-the-dark spray paint suits metal, wood, plastic, and fabric surfaces.


3DSPRO Spray Painting for Transparent Resin Part


How to choose the right spray paint for your 3D-printed part?


Spray paint is a convenient and versatile way to give your 3D-printed part a smooth and appealing finish. However, not all spray paints are created equal, and choosing the wrong one can ruin your project. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the right spray paint for your 3D-printed part:

 

Compatibility

The first and most important factor is whether the spray paint is compatible with your 3D printing material. Some spray paints may not adhere well, cause damage, or react with certain materials. For example, oil-based spray paints may not work well with PLA, as they may dissolve or soften the plastic. On the other hand, lacquer spray paints may melt ABS, as they contain strong solvents that can affect the chemical structure of the plastic. You should always read the label of the spray paint and test it on a small area before applying it to your entire part. It would help if you also looked for spray paints specifically designed for 3D printing, such as Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch 2X Ultra Cover, Krylon Fusion for Plastic, or Montana Gold. These spray paints are formulated to work with various 3D printing materials, such as PLA, ABS, PETG, Nylon, and more.

 

Color

The next factor to consider is the color of the spray paint. You can match the color of your 3D-printed part with your design or create a contrast or a gradient effect. It would be best if you also thought about the opacity and coverage of the spray paint, as some colors may require more coats than others to achieve the desired result. For example, light colors may need more coats to cover dark 3D-printed parts, while metallic colors may need more coats to create a shiny effect. Mix and blend different spray paint colors to create custom shades and effects. For example, you can use a base coat of one color and a top coat of another color to create a two-tone or a color-shifting effect. You can also use masking tape, stencils, or decals to create patterns or designs on your 3D-printed part.

 

Finish

The final factor to consider is the finish of the spray paint. The finish refers to the texture and glossiness of the spray paint, which can affect the appearance and feel of your 3D-printed part. Many types of finishes include matte, gloss, metallic, leather, rubber, and more. Choose the finish that suits your purpose and preference, and consider its durability and resistance. For example, matte finishes may hide imperfections better, but gloss finishes may be more resistant to scratches and stains. It would help if you also considered the finish's effect on the spray paint's color, as some finishes may alter the hue or brightness of the color. For example, metallic finishes may make the color more reflective, while frosted finishes may make the color more muted. You can also use clear coats or varnishes to seal and protect your spray paint finish and to create different effects, such as glossy, satin, or matte.


3DSPRO Spray Painting for Resin Part


Preparation Before Spray Painting


Before spray painting your 3D-printed part, you must prepare the surface and work area properly, which will ensure the spray paint will adhere well, cover evenly, and last longer. Here are some steps to follow for preparation before spray painting:

 

Clean the surface of your 3D-printed part. You must remove any dust, dirt, grease, or residue from the surface, as those imperfections can prevent the spray paint from sticking or causing unevenness. You can use a soft cloth, a brush, a vacuum, or compressed air to clean the surface. You can also use mild soap and water, alcohol, or acetone to wipe the surface, depending on the type of 3D printing material.

 

Sand the surface of your 3D-printed part. You need to smooth and level the surface, as it may have bumps, ridges, or layer lines that can affect the quality of the spray paint. You can use sandpaper or a rotary tool with different grits, from coarse to fine. You must wear gloves, safety glasses, and a mask to protect yourself from dust and debris.


Prime the surface of your 3D-printed part. You need to apply a thin layer of primer to the surface, as it can help the spray paint adhere better and cover any imperfections. You must choose a primer compatible with your 3D printing material and spray paint. You need to spray the primer in a well-ventilated area, with multiple thin coats applied at a suitable distance and angle and with enough drying time between each coat.

 

Mask the areas of your 3D-printed part you don't want to paint. It would help if you covered the areas where you want to keep the original color or texture, such as holes, threads, or logos. You can mask the areas with painter's tape, paper, or plastic. It would help if you ensured the edges were sealed well to prevent the spray paint from leaking underneath.

 

Prepare your work area. Working in a well-ventilated area would be best, as the spray paint can emit harmful fumes. You must also protect the surrounding area from overspray, as the spray paint can stain or damage other items. You can use newspaper, drop cloth, or a tarp to cover the ground and other surfaces. You can also use weights (like rocks) to keep the cover from blowing around in the wind.


Sanding 3D Print  Cleaning Saned 3D Print  Spray Painted 3D Prints


Spray Painting at 3DSPRO


3DSPRO offers 3D Printing Solutions and 3D+ Solutions for customers; we can help you create what you want all-at-on spraypray painting as one of its 3D+ solutions, which are the additional services that 3DSPRO provides to enhance, refine, and elevate your 3D-printed creations to professional-grade finishes.

 

3DSPRO has a team of experts who can handle any spray painting project, no matter the size, shape, or complexity of your 3D-printed part. 3DSPRO can help you choose the right type of spray paint, color, and finish for your 3D-printed part based on your design, requirements, and preferences.

 

If you are interested in 3D printing services and spray painting with 3DSPRO, you can visit us to learn more about our 3D+ solutions or get a quote instantly and start your project. 3DSPRO is ready to help you accelerate your innovation with 3D printing.


3DSPRO Spray Painted Airplane


3DSPRO Spray Painted Airplane


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