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Paint on polyethylene

Old 05-30-2004, 10:44 AM
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Ross Kean
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Default Paint on polyethylene

I am just finishing up repairs to a Seamaster. The engine pod and cowl are polyethylene and I would like to paint them. I read where someone used the new Krylon Fusion paint with some success on polyethylene but they had to wait a week for the stuff to cure fully and still had to fuel-proof it. Has anyone had any success with alternate methods? I was going to try to scuff the surface with 200 grit, rinse with solvent and use a regular polyurethane based paint. I know it will hold up to fuel but I don't know whether it would adhere well enough to this substrate; especially since it would be subject to some flexing in handling.

Any ideas or suggestions?

Thanks

Ross
Old 05-30-2004, 12:24 PM
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Deadeye
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Default RE: Paint on polyethylene

Rustoleam is fuel proof.
Old 05-30-2004, 02:57 PM
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Default RE: Paint on polyethylene

I know that the Rustoleum, regular Krylon and a number of other inexpensive urethane-based enamels (not the flat colors) are fuelproof - or at least pretty resistant. I have used them on Coroplast where you can flash the surface to improve adhesion - but even there the paint tends to flake a bit wherever there is much flex - especially in an area where there is exhaust residue. The polyethylene in the Seamaster pod/cowl is fairly thin and you couldn't "flash" it to improve adhesion without warping.

Does anyone know whether any of these paints are better than the others with respect to adhesion and flexibility?

Ross
Old 05-30-2004, 07:23 PM
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Default RE: Paint on polyethylene

ORIGINAL: Ross Kean

I am just finishing up repairs to a Seamaster. The engine pod and cowl are polyethylene and I would like to paint them. I read where someone used the new Krylon Fusion paint with some success on polyethylene but they had to wait a week for the stuff to cure fully and still had to fuel-proof it. Has anyone had any success with alternate methods? I was going to try to scuff the surface with 200 grit, rinse with solvent and use a regular polyurethane based paint. I know it will hold up to fuel but I don't know whether it would adhere well enough to this substrate; especially since it would be subject to some flexing in handling.

Any ideas or suggestions?

Thanks

Ross

Check out latex paint. It will have to be clear coated to fuel proof it though. The flex will not bother the latex - latex is a rubber. The nice thing about latex is you can get an exact match, and the paint is about $10 a quart.

I use it almost exclusivly on my planes and it will adhere to just about anything. I would scuff the surface and clean with some alcohol. Spray a light coat of primer (non build type ) and then put the latex on.

You can clear coat it right away, HOWEVER, I strongly suggest letting it cure for several days before clear coating. MinWax PolyCrylic is an excellent clear coat and I know it is good to 10% nitro. It may be good for more, but that is what I use.

I also use 1 - 1 1/2 caps of "Flotrol" per quart of latex AND MinWax, and thin with water and a SMALL DROP of liquid soap. DO NOT USE WINDSHIELD WASHER FLUID - it will tint the paint and/or MinWax. If you decide to brush it on, use a foam brush. The Flotrol retards the drying so any brush strokes or other iregularities (hair in the paint, etc) will self level and you won't see it.
Old 05-30-2004, 07:33 PM
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Default RE: Paint on polyethylene

How does the latex stick to polyethylene? Many paints will either bead up on the surface or will easily scrape or chip off when dry. I have only used solvent-based urethane paints on plastic in the past but was concerned that these might not work for this particular application.

Thanks

Ross
Old 05-31-2004, 07:55 AM
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Default RE: Paint on polyethylene

I don't know about applying the latex directly to the surface. I have always used a primer underneath the paint. I would put a couple of very thin coats of primer on it first. Fog the first coat, then after it has dried, do a second coat.

I paint my ABS cowls as follows: 1 coat of primer/filler (automotive type) to remove sanding scratches, sand with 400 wet, 1 thin coat of a regular primer (basically to get the areas I sanded through the primer), paint, then clearcoat.

I have had excellent results on fiberglass, metal, wood and film/cloth coverings, however, they have all been primered first. It should not be any more difficult then painting monokote.

Depending on the color(s) you want to use, you might also want to check Wallyworld for "Dupli-Color" brand auto paint. It is an acrylic lacquer (most states) and raw fuel proof to 10% (or more). Make sure the can say acrylic lacquer. I know the 10 - 11 oz cans state that. FWIW - Dupli-Color Silver/Aluminum is as close a match for SolarTex silver/aluminum as you will find. I have also used this on my ABS cowls and had no problems.
Old 05-31-2004, 09:08 AM
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Default RE: Paint on polyethylene

Campy
The biggest problem is the slick polyethylene surface. I am not sure if anything will really stick - including primers. Is there a special primer out there for polyethylene?? If such a material existed, I agree that a primer followed by a urethane, acrylic or even latex topcoat would be great.

ABS, PVC and fibreglass are easy, almost anything will stick well to these surfaces.

Ross
Old 05-31-2004, 05:03 PM
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Default RE: Paint on polyethylene

I don't know of a specific primer for polyethlene. All I can suggest is to scuff the surface and try a primer to see if it will adhere. Here is a link for painting polyethelene tanks. This should work with latex as it comes as an acrylic also..

http://www.polyprocessing.com/pdf/te...orageTanks.pdf

The only other reasonable option I can think of would be to use a lightweight fiberglass cloth and cover both the inside and outside with it.

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