Acrylic resin is used to make all kinds of things, from statues and toys to furniture. If you buy something made from acrylic resin that is not finished, it won't look very stylish. Acrylic resin, even in its raw and unfinished form, can be painted. Buying something made from acrylic resin without it being finished can save you some money. If you go this route, or even if you make your own, you will need to prepare and paint the acrylic resin yourself. Here are some pointers to help you accomplish that task.
Step 1 - Clean the Acrylic Resin
In order to get acrylic resin out of the molds, they are often rubbed down with a lubricant. Once the acrylic resin has cured and the mold has been removed, the lubricant may still remain. If the item was purchased from a retail outlet, there is often a residue or film still left behind from this process. Thoroughly wash the acrylic resin with oil-free liquid dish soap, warm water, and a soft scrubbing brush. Rinse the soap off the acrylic resin and repeat, drying with a lint-free towel.
Step 2 - Remove the Flash
Inspect the item you wish to paint. Flash is the term used to describe scraps of plastic left behind from the molding and curing process. These are pieces of plastic, uneven and raised seams. Use the utility knife to cut the flash pieces, and then use the Dremel tool to sand them down. Wet-sand the seams of the acrylic resin with 320-grit sandpaper. Use a soft and lint-free terry cloth towel to wipe down the acrylic resin to remove the dust created by the sanding. If this is a detailed piece, you will want to repeat the washing and drying as you did previously after you dust it off.
Step 3 - Sand and Fill the Acrylic Resin
Not every mold is perfect, so take the time to inspect the acrylic resin for air holes. When you find air holes, apply putty to fill them. Wait for the putty to dry and repeat if needed.
Apply filler primer in a very light coat. When this coat has dried wet-sand it down with 400-grit sandpaper. Repeat applying more filler primer and sanding down with 600-grit sandpaper. Apply another coat of filler primer, this time sanding it down with 800-grit sandpaper.
Step 4 - Paint
The acrylic resin is now ready for you to paint. Use a paint made for plastic and resin. A paint that is acrylic-based is typically a good choice, as it's a latex-based paint. Use a brush to apply the paint, starting with the main coat or shading coat. Wait for one coat of paint to dry before adding another coat or a different color. For detailed areas, use a paintbrush with a very fine bristle. Use a dabbing motion and not a stroke to apply the paint.