This topic has 5 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 3 years, 3 months ago by Former Member Content Archive.

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  • #14877
     Lili Lennox
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    • Experience: 15-20 years
    • Scenic Status: Full Time Freelance

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    I’ve been called in to help solve a “situation”, one that I’m not entirely sure has a solution!

    A sculpted tree is going to be installed in an amusement park, and the leaves need to be in autumn colors. The leaves, as purchased, are various shades of green.

    The leaves are made of polyethylene, and are soft and flexible.

    My client was instructed by the amusement park to use Matthews Paint, which has it’s own proprietary cleaner, reducer, additive, and clear matte sealer. Apparently this is a well-known paint in the amusement park industry….The client used all of these items in the appropriate proportions, but it is failing to adhere to the leaves. When you bend a leaf, the paint de-laminates from the surface.

    Has anyone ever painted something soft and rubbery and gotten good adhesion? What is the most flexible coating you know? Do you have any suggestions on how I could solve this problem for them?

    #15678
     Angelique Powers
    • Experience: 20+ years
    • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

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    There is a product called FlexArt that my mentor used to paint the big inflatable floats for Disneyland. – so it sticks to stretchy plastic stuff- I believe Stephan might have a few bottles- not the colors you want- at Vee if you want to snag a bit for a sample.

    #15679

    Rosco Flexcoat works well on polyethylene. Check their SDS sheets for info and run that past your client prior to using it because it may have to be approved by them to meet their safety specs. There shouldn’t be a problem but it’s always best to check first.

    #15680
     Mary Novodvorsky
    • Experience: 20+ years
    • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

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    You could try SEM Flexible Primer Surfacer. It’s for difficult plastics and I bought it at an automotive place. It’s in a spray can and It’s designed so that you can repaint your cars vinyl upholstery. I just used it to repaint a flexible treadmill. I have it in gray, but I think it came in other colors. Automotive shops are also good about finding products that they can custom fill a spray can for you. I bought this at Auto Plus and they also helped me find a product that would stick to a cultured marble sink.

    #15681
     Lili Lennox
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    • Experience: 15-20 years
    • Scenic Status: Full Time Freelance

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    After wiping the leaves down with denatured alcohol, I tried a couple different products. Flexart had ok adhesion, but I could scrape it off with my fingernail if I really tried.

    Bulldog Adhesion Promoter was the winner, and it looks to be an automotive product. A quick spray, let sit a few minutes until dry, and then topcoat with exterior latex paint. I CANNOT scrape it off the leaves, hooray! A good runner-up was Plas-Stick adhesion promoter, also an automotive product.

    I tried both exterior latex and artist acrylics over these adhesion promoters, and the latex had a much stronger bond. Thanks for your suggestions!

    #15682

    lilips wrote:


    I’ve been called in to help solve a “situation”, one that I’m not entirely sure has a solution!

    A sculpted tree is going to be installed in an amusement park, and the leaves need to be in autumn colors. The leaves, as purchased, are various shades of green.

    The leaves are made of polyethylene, and are soft and flexible.

    My client was instructed by the amusement park to use Matthews Paint, which has it’s own proprietary cleaner, reducer, additive, and clear matte sealer. Apparently this is a well-known paint in the amusement park industry….The client used all of these items in the appropriate proportions, but it is failing to adhere to the leaves. When you bend a leaf, the paint de-laminates from the surface.

    Has anyone ever painted something soft and rubbery and gotten good adhesion? What is the most flexible coating you know? Do you have any suggestions on how I could solve this problem for them?

    I’m too late to this game but Stix works well for funky adhesion problems too. I prefer to spray a couple of thin layers to create a bit more tooth. This doesn’t result in a rough final coat though.

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