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Paint Plastic To Copper Tubing Answered

I'm making a prop that requires a length of coiled copper tubing & I don't have the cash to buy it. I need a plastic tube that is malleable into a coil & I can spray paint it a copper color.
I've experimented with some types of plastic cover electric cord & aquarium tubing & both, the plastic reacted with the paint & never dried.  I need to know what types of plastic tube I can ether paint myself & wont melt the plastic, or point me in the detection of were I can find copper colored plastic tubing, or name the types of plastic tube that wont react to certain types of paint.


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3 years ago

The trick is to have a primer coat to act as the barrier for your solvent paints. You can get a spray paint primer made for plastics(another expensive can of paint) but you can just coat your plastic tubing with craft glue. Smear on several thin coats of glue and let them dry, cracks and shrinkage will be covered by the next coat. First coat will be sparse. Do the glue after you have formed your coil. The dried glue coating is somewhat flexible but can't stretch too much. Instead of using glue you can give it a few primer coats of acrylic craft/latex paint or coat with some acrylic/latex caulking. You can then use your spray paint over the dried primer coating. Good luck.


Reply 3 years ago

Without a primer you have no chance on these plastics.
Make sure to get paint and primer as a match - certain metal paints require a different primer, if in doubt ask!
Last but not least you will have problems coiling it up once the paint is dry as it will crack.
I suggest to make the tubing flexible with lots of boiling hot water, then to coil it up tight and cool it down again.
You now should be able to strecht the coil enough to paint it and it should go back to tight wrap after if you don't stretch too much.