Customs: Dying dark colored plastic

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by sarujo, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. sarujo

    sarujo Cavalier

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    Although I read the post on the how to on dying plastics, I still have some concerns. Is acetone really necessary for dying plastic parts? The provided videos didn't show any use of the chemical. Can acetone itself melt plastic? I know it's an ingredient in solvents.

    I ask this as this will be my first time attempting plastic dying and I'm trying understand what was put before me.

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    Basically I want to dye 75% of this piece(s) from my Masterpiece Optimus Prime...

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    into this color of blue. I tried painting, but as the piece is in such a tight place, the paint naturally scraped off when I tried put it in place. I'm been trying to think of available blue shades would make the matching color. All I can come up with via the official Rit website is some royal blue and a little bit of violet.

    Has there been a video put out of somebody dying grey plastics, blue?

    How am I suppose to use a color wheel in this kind of situation?

    Could that particular plastic withstand 150-170 degrees water? Since I'm only going be able to do this once.

    :noob  My apologizes if these are bad questions.
     

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  2. gericault

    gericault Well-Known Member

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    ok, hope I can answer all your questions. All this advice is from my own experience, so perhaps others can add to it!
    -YES acetone is essential, but you only want to put a bit of it in (a few capfulls to a quarter cup, depending on the amount of dye and water you're using). It stinks and is toxic toxic toxic(wear a mask). It softens the plastic and allows the dye to seep into the plastic surface. Without acetone, you'll be lucky to get much of a color change.
    ALSO, be very careful when pouring the acetone into the dye bath. Since the bath is hot and the acetone cool, it will cause a sudden bubbling of the bath which could spill over. Have a cover of some sort to place over your dye bath to keep it from sputtering all over the place!
    -The plastic won't warp if you do this carefully and in stages. Don't just dump the plastic in and walk away. Keep it in there for 20 or thirty seconds, then take it out to cool. Repeat until you get the colour you want. Take your time and do this gradually; remember, you add colour to that plastic, but you'll never be able to take it out again if you go too dark too soon!
    -speaking of colour....with grey plastic like that, you'll NEVER get a bright blue. if the dye is blue and the plastic is grey, you'll get a darkish blue, depending on how long you let it sit in the dye for, because the grey is already part of the plastic and the blue is being mixed into it, not covering it up.
    If you do this slowly and take your time, you'll be able to get a definite blue colour, but not bright blue like the sample you've pictured.

    OK, that's my four cents worth of advice. Hope it helps, let us know how it goes, and feel free to ask more questions! Good luck.
    By the way, another warning, dyeing plastic is addictive. I practically always do it as a first step in all my customs!
     
  3. Ramrider

    Ramrider TF Art Lad

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    Gericault's pretty much covered it, I think. Of course, while you won't be able to directly dye it the final colour you're after, But it's always easier to paint over a base colour that's at least similar, and those areas on which you can't avoid rubbing won't show up as much.
     

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