Can You Use Acrylic Paint On 3D Printed Objects?

With new painting methods and materials, today’s artistic aspirations have expanded. Consequently, picking suitable paints for your artistic creation can be challenging. I value your creative endeavors and strive to address any of your inquiries about them in my article.

One of the customers’ queries includes, can you use acrylic paint on 3D printed objects? Unarguably acrylics work on paper, canvas, cardboard, metal, and plastic. And, it is worth noting that any pigments for plastics, including acrylics, end up working the best for 3D printed parts. Since acrylic paints are constantly available and quick, you may finish your 3D objects beautifully with just a few brush strokes. You can thin them down or use them straight up depending on your desire and coverage requirements because they can also be used with water.

Feeling intrigued to put acrylics on your 3D objects? Wait, I haven’t shared all the details yet. Read on to know more!

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On 3D Printed Objects?

Does Any Acrylic Paint Work On 3D Printed Objects?

The idea of 3D printing is a more complex version of the conventional 2D printing carried out on a surface. As previously said, paints explicitly designed for plastics typically function the best on 3D printed things.

So when the questions concern- is acrylic paint suitable for 3D printed objects good or not, the answer is simple. To paint 3D printed objects, acrylic or water-based paint does work great, although you might need to apply numerous coats.

For 3D printing, you shouldn’t use abrasive colors because some chemicals may react with or destroy your creations. When painting, ensure there is enough ventilation, put on a mask, and proceed cautiously.

Can You Paint PLA 3D Printed Objects?

The answer is yes. The reason you will be painting a part that was printed on PLA is that you want to give it a unique finish. In order to accomplish this, we need to begin with a part that has good print quality.

Good print quality is necessary in order to obtain a decent finish after painting the part. We will never be able to get a correctly painted part from a part that has been poorly printed.

Acrylic paint is a great choice for painting the 3D models that you have printed using PLA filament because it is simple to use, dries rapidly, and is water-soluble.

These features make the paint the best option for painting the 3D models you have printed because it is quite unlikely that any issues will develop while it is being applied.

Can You Use Any Acrylic Paint On 3D Printed Objects?

In this part of the article, I will talk about how heavy body acrylics, fluid acrylics, acrylic latex paint, acrylic spray, acrylic marker, acrylic gouache, and acrylic ink are effective in painting 3D printed objects. 

Can You Use Heavy Body Acrylic Paint On 3D Printed Objects?

Yes, Similar to oil paints, heavy body acrylics have a viscosity that is thick and buttery. This makes it simpler to mix and combine colors while also preserving the brushstrokes.

While fluid acrylics can be used for dry-brush painting, detail work, staining, watercolor techniques, and watercolor work, they are watered down yet still maintain the same quantity of pigment.

For artists who enjoy experimenting with texture, heavy-body acrylics are essential. Since these paints have a higher viscosity than liquid paint, they behave almost like buttery oils and hold brush and knife work better after drying.

There are no additional fillers, dyes, extenders, toners, or opacifiers in heavy-body acrylic paints.

Although they flow uniformly and are just as vivid as heavy body acrylic paints, fluid acrylic paints can also be applied with a dry brush, by pouring, or even by spraying. They blend well with both heavy and liquid acrylics.100-150 words.

Can You Use Fluid Acrylic Paint On 3D Printed Objects?

Yes, you can use fluid acrylic paint on 3d printed objects. Acrylic paints with a fluid consistency are those having a liquid or thin consistency. They are designed to flow and distribute easily without diminishing the paint’s color intensity.

Water-based acrylics are another name for fluid acrylics. Fluid acrylics, rather than being applied with a brush, are more suited to being poured or dribbled over the surface.

Similar to oil paints, heavy body acrylics have a viscosity that is thick and buttery. This makes it simpler to mix and combine colors while also preserving the brushstrokes.

While fluid acrylics can be used for dry-brush painting, detail work, staining, watercolor techniques, and watercolor work, they are watered down yet still maintain the same quantity of pigment.

Can You Use Acrylic Latex Paint On 3D Printed Objects?

Yes, you can use acrylic latex paint on 3D-printed objects. Acrylic latex paint is the same as latex paint (which is based on water), except it is made entirely of acrylic rather than vinyl. Paints made entirely of acrylic latex are of the best grade available for making latex paint. 

Paints made on vinyl latex are significantly more affordable. The main difference between these two paints is that latex paint contains water-based ingredients, whilst acrylic paint contains chemical components.

Due to its chemical composition, acrylic paint is more elastic than latex paint. Chemicals are the foundation of acrylic paint. When it comes to its ability to contract and expand, acrylic paint is superior to latex paint.

Can You Use Acrylic Spray Paint On 3D Printed Objects?

Yes, once 3D printed objects have been prepped, spray painting them takes surprisingly little time (with the right technique).

For the finish to have a glossy appearance, numerous thin layers of even paint must be put in multiple coats over a surface that has been prepared. Underpainted layers are seen when thin coats are applied, producing a rich, deep color. 

Once the paint has been sprayed, an excellent application of acrylic spray paint can help make anything appear consistent or shining.

The print designs you produce using this technique will be made of PLA, ABS, and PETG and will be applied like paint. The method for spray painting 3D printed items composed of most plastics is very similar to the method used for applying most other materials. 

Plastic-Amide may be used effectively in the creation of paints and varnishes since it is a strongly polar polymer. Generally speaking, plastics use paints that work best with objects created via 3D printing.

Can You Use Acrylic Markers On 3D Printed Objects?

The versatility of using markers that are based on acrylic paint is immense. When you use 3D printing, it is undeniably easier to apply it to your prints, and the results are really satisfying. Marker pens that are filled with acrylic paint can be used to decorate almost any surface.

It makes no difference whether the surface is smooth or textured, nor does it matter whether the color is light or dark. There are no restrictions, so you can choose from materials such as leather, rubber, vulcanized rubber, fabric, wood, or glass.

After the paint has had enough time to cure, it will become a finish that is long-lasting, resistant to the elements, and cannot be removed by moving or rinsing.

Can You Use Acrylic Gouache On 3D Printed Objects?

Gouache is matte, whereas acrylic frequently has a glossy or satin surface. In essence, acrylic gouache is an acrylic paint that has an additive that gives it a matte surface resembling gouache. 

In contrast to genuine gouache, it nevertheless has a somewhat plastic-like appearance and is fairly water resistant when dried. So, acrylic gouache is a good option for painting 3D printed objects.

Can You Use Acrylic Ink On 3D Printed Objects?

You can paint with acrylics; but, it’s probable that you’ll need to apply more than one layer of paint. You should avoid using strong paints when you are 3D printing since some of the components in those paints may either ruin your models or react with them.

When painting, ensure that there is sufficient ventilation, paint while wearing a mask at all times, and proceed with utmost caution.

How Long Does Acrylic Paint Take To Dry On PLA?

Acrylic paint dries differently depending on temperature, humidity, paint type, layer thickness, and other variables. Acrylic paint dries in ten to thirty minutes for thin layers, but thick layers can take up to two hours. It will be gone in 24 hours.

Media and processes can dry quickly or slowly. Acrylics dry quickly. It’s critical to distinguish between dry-to-the-touch acrylic paint and fully cured paint when asking about drying time.

“Dry time” is commonly used to signify “touchable.” The drying durations of acrylic paint vary according to the product papers.

If you use thick layers, open acrylics, or a bad drying atmosphere, acrylic paint can take up to two hours to cure. Acrylic paint dries in 10-30 minutes and cures in 12-24 hours. Acrylic paint that dries fast might take less than ten minutes, whereas acrylic paint that dries more slowly might take up to an hour or 2-3 to be dry enough to touch when used on Ply.

How To Prime And Paint 3D Printed Objects?

Well, it’s a long process. So, you better hold tight.

Priming Steps

I have described the steps for priming in the following points.

Step 1: Remove All Supports From Your Item

To remove pieces, use a pair of flush cutters or peel off supports by hand. When working with fragile items, an exacto knife or razor blade can be used to delicately cut away support points.

Step 2: Sanding And Smoothing The Surface

The degree to which the surface is smoothed in this step will affect the final finish. Begin by carefully sanding the whole surface of the model with 220 or 320 grit sandpaper or flexible sanding strips to eliminate any filing or tooling markings. Finish with 400 or 600 grit.

Step 3: Attach The Part

Drill a starting hole in an unnoticeable position, then mount your part on a slender dowel and put it into the paint block.

Step 4: Scrub The Surface To Eliminate Any Dust

Wash away any dust using a brush and water. To fully clean the surface without leaving any marks, you may want to use deionized or distilled water (available at a grocery shop).

Step 5: Wipe Down With A Tack Cloth

Wearing nitrile gloves, make long, delicate strokes with a tack cloth. Wipe in model cracks in a continuous direction.

Step 6: Apply The First Primer Layer

Spray 6-8″ away in short, rapid strokes. Before the part, begin and end each stroke. While spraying, rotate the section quickly. Begin with a thin foundation layer and gradually increase the opacity.

Step 7: Apply The Last Primer Layer

Finish with another coat of paint in rapid strokes when the color is opaque. Avoid using too much paint since it will cover up minor details.

Painting Steps

I have tried to point out the painting steps below. Begin with a part that has been primed and mounted.

Step 1: Buff And Polish

You have to buff and polish the previously primed surface. Do it gently with the nail buffing sticks.

Step 2: Wipe Dust

Wipe the dust away using a tack cloth. Rub the surface lightly in one direction.

Step 3: Apply Undercoat 

To achieve an even finish, spray the figure. Keep the nozzle 6″ away from the sculpture and move quickly, swirling the spray around. Translucent first layers are recommended. Allow the model to dry for 20 to 30 minutes after applying an opaque coat. A coat requires two to four layers.

Step 4: Polish Between Layers 

Lightly sand and polish the model in between coats. This smoothes the surface. Perform this between phases.

Step 5: Use Mask Or Tape

You need a mask or tape to protect the sections of the undercoat that you want to keep.

Step 6: Put On Last Coat 

This is optional. You may create gradients or rich color blends by applying a color that contrasts with the base color.

Step 7: Use Clear Coat

You have to use a clear coat to complete it. 1 to 2 light coatings of clearcoat will make a polished model look glossy.

How To Seal Acrylic Paint On 3D Printed Objects?

You must lacquer your finished acrylic paintings if you want them to last. The varnish will protect the painting from the effects of dust, UV light, and yellowing.

So answer to the question how to seal acrylic paint on 3D print is – first, you need to make sure that your acrylic painting is completely dry before you add the varnish sealer to it. 

When applying the initial layer of varnish, make sure to do so with a brush that has wide-spaced bristles and a base coat brush. I would ask you to be patient while the first coat dries. The first coat should be applied in one direction, and the second coat should be applied in the opposite direction. Wait until the second coat has had a chance to dry completely before continuing.

Suggested Materials You May Need

PLA and PETG are by far the easiest materials to coat for 3D printing, and acrylics displayed excellent adhesion even without any prior priming. Furthermore, PC-ABS, photopolymer resin, SLS-printed PA12, and aluminide also have advantages.

Acrylics were difficult to cling to FDM-printed PA12, ABS, and TPU, necessitating the usage of primers in these circumstances. Plastic Adhesion Primer and Spray Filler are two products that significantly improve adhesion on all of the main materials.

#1 Krylon Fusion For Plastic : (Recommended Plastic Adhesion Primer) 

Krylon Fusion For Plastic is designed to give plastic a great bind without flaking. It dries quickly, is strong, and is incredibly versatile.

Perfect for plaster, hard vinyl, hard metal, paper, wicker, wood, and other natural materials. Painting plastic is now possible thanks to the ground-breaking superbond Fusion for Plastic no-prep. 

Fusion’s smooth, the chip-resistant coating makes it simpler than ever to revive, refurbish, and restyle outdated plastic products.

This spray paint works wonderfully for indoor and outdoor use and dries quickly—in about 15 minutes or less. Your plastic adhesion will be flawless when using Krylon to create items for 3D printers.


#2 Aves Apoxie Sculpt : (Recommended Spray Filler For 3D Model) 

Aves Apoxie Sculpt blends the qualities and advantages of modeling clay with the epoxy’s strong adhesive properties.

Apoxie Sculpt, in contrast to typical modeling clay, cures firm with a semi-gloss finish in 24 hours, making it ideal for embellishing costumes or crafts that are too large or delicate for the oven. It works well for your 3D model because it sticks to almost any surface. 

It comes in 12 brilliant colors, including Natural, White, Black, Brown, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Red, Pink, Silver-Grey-Grey, and Bronze, which you’ll be delighted to know about. Please check out their Super White Apoxie if you’re seeking for a dazzling white hue for your 3D project!


Over To You

Acrylic Paints are unquestionably among the most adaptable paints on the market, as you may have realized by this point. I might, however, have overlooked a lot. 

What do you believe this article was missing? Please share your opinions and experiences with acrylic paints in the comments section below.

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