Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

June, 2003

Painting Plexiglass Plastic

Q. I am trying to make some giant ice cubes as props and have found the most cost effective way to be to construct them out of Plexiglas..... now I need to figure out how to paint them with a translucent light blue to give them a realistic "ice look". Any information you could give me would be very helpful.

A. I have never tried to paint Plexiglass, but if I did, it would be with a waterborne paint, such as house paint. This plastic is very sensitive to solvents and therefore I would not use a solvent-borne or "oil-based" paint.

Rather than go to your local hardware store, I would suggest that you visit your local industrial paint supply store. These stores carry paints that are for the professional industry. Ask if they have a waterborne acrylic clear coating. Then perhaps you can add a blue dye into the coating to give it a blue-ish look.

Another idea that you can try, but remember I haven't tried this myself, is to add a small amount of a pastel blue acrylic latex paint to a clear acrylic latex paint. The more of the blue paint that you add, the more opaque it will be. Therefore, you might need to experiment until you get the required result.

Please get back to me and let me know if either of my ideas have worked.

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