Spray paint failure... Painting over rubber forever tacky

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BigMOP

New Member
I have a big problem. I spray painted a new baby Yoda toy. The head and hands are both made of rubber. Now it is forever sticky as far as I can tell.

Anyone have any ideas on what I can do? Anything will help.

I thought about things like baby powder, and maybe heating it up. But I'm not quite sure about either of those. The baby powder would leave too much residue and I don't want to shrink the rubber with heat

Though I do believe rubber is the big issue
 

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Zombie Killer

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Only luck ive ever had with paint not drying (usually black) is to give it some light coats of clear. I hate paints that dont dry almost as much as companies that make paints that are incompatible with each other.
 

PoopaPapaPalps

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Not much you can do. Thinning the paints with solvent to strip enamel may end up eating the rubber the toy is made of. I'd probably get another one if I were you.

I don't know much good it'd do to try and spray an adhesion promoter over a clean one and then maybe painting with inks or acrylics on top of that.
 

Funky

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I’ll bet it’s not rubber but vinyl. It will cure, but it will take a VERy long time. Have you tried a heat gun on a low setting?
It’s better to use brush on acrylic paint which needs almost zero cure time. Spray paint has an oil based seperator which keeps it from congealing in the can. That’s your culprit. Water based on vinyl equals good. Spray paint on vinyl equals a VERY long cure time.

But that’s my experience.
 

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chazzychaz

Well-Known Member
Its the material, probably vinyl, normally perform a test on the material. but either way your goose is cooked. your better off the get a 3d print and paint that.
 

hamsalad

Active Member
I have a big problem. I spray painted a new baby Yoda toy. The head and hands are both made of rubber. Now it is forever sticky as far as I can tell.

Anyone have any ideas on what I can do? Anything will help.

I thought about things like baby powder, and maybe heating it up. But I'm not quite sure about either of those. The baby powder would leave too much residue and I don't want to shrink the rubber with heat

Though I do believe rubber is the big issue
Your problem is that the rubber/ vynil has absorbed the solvent of the paint: this will make the paint 'sticky' because it needs the solvent to evaporate to harden. If you wait long enough, it will eventually evaporate, but I'd say you need to either remove the paint and try again with a paint formulated for rubber ( there is an addative you can get for acrylic paint that makes it stick to rubber , there are also rubber mask paints) or you could try wiping it down with alcohol (this is a degreaser and tends to remove mineral spirits, or 'paint thinner'...which I suspect is the solvent that's causing the issue) . Good luck with that!
 

hamsalad

Active Member
I’ll bet it’s not rubber but vinyl. It will cure, but it will take a VERy long time. Have you tried a heat gun on a low setting?
It’s better to use brush on acrylic paint which needs almost zero cure time. Spray paint has an oil based seperator which keeps it from congealing in the can. That’s your culprit. Water based on vinyl equals good. Spray paint on vinyl equals a VERY long cure time.

But that’s my experience.
Good idea, Oh funky one!
 

BigMOP

New Member
I’ll bet it’s not rubber but vinyl. It will cure, but it will take a VERy long time. Have you tried a heat gun on a low setting?
It’s better to use brush on acrylic paint which needs almost zero cure time. Spray paint has an oil based seperator which keeps it from congealing in the can. That’s your culprit. Water based on vinyl equals good. Spray paint on vinyl equals a VERY long cure time.

But that’s my experience.
Thanks so much I'll go for but heat gun next
 

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doppelganger

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
You could also dunk it in water (put it in water. Dont run a tap over it).This has the effect of drawing out and wicking away the solvent. Then dab off the water droplets with a clean cloth and it should dry off and harden in a day or so.
 

Rogviler

Well-Known Member
In my experience, using the wrong kind of paint over vinyl or nylon will simply never dry properly. You're better off stripping it and redoing it. I've had things stay tacky for years as the chemicals continually leach out and react with the paint. Further, I had one instance of the paint drying just fine and then a couple months later it became tacky. A "barrier" coat of compatible paint doesn't always help either. If the vinyl chemicals can find their way to the incompatible paint they will.

Also, not that it will help, but to answer one of your questions, heat won't affect toy vinyl at all. It makes it softer while it's hot but then it returns to normal. On the other hand, soaking it in acetone will cause it to swell and then shrink and become harder when it dries, sometimes drastically, so be careful if you strip the paint with solvent.
 

kurtyboy

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I painted a pair of rubber skiing goggles and years later the paint got stuck the bubblewrap while I had them in storage. It was still slightly tacky after over two years.
 

AnubisGuard

Sr Member
If the vinyl chemicals can find their way to the incompatible paint they will.

Yup. The problem is the plasticizer in the vinyl; it interacts with the paint to keep it sticky. Vinyl plasticizers can cause a lot of problems because they migrate out of the material and into other paints, plastics, and so forth. I've seen action figures crumble after a few years because some vinyl part was designed to be in contact with an ABS part and it eventually destroyed it.

As mentioned above, the best bet is to redo it with a paint that doesn't interact with the vinyl.
 

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Jimw100

Well-Known Member
You could also dunk it in water (put it in water. Dont run a tap over it).This has the effect of drawing out and wicking away the solvent. Then dab off the water droplets with a clean cloth and it should dry off and harden in a day or so.
Apologies for posting in such an old thread, but I have been looking for ages to find a solution to this problem - I repainted a Hasbro toy Tie Bomber, not even realising that some of the parts are vinyl. I’ve tried alcohol, left if for months to dry and now I’m going to try dunking it in water! Any guidance on how long it needs to be in there for?
 

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