Vinyl dye questions again: advice needed


New Member
I need advice and input!

last night i was kept up all night trying to figure out vinyl dye based on what iv'e been told all night. note: i do not own any vinyl dye yet. That's the sort of insomniac i am.

What I've been told is once you dye plastic, in this cases ABS, the only paint that will stick over it is acrylic.

I've also been told that, obviously, vinyl dye doesn't stick to painted surfaces.

The object of the game is to have a gun that is recolored but even if it scratches, it will generally remain the new color. Hence dye. What I wanted to do was dye a nerf gun but give it detailing in the recessed lines and elsewhere where things get greebly, but have the big areas dyed.

Originally i was thinking that I would dye everything and then paint over it. Then I was told that only acrylic would work over dyed plastic and that was a downer because acrylic doesn't stick as well as other things. Meanwhile, if you mask an area, masked plastic adjacent to the dyed area will soak up a bit of the dye, creating a fade, which i will address the potential usefulness of in a bit. But the problem is if you have the fade going on, can you really expect normal paint to stick over the faded area? What if its something more tenacious like Krylon Fusion? (I have seen one example of fading under a mask used intentionally but there was no painting over it because the person assumed that other paint just wouldn't stick on top.)

More recently i've encountered statements that suggest that a dyed surface will take any sort of paint. Is that true? Or, is it true that the only paint that will stick on top is acrylic?

Alternatively, lets say I put the paint in the desired areas first and then dye everything. How do i get the dye residue off of the painted areas when i'm done? does it just flake off? Will it wash off? Some of the areas that i wish to paint are complicated and it wouldn't be as simple as taping over them and using brush-on latex masking isn't really possible because the only place that sells it around here is far away.

Again, your input is needed!

Oh, and I forgot: this is more to share an idea because i think it will work, rather than anything else: i had some ideas for creative application of the dye to achieve gradients:

One is to use the masking strateically so that stuff bleeds and creates a gradient.

Also apparently the .45cent USD modular nozzles they make for graffiti paint will work on any sort of spray can which means interesting possibilities for anyone using spray stuff but especially for dye-ers because of dyed plastic's durability, retaining its color even if scratched.

What i have in mind is to make at least one nerf gun look kind of like its a computer model for a video or PC game. While i wouldn't be using pixilation, I would use the HDR-style gradients as well as the darkened recessed lines.

The only other time I saw someone make gradients with vinyl dye, it was crudely done and without any artistic sense. The sort of thing i have in mind would be like if the main body of a longstrike was medium gray with some dark gray and lighter around the edges of the panels. Alternately, i could embellish the stock colorschemes. For instance take the turret on a Swarmfire and make its edges fade slightly lighter or darker and do something similar to the yellow part of the body shell, in addition to something like an ink wash over everything and painted-on embellishments of the grip and stock.

That reminds me: i suppose there's no reason an acrylic varnish wouldn't work over the whole thing when I'm done is there? There's this nice semi-gloss stuff i saw online some time ago designed for boats, that was highly recommended to me by some folks in the RC boating community for its durability, longevity, and the fact that it never yellows. I will share the name of it here when i find it. Would any other sort of varnish or sealer go over it well?

Thanks very much in advance!

And lastly, if there