Real dumb question

So I’m looking into making a couple projects using my forge, as I’ve done many times. This time however, for the first time I plan on painting my acrylic after my lasering. I’ve done a bit of research and haven’t found a ton of useful answers. For the Acrylic sheets, acrylic paint should work just fine after a light sanding, right? I’m a hobbyist and don’t have a budget right now to but material to test on. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Acrylic paint will adhere to just about anything but it won’t be durable if exposed to elements (weather).

A solvent-based paint like enamel will be more durable.


There are lots of posts here in the forum regarding painting on acrylic - from acrylic paint to alcohol ink to paint pens. Here is one such post: Earrings with acrylic and paint pens, plus a fractal snail


That’s about what I figured, though i didn’t now enamel was solvent-based. Good to know.

@dklgood I forgot to consult the other posts. I’ve had a bit of a hiatus from my forge and am just getting back into the swing of things. I’ll be sure to search the forum first next time.

Thanks for the help from both of you! :grin:

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I paint filled an acrylic engraving with acrylic paint for a license plate frame, and that paint eventually shrunk and flaked out of the engraving after a year or so. I used scored masking on acrylic as a stencil to spray paint some text on frosted clear acrylic, and that’s held up for the past few months so far as a hanging sign from a tent at craft shows. For something durable to put in customer hands, I’d probably not paint acrylic. Vinyl maybe. Sublimation works on white acrylic if you have the printer.


Not every type of paint is identical, but enamel often has a solvent carrier whereas acrylic is more often water based.

I have rarely painted acrylic but do paint, stain or dye wood often. You can see one in my recent “weird” thread in everything else, I used ultra dye for that.

I have used alcohol inks on clear acrylic to get a stained-glass look. I’m not as talented as many others here but it looks fine hanging in a window…


I realize that, thanks though. I’ve used acrylic on wood, leather, and cured resin (after applying a primer) but never painted my acrylic pieces. I know that paints typically have trouble adhering to smooth plastics, but I thought that perhaps acrylic paint would bond more willingly to acrylic plastic. I’ll just be sure to sand my plastic and use a primer if it still comes off. Thanks again.
I’ll absolutely have to take a look at your “weird” thread. That stained glass sounds really cool.

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Acrylic is most often a type of resin suspended in a water-based carrier. It works well on wood because the water softens up the surface enough for the dye/powder to soak in, but it generally doesn’t work well on plastics as it simply forms a “skin” on the surface. Solvent-based carriers etch the surface and provide a better solution.

There are no hard and fast rules, it takes experimentation. Krylon makes a good acrylic that works on plastic but you can tell when you spray it there is a solvent in there,

I use a lot of a clear water-based acrylic (Minwax Polycrylic) to seal wood, often times colored with dye or ink pens beforehand that just soaks into the wood grain but offers no protection. The Polycrylic does that.


Just browsed thru my paint collection and many are latex, not acrylic as I had thought. I do a lot with acrylic that I brush on, but also a fair amount with spray cans that are a mix of either latex or enamels.

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