Painting Plastic, Pad Printing, & Powder Coating

Secondary Decorative Process for Plastic Injection Molded Parts: Part 4

As we round out this series on secondary decorative processes for injection molded parts, let’s chat about a simple and affordable option: painting plastic injection molded parts. Plastic possibilities are as endless as the spectrum of light that creates the color we see. As said before, plastic itself can often be molded to the color of your choice. Color can be added into the material before it is molded. Sometimes, that might not be the best option for your part. However, in a scenario in which the part needs to retain a physical or chemical property, adding color can have a negative effect. Alternatively, you might be looking for a gleam, glossy, or matte look that can be provided for through a painting technique. However colorful your desires are, they can be achieved by some means. 

Painting Plastic Injection Molded Parts

As experts in plastic injection molding, we are familiar with many different requests from our customers. If the color and texture you desire isn’t absolutely the way you want it straight from the mold, there are many options for painting your part that might satisfy your specifications more completely. In order to achieve the long-lasting adhesion you are looking for in painting your injection molded plastic part, a plastic expert can help you work through a few key components.

  • Chemical Properties of the Plastic & Paint
  • Part Surface Preparation
  • Plastic Material Characteristics
  • Desired Outcome

Painting your part post-mold can be a great option for cost-effective, unique design choices you may have. When considering your unique design desires and project specifications, there might be a specific painting technique that is most fitting for your project. There are multiple painting techniques used for secondary decorative processes for injection molded parts. Some different painting techniques include:

  • Spray Painting
  • Pad Printing/Stamping
  • Powder Coating
spray painting plastic car part

Spray Painting Your Plastic Injection Molded Part

Simple and efficient, spray painting your plastic part is just as it sounds. Add color to your plastic injection molded part with this cost-effective technique. Depending on the paint, the part may require UV curing to achieve maximum durability.

Pad Printing/Stamping

Perhaps you don’t want to cover the entire part with a single color, as would occur with spray painting. In the event you have a specific design or logo that you want painted on, pad printing (aka stamping) might be your preferred route. Perhaps you molded a part that is blue, but you want a secondary color. You still want some of the blue molded plastic to show through on half of the part, but the other half you want an eye-catching red color! Stamping the red paint onto the part can help achieve this custom look.

Pad printing allows you to add a more unique look to your finished product. This process is simple and affordable. How it sounds is how it is. Pad printing is simple: a large pad soaks up the paint and applies the paint to the surface of the plastic part. Preparation and curing specifications are dependent on the material and the paint.

Powder Coating

Last, but certainly not least, is powder coating. Need a super tough, durable finish? Powder coating might be your best solution. For this process, a powdered plastic of your color choice is sprayed onto the part and then UV cured. The chemical characteristics of the powdered plastic and the plastic molding part must both be considered for optimized adhesion. This electrostatic bond is important to achieve before the UV curing process.

Achieving the Perfect Finish for Your Part

Painting as a secondary decorative technique can help you achieve exactly the look and the durability you are wanting. In order to achieve a long-lasting, durable finish, the right chemical property match-up of paint to plastic. Our expert plastic engineers have been working in the plastic injection molding industry since 1987 and are well equipped to help you achieve your design goals.

Want to get a quote? Don’t hesitate to reach out via email or by calling our office (772)569-5999.

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