Aug 16, 2014

Plastic Kitsch to Plastic Chic

One of my favorite projects for either my home or my shop is to take an out-dated piece of vintage decor and turn it into to something new and fun! The possibilities are nearly endless, but for this blog we are going to focus on painting plastics. It is relatively easy to find Homco and Burwood products at most thrift stores and flea markets here in Houston. For this blog, I have picked a large Burwood wall hanging sconce. This shape is a lot of fun, but the gold tone is not my favorite.

 Your first step is to clean up your item. A little bit of soapy water and you are good to go. Give it a couple of hours to thoroughly dry. This piece is pretty large, so I hosed it off outside. Next, you want to gather your supplies. 

1. Gloves 
2. Respirator Mask (a dust mask does not protect from vapors)
3. Paper towels or a shop cloth
4.Turpentine
5. Plastic Primer
6. Your color choice (I still use paints made to adhere to plastic but it is not required when using a plastic primer)
6. A clear coat/sealant
7. A paint brush 

It is really important that you are in a well ventilated area when using these products, especially if you do not have a respirator mask. The turpentine can poison you if you breath in the fumes. 

After you have cleaned up your piece, you want to wipe it down with turpentine. You will need your gloves and your paper towels/shop cloth. Once you have wiped your treasure down, leave it sit for about an hour before you move onto the base coat/primer. Once you have waited the hour, before you apply your base coat, take your paint brush and give your piece a good brushing. This will remove any lose debris and dust. 

The key to using spray paint is light, even strokes. Shake the can vigorously until the ball moves around in the can freely. When putting on your base coat, remember that you do not need to saturate the color. Spray a light coat, keeping the can about 10 to 12 inches away from your project, moving continuously. If you spray to close, or for to long in one spot, you will end up with runs (drips in the paint). Don't forget to paint the back! Here is how it looked when I completed the base coat. 


Drying time varies depending on the climate in your area. Temperature and humidity levels will greatly impact your time frame. For Houston, where it is crazy hot and crazy humid, I triple the drying time that is stated on the can. There is dry enough to add another coat (about an hour in Houston time) and dry enough to handle (about 2 hours Houston drying time). With this plastic primer, one coat is good. If you are doing a drastic color change, you may want to consider a second coat. 

Here is the 2nd coat of color:

Adding color is a little different, I generally apply 3 coats. This helps to avoid runs. Again, the trick is light, even strokes. Keep the can 10 to 12 inches away from the project piece and move continuously, careful not to spray in one spot for to long. I only used two coats of color on the back of the piece. 

The final step is your clear coat. This requires 2 coats. The same method should be used as with your primer and color coats.  I am crazy for a matte finish right now, so that is my choice. You can get clear, gloss or even high gloss, it is up to you. 


Your project is done! 






3 comments:

Mom Wald said...

I adore spray paint. What a lovely project!

Jacqueline Hernandez said...

Looks Beautiful! Thanks for the easy, concise instructions! Can't wait to transform some of my finds... :)

Emma Segasture said...

Love it ;)