We use rubber stuff each day in different ways. From the rubber sole of our shoes to the arts and crafts, we can find the presence of rubber. Sometimes, they need to be colorful, which we can do by painting them. But there is a genuine controversy about the rubber “Can I paint the rubber?”.
Okay! Right now, I am saying that you can paint the rubber too. Let me unveil the secrets of painting rubber in the article.
How is the Rubber Made?
Rubber is the outcome of the isoprene polymers and several natural agents and impurities mixture. Some industries make synthetic rubber using crude oil. Again, you can feel the softness of naturally found rubber with a low-use substance. Making a rubber hardened requires vulcanization, cross-linking among molecules.
These hardened (or modified soft) rubbers are used in producing tires, tubes, raincoats, and many more. The elasticity of rubber is very high. So, when you paint the rubber, it remains visible on the surface for a while. This is absolutely a unique character of rubber.
Types of Rubber Paint
Yes, you can paint on rubber surfaces. Normally, there are four types of paint to apply to the rubber. You can choose them for their specific way of painting. Acrylic, removable, exterior, and marine – these are paint types available to paint the rubbers. Let me share their intro with you:
Mostly acrylic paints are usable on wood, concrete, etc. But they are also applicable to rubber arts and crafts. This paint is preferable for rubber household items with the least wear and tear.
Again, acrylic paints are great for things that require less moving or touching. But my suggestion is not to use acrylic paint as it has a big impact on decoration than endurance.
Removable paints are a good choice for repainting rubber objects. Also, you can remove the coating after a certain period when you willingly want to peel it off. These paints are usually available in a spray can.
However, you can apply removable paint at ease. For example, you want to decorate rubber things in the holiday season. Spray the paint, and after use, you can peel it using a razor blade or sharp knife. The longevity of this paint depends on you, as typically, it does not get peeled or cracked.
Exterior paint is extremely durable and non-toxic for safe outdoor applications. You can use it for painting rubber objects which you want to keep outside your home. As a result, the coating can resist rain, snow, wind, and the sun’s heat.
You can apply exterior paints using spray, brush, or roller. Again, it doesn’t require any sealant to protect the paint under adverse weather. But I found that it will need an exterior primer before applying to let the paint stick to the surface.
Marine paints are commercially used products for applying on the rubber surface. They are best for durability and enhanced adhesion to the rubber. When you use this paint, there will be no possibility of structural damage like cracks, peels, fading. After all, marine paints can resist humidity, sun heat, and other extreme weather conditions.
You can see the uses of marine paints on pools and blats. The exciting thing is there is no need for primer or sealant to apply the paint. Because it can survive damage without any extra layer of protection.
How to Apply Paint on Rubber?
Painting can be effortless, fun, and simple to do. It does not take long to apply various paints on a rubber body. So, you should keep the misconception away that painting rubber isn’t easy. Below is the process of painting rubber with spray paint. You can follow the same method for a paintbrush; just replace the spray paint with a paintbrush.
Here are the simple steps to paint on a rubber surface:
First Step – Preparation
The very first step is arranging all the things for painting rubber. You should arrange some necessary tools to paint the rubber. Here are those painting tools:
- Dishwasher soap
- Rubbing alcohol
- Spray paint
- Painter’s tape
- Drop cloth
- Similar color acrylic paint
You may arrange more items for further decoration according to your preferences. Before starting the next step, cover yourself with a face mask, put on safety goggles and hand gloves. Additionally, you can cover the workspace with a drop cloth.
Second Step – Cleaning the Rubber
Once you have prepared completely, you can pick the rubber object and start cleaning with a wet rag and dishwasher soap. Wash the object carefully to clean all the dust and debris. Later on, you should rinse the rubber surface with clean water. Wait for the object for drying.
Third Step – Sand the Rubber
Sanding helps the primer or base coat stick on the surface properly. So, you can start sanding with coarse sandpaper in a circular motion. It will prevent the chances of scratches or cracks on the rubber body. Then, clean the rubbing alcohol to remove the oil. It will prevent the paint from sticking.
Fourth Step – Apply Spray Paint
This time you can start using spray paint on rubber. Remember, spray paints can cause breathing issues. So, you should keep the workspace ready with full ventilation. Try to use painter’s tape to avoid unnecessary paints on other areas.
Fifth Step – Paint the Rubber
You can find many spray paints with a 2-in-1 solution of paint and primer. You can check this on the spray can’s body. If it is not to spray paint, you can check the container and user manual too. Once you get this paint with primer, there will be no need for priming.
Some paints are suitable for both interior and exterior applications. My suggestion is to give several coats of paint till it covers the raw color of the rubber. On the other hand, applying primer beside the paint (without 2-in-1) should be done before painting.
While spraying the rubber, you should maintain a distance between the can and object of 30-45 cm. It helps to skip spreading the paint on the wrong spots. I love to spray horizontally while maintaining the pressure steadily. You can paint the side of the line by side and top to bottom gradually.
Leave the paint for drying after every coat. It helps the paint to sit on the rubber surface well. Usually, the spray paint drying time is between 15 to 20 minutes with a total curing time of 20-24 hours.
Sixth Step – Remove the Painter’s Tape
If you have used painter’s tape in early steps, peel it to complete the painting. Make sure you are not damaging the paint. Now, you can use liquid acrylic paint with a paintbrush to control the peeling. The color of acrylic paint should be like spray paint. It also helps to cover the areas where you missed spraying.
Seventh Step – Add Patterns
It is time to add a pattern to the main paint. You should also apply a polyurethane layer on the rubber surface as it increases durability. Again, plastic coating spray can be an alternative to polyurethane.
You can follow various ways to add patterns on rubber paint. For example, you can use a mini tip to draw on the paint. Try to add some bright spots or shadows with a lighter or darker paint; it is up to your preferences. For better ideas about patterns, try to follow the expert notes available online.
Final Step – The Complete Finish
Once you have gone through each step with care, you are ready to use the rubber object. It is done when you have waited for the final coat to completely dry. To check if the paint is dried or not, you can look closely or touch a small spot to feel it. The finish of the paint depends on the spray style and layers of paint.
3 Best Paint for Rubber Reviews
1. Rubberseal Liquid Rubber Paint
Rubberseal liquid rubber paint is an excellent choice for people facing various temperature issues. It gives super-strong waterproof protection on the rubber surfaces. You can use it as an insulator, preferably for rubber materials, roofs, and RV roofs.
You can use a roll or trowel to apply this EPA energy star-rated product. After applying, it will create a resistance to high temperature, UV rays. Also, it can protect rubber, ceramics from moisture damages. Many experts have found it effective in ponding water. Again, you can pick any of the 1-5 gallons containers.
The long-lasting paint from Rubberseal has some other exciting features. It reflects solar radiation, emits high thermal conditions, and prevents heat penetration. So, wherever you use it, it will be a cool and peaceful place with the proper balance of heat and air quality. However, the spread rate of this product is 6-60sqft per gallon at 20 imp mils.
2. Rust-Oleum LeakSeal Flexible Rubber Coating – Best Spray Paint for Rubber
If you prefer affordable, multipurpose paint, you should definitely try the LeakSeal flexible rubber coating. This spray paint is just another great product from the popular “Rust Oleum” company. You can spray this aerosol paint on surfaces like rubber, metal, aluminum, concrete, masonry and so on.
Especially, this paint seals the gutters, roofs, ducts to protect from any weather damages. Fortunately, it contains an oil-based formula to fix the leaks and cracks immediately. The surface becomes completely air and waterproof for long time.
Each aerosol contains 12oz. Paint with 8sqft coverage. You can purchase multiple packages depending on your project needs. Also, there are several finishes available which you may prefer. You can use the paint with other latex or oil-based paints too. Additionally, it dries to touch within just half an hour.
3. Multi-Surface Liquid Rubber
From 1 gallon to 5 gallons, you can get complete excellence from the L R store’s liquid rubber watertight sealant. This waterproof polymer paint is suitable for any indoor and outdoor coating. It gives a protective membrane on roofs, foundations, sheds, metal, wood, and others.
The flexibility of the paint is a matter of appreciation. After all, it has 1000% elongation to prevent any adhesion failure. It contains a water-based formula to keep your family, plants, and pets safe. As well, it doesn’t have any solvents or VOCs that could be harmful to your health.
The liquid Rubber coating is simple to apply with brush, roller, or sprayers. Also, it has excellent coverage like 1gal/30sqft on vertical surfaces, 1gal/15sqft on flat surfaces. Besides waterproofing, it can prevent damages from UV and extreme heat.
That is everything from me about “Can you paint rubber?”. I hope you have added some beautiful information to your knowledge.
Related Topic: Can You Use Interior Paint Outside?