Plastic Coat

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About: I am a photographer, a tinker, an electronics technology engineer, and author; I write short stories and poetry for the love of writing. I started writing poetry in high school over thirty years ago where I ...

Plastic coating has hundreds of uses, water proofing the electronics of robots and remote controlled vehicles that might land in water or repairing fishing poles. Mix it with paint thinner then add it to paint and it makes an almost indestructible chip guard paint for your car that can stand up to any gravel road. You can even use it as modeling glue.

I repair everything I own that is not under warrantee, and I like to repurpose for reuse anything I cannot repair, or I recycle everything else. Now you can buy clear plastic coating but I like to make my own plastic coat.

This is a very easy product to make that you can use right after making or if you have an air tight container save for another day.

Step 1: Materials

Polystyrene or Styrofoam

Air tight Jar

Solvent

You can use just about any clear solvent or naphtha gas to make plastic coat; however the lower the vaporization temperature the faster the plastic coat dries when used.

I used 118 ml of CPVC, ABS, PVC, clear primer cleaner that contained, Tetrahydrofuran, Methyl Ethyl Ketone, Toluene, and Acetone to make clear plastic coat. This stuff vaporizes fast and I had some lying around not being used so I thought I would put it to use.

Step 2: Mixing

To make plastic coat you can use just about any Polystyrene or Styrofoam, but if you want clear plastic coat use just the white Polystyrene or Styrofoam. White Polystyrene or Styrofoam isn’t white, it’s clear like water, and just like water when it freezes it looks white.

Break up the Polystyrene or Styrofoam and stuff it into the jar.

Add the solvent to the jar, the Polystyrene or Styrofoam should start to dissolve almost immediately.

Keep adding Polystyrene or Styrofoam to the jar, if you are using a solvent that vaporizes quickly put the lid on the jar between adding Polystyrene or Styrofoam and wait for it to dissolve.

Continue adding Polystyrene or Styrofoam to the jar until it takes several minutes for the Polystyrene or Styrofoam to dissolve.

Now you have plastic coat that dries clear.

Step 3: Mixing Plastic Coat for Paint

Mixing plastic coat for use with paint is much the same as the clear coat with a couple key differences.

First, latex and other water based paint are out of the question, they just don’t mix with solvent.

Second, paint thinner takes longer to dissolve the Polystyrene or Styrofoam, and it takes longer to dry.

Third different oil based paints use different application thinners. Automotive paint uses automotive paint thinner, oil paints used in the home like you would use on your mailbox might use varsol as a thinner. If you use the wrong application thinner the plastic coat and the paint won’t mix.

Paints with a light colored pigment like white or yellow use the white Polystyrene or Styrofoam to make your plastic coat paint so it won’t taint the final color. Dark paints like black or metallic blue won’t be bothered as much by added pigments so you can use the colored Polystyrene or Styrofoam.

Mix the paint thinner and Polystyrene or Styrofoam to the jar just as I did for the clear plastic coat.

Since the paint thinner takes longer to dissolve the Polystyrene or Styrofoam in the jar you may have a lump of undissolved Polystyrene or Styrofoam.

Put the lid on the jar and let it sit overnight stirring it occasionally until the Polystyrene or Styrofoam in the jar has dissolved.

If all the Polystyrene or Styrofoam doesn’t dissolve by the next day you can filter out any solids with a paint filter.

Step 4: Using the Plastic Coat

To water proof electronic circuit boards first make sure the circuit board works as intended, the plastic coat is harder to take off the circuit board then it is to make and apply if you want to make repairs. Then dip the circuit board into the plastic coat, or paint the plastic coat onto the circuit board with a brush.

To repair worn resin on the whipping of a fishing pole just paint the clear plastic coat made with the PVC primer over the whipping and it dries in seconds making your fishing rod ready to go fishing in a minute.

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55 Discussions

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theguywitheyebrows

Question 5 weeks ago on Step 4

Cpvc primer+sytrofoam/polystyrene=clear, this is exactly what i picked up my phone to search for, perfectly as i need it. Epic.
What about adding pigment in at this stage, specifically pigment designed to become paint? Is the thinner neccesary because the paint needs it to be thinned, or does the cpvc primer work as paint thinner in the same fashion?

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RaquielR

4 months ago

How thick is the resulting liquid? This sounds like dip it from fantasy film (a resinous material used by some crafters to make thin films on wire frames that's now harder to find b.c it stopped being legal at one point for the toluene) and I am looking for an alternative.

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RaquielRJosehf Murchison

Reply 4 months ago

Thank you! Do you mean "thinner than acrylic paint" but also "thicker than watercolors"?

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Josehf MurchisonRaquielR

Reply 4 months ago

Way thicker than water color. more like the oil based paint you use on baseboards.

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wasteoinc

5 months ago

I also have the same problem as mach1950.

I first tried to use paint thinner. It seems that it doesnt really dissolve the styrofoam. It melts it bubbles and then sits on the bottom

then I tried Aceton as in the description. Even though it seems some styrofoam melted in the acetone (the solution became somewhat cloudy), most of it is sitting at the bottom.

any ideas??

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Josehf Murchisonwasteoinc

Reply 5 months ago

How much Toluene in the mix?

Try something with a higher amount of Toluene.

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Greycloak

1 year ago

Interesting, I came here looking for a paint on solution for a boat I am going to be making out of XPF sheating foam. Is there any reason why this shouldn't work for that? Also is there a way to add color to it permanently?

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Josehf MurchisonGreycloak

Reply 1 year ago

I have never tried in on that foam, I have to test it.

Yes you can color it with oil based paint.

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GreycloakJosehf Murchison

Reply 1 year ago

Okay cool. I am doing the prep work for building a kayak and would prefer the finished product not end up looking like pink panther. Thank you so much for the response!

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mach1950

1 year ago

Hi again Josehf, I have only just got some styrene in a package to try this. I am dissolving it in pure acetone, and is fizzes as it goes in, but it's leaving a soft white deposit in the bottom of the jar. It still seems to be dissolving (fizzing) but there's this deposit in the bottom. Am I doing something wrong?

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mach1950

1 year ago

How good is this at UV resistance? Thinking of when you use it to re-furb solar cells. (another great idea you have) I live in Australia and we have much more "full sunshine" hours than you, but we still struggle with the cheap solar string lights, usually becasue of UV degradation I guess.

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Josehf Murchisonmach1950

Reply 1 year ago

You are right, some months we only get 55 hours of full sun where I live. I think our winter is as hard on solar cells if not more hard then the summer. Earth's orbit is at the Periapsis during our winter, (Closest to the Sun.) and since our winter is your summer, I'm not surprised solar cells don't last long down under.

Glass solar cells fair better but they are not Immune to Environmental Damage.

Toluene can remove some of the UV damage and revitalize the plastic epoxy resin on some solar cells, Toluene in the plastic coat makes it stick better.

By the way; how was your first day of fall?

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mach1950Josehf Murchison

Reply 1 year ago

:-D First day of fall was a bit cool 78F max down to 55F min but it was sunny. How was your first day of spring?

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Josehf Murchisonmach1950

Reply 1 year ago

Sunny 41 F dropping to 5 F. went fishing caught my limit in trout so all in all a good beginning to spring. :-)

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mach1950

1 year ago

This is really great. I'm so angry when I think about all the styrene i've thrown in the rubbish. I will be using this to dip my PCB's for protection and to repair my fishing gear. Fantastic. Many thanks Josehf.