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Author Topic: Brass Paint  (Read 903 times)
thesteampunkvictorian
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« on: December 11, 2016, 03:23:55 am »

Hi, i'm sort-of new to steampunk, and don't have much access to antique-stuff, (i also dont have the money) Is there any way I can paint, say, 3-d printed plastic to make it look like brass? Thx
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Crescat Scientia
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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2016, 03:29:53 am »

There are any number of metallic-effect brassy and bronzey and gold paints from many sources, from artists acrylics like Golden and Liquitex, to hobby specialty paints like Vallejo and Reaper, to spray paints (but they can act weird on some plastics).

None of them will make plastic look exactly like metal, but they can give a pleasant metallic sheen.
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Crescat Scientia
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« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2016, 03:37:21 am »

In more detail, you prepare plastic for painting by giving it a good wash with dish detergent and warm water and a soft toothbrush.  

A 3D printed object will need a high resolution to avoid "jaggies", which can show up more when painted.

A coating of white primer before painting will help layers adhere more smoothly.  It can also help smooth out any "jaggies".

Gold or brassy metallic paints look better over a colored ground, so you might wish to prime a rich brown or brick red instead.  If your primer is white you may wish to add a layer of brown or dull dark red paint before the metallic.

Apply the brass paint thinly and let dry.  Two thin coats will come out smoother and more even than one thick one.

To "antique" the bronze, thin some dark brown paint to a thin but not watery consistency, wash it over the object, letting it settle in the cracks and crannies, blot it off the high points, and let it dry.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2016, 03:39:34 am by Crescat Scientia » Logged
RJBowman
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« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2016, 07:26:56 am »

3-D printed plastic from current machines is going to have a grain from the thin printed layers. You might have to first create a smooth surface by either sanding it, coating it with something thick, or both. To create the appearance of polished metal, you need a surface that is smooth like polished metal.

Once you have that smooth surface, there are web resources that will advise you on how to create a metalic appearance.
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MWBailey
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« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2016, 07:48:45 am »

I don't actually know what kind of plastic is used in 3D printing, but i do know that while modeling putty may seem like a good solution to the "jaggies," the solvent used in many such putties tends to react with plastics to sometimes alarming degrees. I'd suggest sticking with Scientia's suggestion of a thick paint rather than a putty. My two cents.
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oldskoolpunk
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« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2016, 08:41:30 am »

It's easier to get a good dull antiqued brass look than a good shiny brass look. Faux shiny brass just doesn't look convincing, especially if there's any real brass nearby.
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Wormster
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« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2016, 10:39:56 am »

First off welcome to the nuthouse!

Hokay so you want to paint your 3d prints, are you printing ABS or PLA?

Pla needs a lot of surface preparation, so a trip to the Hardware store is needed, you will need sandpapers from 90 to 300 grit, grey automotive primer spraycans, white auto spray, whatever topcoats you want followed by some clear coat - a few bucks worth of rattlecans!

When you get back start sanding, heavy grit at first then eventually down to the fine ones, then apply a coat of grey primer, sand, grey primer, sand, white primer, sand, topcoat colour, sand, topcoat, sand, clearcoat, sand, and a final clearcoat! - that should just about do it.

If you're using ABS then you can acetone etch your prints, which will alleviate the initial sanding before primer, the painting process follows the same laborious path as before to achieve the desired result.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2016, 11:08:29 am by Wormster » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2016, 03:04:10 pm »

If you are sanding paint or plastics, be sure to wear a NIOSH-approved dust mask and keep well away from food preparation areas.
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steiconi
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« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2016, 06:07:10 pm »

You might consider metal leafs.  Like gold leaf, but not so expensive.  Some craft leafs are super-easy to apply--the leaf is bonded to a plastic backing that releases in favor of the adhesive. 

You don't usually get a perfect polished-brass (or silver or copper) finish, but it does look like real metal is involved.
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Siliconous Skumins
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« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2016, 05:27:38 am »

If you have access to a 3d printer, and If you have a metal hot end and don’t mind wearing out nozzles faster than usual, you can get PLA filament with various percentages of metal powder in it. You can get filament that is 50% to 85% metal and produce things that almost seem like they are made from metals. The results are pretty convincing once they are polished up.

Downside is that a reel of metal bearing is not cheap. For example: http://colorfabb.com/brassfill

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oldskoolpunk
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« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2016, 09:27:59 am »

Some exotic options:

  • Shapeways offers various metal printing services.  You can print sintered bronze and have it fired in a kiln like a ceramic. I've seen very nice jewelry made in this way.
  • There's a new material for 3D filament. - polyvinyl butyral. This supposedly prints about as well as PLA, and is somewhat stronger. Like PLA, it has a low coefficient of expansion, so you don't have the problem of objects cracking as they cool. But the best feature is that the surface can be smoothed by spraying it with an alcohol mist.  They sell a little spray chamber with a turntable for that.  This is similar to smoothing ABS prints with acetone vapor, but less hazardous.

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Wormster
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« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2016, 07:02:04 pm »

Hmmmm,

Print in PLA, encase in refractory material, bake, melt metal in furnace, pour carefully, cool down, demold, fettle, polish and admire!

A bit long winded, almost as much as my original painting tips, but if you have access to a 3d printer and a mini furnace (there are yootoob vids), it could be a fun project to do!
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cossoft
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« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2017, 03:40:53 am »

You might consider metal leafs.  Like gold leaf, but not so expensive.  Some craft leafs are super-easy to apply--the leaf is bonded to a plastic backing that releases in favor of the adhesive. 

You don't usually get a perfect polished-brass (or silver or copper) finish, but it does look like real metal is involved.

Do you have experience of this?  I was thinking about using some gold leaf and wondered if it was substantially more convincing than good quality spray paint.  Clearly it takes some skill and more effort to apply the leaf.  Is it worth while in your opinion please, or is it a case of diminishing returns?
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« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2017, 07:27:00 am »

If you have access to a 3d printer, and If you have a metal hot end and don’t mind wearing out nozzles faster than usual, you can get PLA filament with various percentages of metal powder in it. You can get filament that is 50% to 85% metal and produce things that almost seem like they are made from metals. The results are pretty convincing once they are polished up.

Downside is that a reel of metal bearing is not cheap. For example: http://colorfabb.com/brassfill




I'm glad some one posted colorfabb as they have a good range of pla including bronze, brass, copper and many other different metals. last year an iron man helmet was printed using bronze and copperfill pla filiments.
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steiconi
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« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2017, 07:12:32 pm »

I've used faux leaf bonded to plastic.  Just like gold leaf, quality of application is key.   A perfect application on a smooth surface looks like the item is made of metal.  A rough surface or sloppy application looks less believable, but still attractive.

There are very nice metallic sprays, they might be easier and more convincing.


You might consider metal leafs.  Like gold leaf, but not so expensive.  Some craft leafs are super-easy to apply--the leaf is bonded to a plastic backing that releases in favor of the adhesive. 

You don't usually get a perfect polished-brass (or silver or copper) finish, but it does look like real metal is involved.

Do you have experience of this?  I was thinking about using some gold leaf and wondered if it was substantially more convincing than good quality spray paint.  Clearly it takes some skill and more effort to apply the leaf.  Is it worth while in your opinion please, or is it a case of diminishing returns?
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Earl Morris Gunn
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« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2017, 07:58:28 pm »

Indeed, If you have printed the part in PLA, the best method is to use lost PLA casting to cast the part in brass.

However, if you have printed the part in ABS, vapor smooth it using the following method, I use this to get a perfect glazed appearance from even the largest and roughest parts I've printed.

Materials you will need: Empty Paint Can, Small Magnets, paper Towels, Acetone, coins or more magnets to set your print on.

1. Clean your part with dish soap, and make sure your part fits in the can without touching the sides. This is normally easy as most printers do not print larger than this anyway.

2. Place lid of can upside down on a chemical safe work surface. I use a glass table.

3. Place coins or magnets on the lid to keep the model off of the surface, otherwise if will adhere to the lid. Place the model in the center of the lid and make sure you can get the can over it without disturbing it.

4. Using magnets, stick one to two layers of paper towels inside the can, I place one sheet in the bottom, then a layer around the sides. Make sure to use enough magnets that the paper towel is secure, if it droops down onto your model it will stick to it and leave the paper texture on your part.

5. Add a few tablespoons of acetone to the can, swirl it around to coat all of the paper towels inside. Dump out any excess of the acetone back into the container, you only want enough to soak the paper towel with no liquid left over.

6. Place can over lid, and press down gently. You want it to hold the vapors in, but be easy to take back off. Let sit for one hour.

7. Remove can carefully, set aside. DO NOT TOUCH YOUR PART. The object may still appear to have ridges, that's fine. Make sure nothing touches it for the next 12-24 hours.

8. Enjoy. Admire your model's lovely glazed texture. See how all the ridges have dissolved and hardened to a high gloss shine. Also admire any High Definition fingerprints from when you touched it.

I like to use this method with brown or black ABS filament, which ends up looking like a nice bakelite or horn, but then you can paint it with a gloss or metalizing paint to great effect.

for really small parts I have modified this method to use an altoids tin instead of a paint can.
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oldskoolpunk
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« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2017, 08:23:19 am »

There's a new material for 3D printing: polyvinyl butyral. This supposedly prints about as well as PLA, but can be smoothed with an alcohol mist, rather than acetone. Article.

Acetone/air mixtures are explosive. Any process involving acetone vapor should mention this.

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Steam Titan
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« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2017, 09:27:46 pm »

no Idea how well it will stick to 3d printed models but Rustoleum has an antique brass color that I love.

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/414p0NTnmpL._SY355_.jpg
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