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MITRA Forum Question Details

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  • ABS PLASTIC-Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene as Painting PanelApproveRejectUn-ApproveSubscribeUn-Unsubscribe
    Question asked 2019-01-10 14:14:15 ... Most recent comment 2019-01-17 14:02:10
    Industrial and Non-Traditional Products

    ‚ÄčAfter reviewing MITRA's rigid supports, I could not find any mention of ABS. A very accomplished and highly regarded oil painter (portraits/figurative) has recently begun using ABS for painting panels. The panel is lightly sanded and painted on directly with the oils. The painting surface is very smooth but has tooth after light sanding. How is ABS as a painting panel, if the thickness is similar to ACM thickness? Question- 1. ok to paint on directly with oils or casein or acrylic paint as one professional artist does? 2. ok if primer is used 1st? which primers? 3. ok to adhere canvas to? Here is a link that describes ABS very well. I had no idea that ABS is what Legos are made of!  "ABS is exceptionally resistant to chemical degradation, either by alkaline or acidic agents."

Answers and Comments

  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    To answer the query, unfortunately I don't know anything about the interactions of ABS and paint. Aside from Legos, a really common use for ABS is for signs and molded packaging for cosmetics and food packaging (think about the plastic tray holding a sleeve of Oreos). If the plastic is colored, it is typically caused by dyes added to the plastic substrate. 

    In terms of adding a paint layer, I know ABS is very hydrophobic, so acrylics might be problematic. ABS is soluble in some aromatic solvents as well but I have no idea as to the long-term effects. 

    In terms of the stability of ABS, it can certainly yellow, but that depends mainly on light exposure (presumably a paint layer would protect the substrate from yellowing). I'm sure that heat/humidity may also have an effect on the brittleness of the sheet (as with everything). -

    I hope this helps? I know it's not really definitive in any way but this is a rather new substrate that has yet to be tested.

    Alexandra Nichols

    2019-01-17 00:15:52
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser Comment

    ‚ÄčThank you for the thorough response to my query about ABS as a painting substrate. The professional artist who used them for his oil paintings may not have been aware of the possible long term effects on his paintings. Only time will tell.

    2019-01-17 14:02:10

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