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Eric from Conroe

Plywood paint recommendations

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Hello - I'm new to plywood cutouts and have started several projects in my barn.  Hoping someone can give me recommendations on type of paint to use and best practices for sealing the cutouts after painting.  What is best method for mixing colors?  Any and all information is appreciated!  Cheers, Eric

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Hi Eric... and welcome to PlanetChristmas!

I don't use plywood for my cutouts, but I used to use Masonite (hardboard) years and years ago.  I've switched over to using Coroplast instead.  With that said, what I used to use in sealing the Masonite was a good latex exterior paint.  Normally, I would buy a white, exterior, latex paint and give the board a minimum of 2 coats.  You have to be VERY thorough with the edges... since that is where most of your moisture would be soaked into the board.

When buying paint that you'll be using for your characters, I would suggest getting a fairly good quality exterior latex paint that is FLAT.  The reason I suggest using a FLAT latex paint is that if you get a paint that has a sheen to it you will get nothing but a bunch of reflections from your flood lights when you turn them on.  Trust me on this... I made that rookie mistake my very first display about 30 years ago.  I had to purchase all new paint and repaint Santa.  Fortunately, I had only done the one character.

As far as mixing paints.  What I do is purchase black, white, red, blue, yellow, brown and green.  From those colors you can mix any shades of those that you like.  I know... you can mix any color from the three primary colors... but I buy the others and use them as a basis for mixing different shades of those colors.  I also save my small plastic peanut butter jars for mixing new colors.  You can also buy empty paint cans and lids at your hardware stores if you'd rather stick to using paint cans.

And finally... make sure you post pictures when you get finished!  Hope this helps!

 

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Hi and welcome, I dont know what kind, but someone whom has do e those 30yrs ago would know for sure:)  good luck on your cutouts, post pics when u are done:)

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On 9/2/2019 at 9:02 AM, jrbryant said:

Hi Eric... and welcome to PlanetChristmas!

I don't use plywood for my cutouts, but I used to use Masonite (hardboard) years and years ago.  I've switched over to using Coroplast instead.  With that said, what I used to use in sealing the Masonite was a good latex exterior paint.  Normally, I would buy a white, exterior, latex paint and give the board a minimum of 2 coats.  You have to be VERY thorough with the edges... since that is where most of your moisture would be soaked into the board.

When buying paint that you'll be using for your characters, I would suggest getting a fairly good quality exterior latex paint that is FLAT.  The reason I suggest using a FLAT latex paint is that if you get a paint that has a sheen to it you will get nothing but a bunch of reflections from your flood lights when you turn them on.  Trust me on this... I made that rookie mistake my very first display about 30 years ago.  I had to purchase all new paint and repaint Santa.  Fortunately, I had only done the one character.

As far as mixing paints.  What I do is purchase black, white, red, blue, yellow, brown and green.  From those colors you can mix any shades of those that you like.  I know... you can mix any color from the three primary colors... but I buy the others and use them as a basis for mixing different shades of those colors.  I also save my small plastic peanut butter jars for mixing new colors.  You can also buy empty paint cans and lids at your hardware stores if you'd rather stick to using paint cans.

And finally... make sure you post pictures when you get finished!  Hope this helps!

 

I agree, but I like to use semi gloss paints because they can be cleaned easier if the cut out gets dirty. The flat paint seems to be hard to clean.

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Last year I made some Paw Patrol cutouts and used paint for ceramics. They make a clear spray to seal the paint, I did use that. Seems like they have a million colors and it doesnt cost a whole lot.  Paint at the stores is expensive and you cant get small amounts.

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I have used Patio Paints on a lot of mine, there are a bunch of colors, and can be had for less that $2 at Hobby Lobby. If you do use house paint, whit I have done in the past, is find a craft paint that is the exact color you want, paint a piece of scrap wood with it, and take it to Lowes/Home depot, or where you buy paint, and have them mix it to the color.  I have a lot of trouble finding the right colors, so I cheat, and ask some of the ladies for help.  Seems to work so far.

 

Best of luck,

Bill

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I have had success using acrylics sealed with clear topcoat.  The cost is reasonable compared to using exterior latex paint, and they have held up well in our moderately wet climate (Kansas).

The key is the same as any other painting project-prep.  I prime my project with an exterior grade latex primer (prefer Zinsser Bullseye 1-2-3) making care to assure the edges are covered/sealed well.  White is the primer color of choice as it creates a nice canvas.  I then paint my design over that, making sure to allow adequate time for the colors to dry completely (usually 2-3 days) prior to topcoating.

I then clear coat the entire item with 3-5 coats of either Rustoleum clear gloss or Krylon Crystal Clear gloss.  Gloss paint has a smoother surface and tends to shed moisture better.  The clear coat also helps "wake" the color up and make it appear more vibrant.  

I protect the back side of the project with exterior paint.  Black is my color of choice here, as I want to further seal the edges of the plywood and since most of our stuff are cartoon characters it helps with the outside line definition.

I have used rattle cans for some projects, but they have been mostly a single color or basic combination or a few.  The key remains the same here-prep and prime.

 

IMG_20181222_135710 (1) (490x277).jpg

On 9/12/2019 at 10:36 AM, shane page said:

I agree, but I like to use semi gloss paints because they can be cleaned easier if the cut out gets dirty. The flat paint seems to be hard to clean.

The reflections can be eliminated if you light your items indirectly and benefit from diffusion.  Spotlights placed at a 45 degree angle to the object work well.  You can also diffuse the light to soften it, non metallic window screen wrapped around the bulb works well.  Steal a trick or two from a portrait photographer, they have the same sorts of concerns.

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Hi Eric, all I use is a good outdoor paint. I also make sure I paint my edges. I live in Canada and my cutouts have been holding up just fine. 

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I use the Behr paint sample size paint from Home Depot. You can get them in any color they offer and if you run out, you can get it matched. The 8 oz size is perfect for amount for most cut out projects.  You can get it in their exterior grade and any of the finishes they offer. Keep in mind you want to keep the finish "flat" or "egg shell." Any glossy finish will give you a hot spot when you hit it with a flood light. I also seal mine with a Spar Urethane. If you need anymore ideas check out my website: http://www.christmascraftsman.com/

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