[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: NFC: Aquarium backgrounds

Ty Hall wrote:
> > Larry writes:
> >
> > >>  No one happens to know if spray paint will
> > >>  damage plexiglass do they?  I'm wondering
> > >>  if any of the chemicals in the paint could
> > >>  possibly have an affect on the surface of the
> > >>  plexi.
> >
> Larry, if you go to any good craft or hobby store you will find spray paints specifically designed to work on plastics, like Lexan. Check out any place that sells remote control cars. Their bodies are lexan and are painted from the inside. These paints will be safe for your Plexi. Paint is aweful permanent though. Be sure that's what you want before you spray.

At the risk of sounding disagreeable, here, I would suggest that paint safe
for "Lexan" (polycarbonate) may not be at all safe for "Plexiglas"
(acrylic). Polycarbonate is much, much more resistant to most solvents than
acrylic is.

Acrylic would probably be safe with many water-clean-up paints (latex) if
they use only petroleum distillates in the microencapsulation process. If
they use ketones (e.g., acetone, toluene, MEK, etc.) then the solvents will
dissolve the adjacent acrylic and ruin the surface for later use. The paint
will bond so strongly that removing it would be a total polishing job. Test,
before risking a tank. A thin line painted on the bottom near an edge will
be invisible if it doesn't come off as desired. I would favor brush-on paint
over spray cans as more likely to be safe.

Any solution used to remove the paint must also be free of acrylic solvents.
Look for damage in shallow incidence reflected light to see if the shiny
surface has been altered.

Unfortunately, the requirements for "low emission" paints mandated by the
nanny state have made the formulations of most paint so esoteric that it has
gone beyond my ability to understand the consequences. It's like working on
a modern car engine, since smog rules dominated design (rather than
performance). Modern paints are not simply pigment in a turpentine and oil

That said, my favorite background solution is to buy really cheap wallpaper
from the bargain bins at the hardware stores. Simple or no-pattern paper can
be attached with tape at the corners, and comes in widths up to 27" wide.
That's a deeper tank than I ever want to work in, especially if you add 3"
for decent substrate. I have found several rolls of dark brown and green
that work very nicely. They are the likliest to show in the bargain bins,
for only morons (interior decorators?) would use them to paper a room. ;-)


Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679  huntley1 at home_com

        "Congress has not unlimited powers to provide
for the general welfare but only those specifically enumerated."
                                      --Thomas Jefferson

                Did you try the quiz at: 

          http://www.self-gov.org/index.html ?