Painting directly onto silicone can be challenging as there are not many paint materials that adhere well to silicone or stay in place when it stretches.
In this tutorial, we show you a painting technique that BITY Mold of Supply of Richardson, TX demonstrated when visiting our headquarters recently.
Supplies for Project
One benefit of this technique is that if you’re already making prosthetics or props out of PlatSil Gel, there is no need to purchase additional products.
In this tutorial , we paint a PlatSil Gel-10 face cast:
Measure & Mix PlatSil Gel-10
PlatSil Gel-10 has a mix ratio of 1A:1B by weight or volume. Carefully measure and mix a small amount.
Carefully Mix in Naphtha
Add Naphtha to the mixed PlatSil Gel-10. We add the solvent at a 1:1 ratio, but you can add more or less depending on how thin you want the mixture to be.
Naphtha is a flammable solvent – care should be taken when handling. Make sure to use solvent-resistant mixing containers and tools.
Very carefully mix the components – it is important to mix slowly as Naphtha is prone to splashing. Mix until the silicone breaks up and dissolves.
NOTE: The addition of Naphtha will increase the "demold" time. Standard demold time for PlatSil Gel-10 is 30 minutes. The addition of this solvent could potentially double that time.
Combine with Silicone Color Pigments
Select the Silicone Color Pigments (the 8-color tray pictured below is available from BITY Mold Supply) desired for the project. Colors available from Polytek include: black, blue, green, red, yellow, fleshtone and white.
Place the desired pigment (or blend of pigments) into a mixing container and then add a small amount of the PlatSil Gel/Naphtha mixture to the pigment and mix.
The overall look is at the hands of the artist; this is just a basic demonstration using two colors.
Start painting with one color (for this demonstration, a combination of red and brown is used first to bring out detail).
Run a Hair Dryer Between Application of Colors
When finished with one color, make sure to run a hair dryer over the surface of the model for a few minutes before proceeding to the next color. If you add a second color before running the hair dryer, the colors will bleed together.
A second color (blue) is then added.
When application of the blue silicone paint is complete, the hair dryer is run again.
Lastly, to produce the look of freckles, a brush is cut and used to “splatter” a bit of brown/red paint.
A towel can be used to pull back color when necessary.
The hair dryer is run once more.
Repeat this process until the desired effect is reached. When the final touches are added, allow the silicone to fully cure before handling.
Baby powder can be dusted on to the surface to reduce shine.