LAST UPDATED ON: December 12, 2017
Have you ever tried painting a recessed or dimensional plastic sign letters? You may ask about an easy way for you to protect the lettering in order to just spray the paint all over the signage. Also, it is quite ideal to use a covering which can be removed with ease after the painting process. Your best shot to protect the plastic letters is to utilize a masking tape (commonly used by painters) and a light plastic sheet that somewhat the same with the one used in painting cars.
Clean the Lettering First
The first thing would be to ensure that the edges of the letterings are free from any dirt. It is more of like the same with painting your walls, windows, etc., for the masking tape to adhere to the graphic letters and not get blown by the paint sprayer.
Tape Out All Flapping Plastic
With your plastic sheet, ensure that all flapping plastic is taped out or they would loosen out to your wet paint, which would create a very unorganized and messy painting environment.
The Type of Paint to Use
The suitable paint you would want to use would depend on the graphic material that would get painted. If you're working on an already painted item, know what the initial paint was used. Most of the time, various kinds of paint solutions can be used over other types, but it would be unwise for you to test one corner if you don't know what type of paint was initially applied.
If oil-based paint was used, you can follow it up with any other oil-base paint, acrylic, or latex. If the surface is a metal cabinet, it is probable that an acrylic or any auto paint type was used. Most would stick to this type given that it has chalked off. The surface must be sanded, brushed, and cleaned before the application of the new coating.
FYI, I would recommend the use against latex for this particular application as it tends to contact and expand with weather changes and at slower rate compared to metal. And if you are painting onto a metal, it flakes off the lettering faster than most paint solutions. But then again, it is best to try to test the new paint with the original one even if you already know what was applied.
Do Second Coating
You may need to spray a second coating too. Do not paint too much on the vertical surface or the paint will run. Apply a thin coating, let it dry out, and then spray the second coat. Also, consider the weather. Make sure it won't be raining or snowing at any time as it can pressure you to rush the whole process and produce unfavorable results.
Let it Dry for Hours
After finishing the background or the sign cabinet, wait for at least 24 hours to let the paint dry out completely before removing the plastic film. If you get impatient and pull the tape and plastic too early, the paint would flake off the sheeting and tape, and fall back onto stick shabby paint, ruining all of your effort. In my experience, it helps to plan and take your time. Do not rush any project that involves painting or you would risk painting it all back again.
Being impatient at times, I definitely know how true the above is as I have seen the results myself. I have done a lot of projects more than once because of it. It helps to grow older as I feel like I am becoming more and more patient now than in my younger years. The good thing is I know what to do now and I hope that you get to learn from my impatient ways as well.