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15 Jun 2012 - 22:5286189
Painting on PVC?
Hello everyone! ~

I'm planning on doing a Zero Suit Samus cosplay, and I've decided to buy a shiny PVC fullbody catsuit rather than normal fabric.

As you can see, some areas of the suit are darkblue.
I wanted to know if any of you guys knew what paints would be adequate to paint on PVC.

I found a couple of threads on the internet, one mentionning Citadel Paints from Games Workshop.
Has anyone tried this before?

Or has anyone found another type of paint that works well on shiny PVC?

I live in the UK, so any links to UK shops would be welcome too.

Many thanks!

16 Jun 2012 - 12:3886199
Don't hold me to this, as I've not worked with zentai suits, but it might be easier to sew the panels on. But, as said, I've never worked with PVC or pre-made suits.

Ayacon Plans
16 Jun 2012 - 14:1386203
I can't see it ending well. PVC is pretty much waterproof so if you went with acrylics, it may not ever dry at all or you may have to wait a decade before it gets knocked once and flakes off. Think of it like those pvc tablecloths you get. They're designed so that things wont stain them and anything gooey can just get wiped off. Lycra is a different story though may take multiple layers. So I'd go with what nixie says and sew it on in fabric, foam, whatever you choose. If you're desperate for paint you could go with spray paint by using a stencil and put some primer down first (you can also get this in spray form, usually comes out white) then spray on any other colours. It does have a tendancy to get everywhere though so protect anything you wouldnt want to get sprayed.

16 Jun 2012 - 17:4486213
Thanks you two for replying! <3

Well actually, I've chosen the PVC over the normal zentais because I prefer the render of PVC! And I've paid for the suit already so I can't really change my mind XD

I will try the technique Angel Tear suggests though (on a small sample first of course)! ^^

Anyway, thanks for your input!

If anyone else has ideas, feel free to share! ^_^

29 Jun 2012 - 19:2086912
You can buy special paints for it im sure, theres some special acrylics i know for leather and leatherette and Vinyl maybe that will work?

01 Jul 2012 - 07:1886990
Like mentioned above there are special vinyl paints you can buy. I remember reading somewhere someone using the paints used to paint warhammer figures though like all these things it would be important to do a test area first.

There are also upholstry paints available and leather paints which are suitable for synthetic and real leather so they may work for PVC since pleather and PVC are quite similar

The leather dye I use is here:
But I found it most effective when used on shoes as I dyed a handbag and it failed but I think it's because the handbag was black to begin with whereas the shoes started off white so took the colour better.

The main problem with paint is the fact it isn't flexible and if too much stress is put on the fabric it will just crack, flake off and look pretty pants.

Again like the others have mentioned adding panels of other pvc colours is going to give a more consistant finish.

Regardless of which paint you choose to try make sure you do a test area first becuase I've had experiences where I've 100% used the right thing and the paint has just melted the item (this happened last year at Fushi when respraying my knee pads for meryl, it was the same paint I always used but it just reacted badly and they melted )

01 Jul 2012 - 16:5987007
Mask the area properly and use Car bodywork adhesion promoter. You can get it at Halfords. Don't hand paint anything, always use sprays/airbrush/spraygun. Gloss Acrylic is probably the best final finish, also from Halfords.


Note, this might still crack if you really punish it, so keep it away from joints in your body as much as possible, but this is what hollywood uses to tackle this problem. I'd recommend spraying it over a duct tape dummy of yourself.

02 Jul 2012 - 17:1587050
Thank you so much to all for your detailed answers!
I will consider all of these options! ^_^

I was planning to airbrush for the "large" areas using stencils.

My suit is a fullbody which goes over the feet, I will therefore do all the necessary tests on the feet area, since I will be wearing boots ontop, it doesn't matter much if it ruins this area.

Once again, many thanks for all your help and the links!

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