Painting Toys Using Waterborne Paints

Experts From: Products Finishing,

Posted on: 5/1/2005

Question: I work as an Engineer in the toy industry.


I work as an Engineer in the toy industry. I am responsible for painting our products. We have been asked to try water-based paints on our toys, instead of the regular solvent-based paints. Our toys are made using primarily ABS, HIPS and TPE. We want to change because we have odor issues with solvent-based paints sprayed on our toys.

Can you please advise what advantages there are in using solvent-based paint on the material we use and why water-based paints are not a good option? D. P.


Sorry to disappoint you, D. P., I believe waterborne paints are a good option. In the old days, they had many disadvantages. For example, surface wetting used to be a problem. Other problems were poor gloss, adhesion and moisture resistance to mention a few. Resin and paint chemists, working diligently to improve their products, have succeeded. Today waterborne paints are used on everything and everywhere.

Waterborne paints may also have objectionable odors. These odors are often inherent in the resins themselves. You should be more concerned about hazardous or toxic materials, that children can ingest, used in the paint formulations. Having four children and 10 grandchildren, I know that they like to chew on their toys. Try the waterborne paints, D. P., you’ll like them.


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