I've picked up a rubber Michael Myers head sculpt. But I'm unsure what type of paint to use. Because it won't be used like a mask I was thinking would just acrylic paint be okay or will I still need some other type of paint?
That all depends on what type of rubber it is. Chances are its PVC or Vinyl but could be also be latex, silicone or urethane. If you want the paint to bond and flex without coming off then you need to know so you can use the correct paint. If it is just going to be a static display then acrylic will work just fine .
Some plastics and polymers just flat out resist taking any kind of paint, no matter what kind of prep you do. I couldn't get any kind of paint or primer to stick and stay stuck on a vintage GI Joe tank made of blow molded plastic, no matter what I did to clean it ( but amazing how the paper stickers stuck all over it, wouldn't come off when even wiped down with gasoline or soaked for an hour in soapy water ).
Searching for any way to get the project done, I found a site where people restore old Christmas yard decorations, and they used the same tricks car body repair and paint shops do.
They use a top coating binder, basically saying, a "glue" which bites into the material and then binds the paint onto the top surface of the binder itself.
Some people suggested using a coating of white glue, enveloping the item, and then painting on top of that, but I can't say I am a fan of that type of approach.
There are some choices of the products used by the body shops, some of them really rather dangerous to use, and expensive to boot, but one I found works well.
Sherwin Williams UPO7228. Comes in a spray can, applies quickly, but for best results you have to apply your primer and paint in 15 minutes to that coating while it is still "wet". About $30 a can.
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