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I have a uniquely-shaped brick that I would like to make a darker shade of gray (it's currently blue).

  • What media is the best in terms of durability for continued use (i.e. re-use, re-configuration)?
  • I assume a spray media would work well, is there a particular type of paint to use that would have a harder surface and be less prone to scratching, sticking?
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In our impressionable youth, my brother and I painted a few mini-figures and helmets. We had no real long term success with acrylics. Enamel paints worked better - I'll have a rummage over the weekend and see how badly scratched they are. –  Zhaph - Ben Duguid Oct 28 '11 at 15:17
    
Note that, with spray paint, the paint might pool in the corners and crevices of the brick, so I would not use that if I were you. –  InkBlend Mar 19 '12 at 21:51
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5 Answers 5

up vote 14 down vote accepted

I don't think that spray paint would be very durable. Even if you used a primer specifically designed for plastic the paint would scratch off fairly easily. Also, spray paint would add a noticeable amount of thickness to the brick and could interfere when trying to mate the brick up with others.

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According to Auto Body Repair by Duffy and Sharff, the best solution for any interior or exterior (non-flexible) ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, the plastic LEGO elements are made of) component is to apply a standard lacquer based system, no primer.

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If it's for a display model (static on a shelf) you could use scale model paint and varnish. Matching the original color will be hard, so don't expect perfection.

On the other hand, if your looking to 'play' with that piece afterward, I don't think any paint method can resist that abuse. like mentioned by Rory Alsop you're better off finding the real thing.

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It's Lego blasphemy to change the color of the bricks (or to modify them using, say, a dremmel) but that said I would use the spray paint that is made for plastic. Of course, whenever I go to Lowes the color selection is limited so you may not find the color you need.

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nor would it be likely to match any of your other bricks. –  Joseph Marikle Oct 25 '11 at 20:08
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Actually, designers do spray existing pieces when they need to use a not-yet-produced color in their test models. It's hard to speak of blasphemy when even supernatural beings do it. –  Joubarc Oct 26 '11 at 13:59
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The problem is that bricks are coloured throughout, not just surface coloured, which means any paint you add will wear off.

My guidance is to source a brick in the colour you need and replace it.

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