Painting with Electric Paint is no different than using any other water-based paint. If you’re considering painting freehand, then the best paintbrush to use will depend on the technique you are going for and the size of your work.
On this post, I will focus on a few different paintbrushes you can use based on a few different characteristics.
When using Electric Paint to make sensors one of the most important things to keep in mind is to paint as even and smooth a coat as possible. Because the paint is water based, sometimes it can crack. This can cause a break in your electrical connection and may stop your sensors working. Thin even coats prevent this from happening. Square brushes allow you to make even strokes ensuring the final cover is as smooth as possible.
Electric Paint is carbon based, which means it can stain very porous materials where the pigment is absorbed. Plastic is less porous than hair or other organic materials, so using paintbrushes with plastic bristles can make washing the paint off your paintbrush after you’re finished much easier.
If you’re planning on painting something very precise I would suggest using a very thin brush. Electric Paint is not runny like watercolour, and it will build up a thickness on your paintbrush as the paint dries. The thinner the brush, the more able you’ll be to achieve those really precise lines.
If you want to get a different effect from your paint you can water it down. What’s important to note is that the conductivity of the material will be affected, so you should compensate by applying several layers of paint, or ensuring you’re connecting to your electrode from areas where the paint is less diluted. You can use a standard watercolour brush to achieve this effect.
If you’re using a stencil, or want to get a nice thick coat of paint you can use a stippling brush to apply Electric Paint. These brushes are flat at the top, to allow you to tap them on a surface at 90 (degrees) to apply an even layer. This method will also achieve a slightly grainy texture.
Although Electric Paint may look thick upon inspection, this is because it is a shear-sensitive material. All this means is that it gives when stirred. If you have a pot of Electric Paint, you’ll notice that despite its thick appearance, you can mix it very easily using a brush or spoon. If your paint does dry out, apply a very small amount of water to bring it back to solution.
Author: Isabel Lizardi, CCO & Co-Founder Bare Conductive
Images: Bare Conductive
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