ABS Renewing Spray

by jasonwelsh, published

ABS Renewing Spray by jasonwelsh Nov 23, 2012
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So recently I have been on a quest for a sealer that will make ABS look amazing after you file or sand the ever living crap out of it.

I like to sand harsh 90 degree corners on personal handheld products like the phone cases and Arduino labs. The problem is it leaves sanding marks.

Also ABS glue leaves behind a shinny look in areas that does not look pleasant.

I bring you more of a public service information than a Thing-A-Ma-jig.

Other clear coats just do not even cut it or feel sticky after awhile. These do not!

Both products work about the same except I like Valspar frosting much better.

It dries so fast! and covers the most aggressive tooling.

Valspar works on PLA also. Rustoleum FAILS on PLA.

See attached photos of test.
I hope you enjoy the tip ;)


Tool your product.

Spread ABS glue anywhere on it.

Wait till everything drys and spray the Renewing spray of your choice.

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Can you clarify the exact product the Valspar is? Is this the correct one:
Valspar 11-oz Glass Frosting Spray Paint

Wish there was some alternative to this in the EU...

My brother makes things from various plastics on his lathe (I have some pens from him). He goes through a process starting at 400 grit and finishes with 12000 grit sanding paper on soft back (foam core). There are NO MARKS after he's done. Another method is to use Brasso or Simichrome paste. For small parts I would use Simichrome. I use Brasso to finish my wood rifle stocks and people think I have coated them with glass.

Have you tried with a first layer of prime before giving colour, it can also make the abs look shinny.

Used this, and it worked well, but thought it looked a little too matte.  For those who need a bit more sheen, try the Valspar 'clear sealer' Satin.  Works nicely.

Rubbing compound is your last step when doing for example an auto body paint job for sanding the clear coat... This would remove any sanding marks you would see, but it could be hard to use on small parts.

Thanks for this post.  I picked up a can of Krylon 'Glass Frosting' and some 2000 grit sandpaper. The Krylon brand lists Acetone, Toluene and Ethyl 3-ethoxypropionate (in that order) as the ingredients.  This combo of spray and sandpaper worked for me with ABS (did not try PLA) in much improving the look of the finished piece.

The Rustoleum turned my ABS into dry, faded crap.I found that there is a Rustoleum Clear Gloss that actually gave them a glossy finish.

I still find that just a quick dip in Acetone and air-dry provides the best look.

WOW bought a can of the valspar glitter for plastic today.  Holy crap it rocks. I mean I'm not into bling bling but it totally turned a piece of junk ABS chunk into a diamond.

Thinking about making a reprap Xmas tree made out of recycled  ABS pieces.

Stay tuned ;)


Nice! I'll have to check it out. 

As far as finishing, I have to say the heat gun is my "go to" for quick cleanup of all the white marks left behind when I remove supports from a print. 

It goes without saying that tooling and sanding are pretty common sense things.  The thing I like about this is it really makes the ABS color pop from having a super even matte finish which will refract light. Most dulling sprays or matte sprays do this but not all are plastic friendly.  So the power of one that works so well is a very trial and error business especially for ABS.  Looks like pla is also a pain from what I saw in the rustoleum test. (I don't use PLA to often)

So want awesome color like neons and super saturated colors to pop more keep the light bouncing a little more on the surface using a matte finish spray.   Like shinny things?  Yep sand it down to 3000 grit and you'll be good to go. 

As far as a alternative for foreigners.....again trial and error your matte finishes. After you let it dry and it feels tacky or it discolors the plastic from having a bad chemical reaction..... bad choice..try again.

  Enamels are always good... The valspar has a huge amount of acetone in it.   See attach MSDF sheet.   Zinc Stearate is your "Plastic friendly sticking agent" and can be found in most primers.     

Look for that combo and you should be good.


For us deprived persons in other countries without the Valspar brand, could you describe the product in a bit more detail please.

Have you ever thought of using different grits of sandpaper? Coarser sandpaper will remove material quicker, but leave scratches, use 800 grit to sand first, then go to progressively finer grit paper until it's smooth, I recommend 2000-3000 grit auto body sandpaper for the final sanding, available at auto parts stores, or by the auto body stuff (bondo, spraypaint) at walmart. A final buffing with mirror glaze (meguiars show glaze, by the car wax) will finish it up just fine. Just like doing auto body work. If you have scratches, you're using too coarse a grit; The stuff used for woodworking is too much for plastic.

You can clearcoat over the glaze, it's paint shop safe, unlike car wax. However, if you sand and buff it correctly, you shouldn't need any clearcoat.

PLA photo added.   I only had a PLA bone gear to test it on.

Valspar worked great and renewed the surface on the left side of gear.  Rustoleum  turned the natural PLA white?   Weird.

I don'y have any colored PLA to test it on.

In conclusion

Valspar = universal and dries faster.

Awesome. Thank you!

Any idea how it works with PLA?