How do I paint a beach ball?
May 25, 2015 8:53 AM   Subscribe

I want to paint a beach ball to look like Jupiter. It will spend the vast majority of its time deflated in a waterproof container in the middle of the woods. Periodically it will be taken out, inflated, looked at for a minute or two, and then put back. Is there some kind of paint or painting style that will keep the paint from cracking and peeling after repeated inflation and deflation?
posted by ErWenn to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Hm, not that I know of. Even latex paint is going to get all bunchy and peel. Maybe colored permanent marker like a fat sharpie? That doesn't explain how to cover the beach ball's original coloring, though.
posted by ctmf at 8:57 AM on May 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

Wonder if you could find a red or orange solid-colored inflatable ball and then use sharpie on that? And have to ask-for a geocache? Cool idea!
posted by purenitrous at 9:01 AM on May 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

Why reinvent the wheel? You can buy an inflatable solar system.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 9:01 AM on May 25, 2015 [14 favorites]

Seems like the easiest thing would just be to buy an inflatable Jupiter.
posted by phunniemee at 9:02 AM on May 25, 2015 [11 favorites]

Paint won't do it. Perhaps some kind of dye?
The life expectancy of latex is very short. Regardless, it sounds like you are going to have fun!
posted by SLC Mom at 9:03 AM on May 25, 2015

Sorry, not latex. Cancel that part. But have fun!
posted by SLC Mom at 9:05 AM on May 25, 2015

I would use Sharpie markers. They should have plenty of intense staining pigment and be super dry and flexible.
posted by effluvia at 9:08 AM on May 25, 2015

If you still choose to paint rather than purchase, maybe vinyl dye.
posted by quinndexter at 9:48 AM on May 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: This is part of a scale model of the solar system, so unless there happens to be one that's already one the right size (about a meter in diameter), buying a premade one won't work.
posted by ErWenn at 9:56 AM on May 25, 2015

White beach ball, one meter diameter, check. And as a painter, I'm seconding the Sharpies.
posted by Too-Ticky at 10:22 AM on May 25, 2015 [3 favorites]

Oh oh oh man, remember those Balzac balls from the early 90s? I wonder if you could sew a ball sock out of stretchy material and just blow the beach ball up inside of that. Fabric would be dead easy to dye/paint to your specifications. Hell, they might even make blank white Balzac covers in the size you need.
posted by phunniemee at 10:52 AM on May 25, 2015 [8 favorites]

posted by j_curiouser at 12:08 PM on May 25, 2015

I know personally that dry erase markers are permanent on those kids bouncy balls from the store. Probably permanent therefore on beach ball plastic too. So agreed, the red or orange or yellow ball colored on with dry erase markers or sharpies sounds like the way to go. I'd think that beach balls are cheap enough that you could buy a couple to experiment on...
posted by leahwrenn at 12:52 PM on May 25, 2015

This might be too cheap/tacky for your needs. What if you got an orange beach ball and stuck a big red sticker on it for the red spot? You could even get a car-decal sturdiness-level (?) of sticker.

I'm assuming that this is for a summer camp or kind of situation where you don't have much funding. If that's not the case, I second just buying the whole inflatable set that was linked above.
posted by Guess What at 1:00 PM on May 25, 2015

If you want to paint and not draw - perhaps inkjet printer ink might be suitable. I have not tried this, but I suspect if you got an ink cartridge, carefully opened it, then you could paint with the ink. Even simpler you could probably find a re-fill kit with the colors you want...
posted by NoDef at 1:53 PM on May 25, 2015

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