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Can i use metallic paints as insulators?

  1. Jan 17, 2010 #1
    i want to paint my electrical componets and my transformer with a spray paint with a color of metallic black, does metallic paint contain metals? wont this short short circuit anything?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 17, 2010 #2
    Keep the paint off electrical terminals.....it could carry electricity..the higher the voltage the more likely it will short.
  4. Jan 17, 2010 #3
    what if i would just use it to paint my 12V circuit board? instead of varnish i would use a spray paint with a color of metallic black, would it be ok?
  5. Jan 17, 2010 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    If you don't turn it on, it should be fine. Are you an artist?
  6. Jan 17, 2010 #5


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    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Just a note, paint doesn't need to be metallic to be conductive. Listen to experience here. LOL
  7. Jan 17, 2010 #6
    so what you mean is that it could short circuit my IC's if i spray paint my PCB with metallic black color? isn't varnish used in some pcb's?
  8. Jan 17, 2010 #7
    Some black paint has carbon in it. It is conductive.
    It is best to test the paint to see if it is conductive.

    We painted our high voltage transformers black. The paint was changed and the transformers failed hi-pot.
    The paint was sand blasted off and a different black paint was used. The transformers then passed hi-pot.
  9. Jan 18, 2010 #8
    how can i test its conductivity? a multester resitance?
  10. Jan 18, 2010 #9
    Drive two nails 1 inch apart in wood.
    Check resistance with ohmmeter/multimeter.
    If resistance is high enough for what you are doing, paint the nails and wood.
    Check the resistance after paint has dried.
  11. Jan 18, 2010 #10


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    Gold Member

    Paints containing metals are commonly used to provide shielding (and ground-reference) in the body-cavities of electric guitars. If your "metallic" paint is simply black with an admixture of non-conductive reflective flakes, you might be able to get away with a lot, though the carbon that supplies the black in some black paints would sabotage you if high voltages are involved.
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