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Please don't read if you're purist ;) - melt / painting lego * result *

GomjabaGomjaba Member Posts: 20
I am currently building a 1800 piece set in 'Light Bluish Gray'. Essentially using a OEM set but 'gray'y'fie' it. 

Anyway - I already had most of the pieces I need (after weeks of hunting - and actually still waiting for some) but there are SOME pieces, in fact, impressively only about 2 in 1800 , that simply aren't made in LBG. 

So there were a few options - dark gray - which was one of the options - or paint it. 

I have been crawling through articles in order to find the color code - it's unreal the time I spent. 

So then the idea - I knew about the fact that acetone melts lego and I found a 2013 post about melting lego for the sake of paint (happy to post link if allowed). 

Now it took me quite a few attempts to get the correct consistency. 

I still need to play with some sanding - but as I say - pretty happy .. 

So here the 'slush' - I noticed that not all pieces are able to melt in acetone ... the perfect brick I found are the 2x4 - they melt in minutes. Then just add acetone to get as thin as needed. I used to stir them a lot but bubbles are pretty persistent ... With resin you can use a heat gun - but with something soaked in a flammable liquid - probably not a good idea - so I just stirred slowly. 

Then I used it as a paint - potentially workable - but I THINK you'd need to find a good brush (and lots of sandpaper)

Then I made it really thin with more acetone ... then I grabbed a piece that was send in a wrong color (thanks) and dipped it ... OMG

So for me I need #4742 in LBG - no chance ... so I bought a dozen of Dark Gray ones for testing .. half a dozen later I found the perfect consistency 

I am giggling like a little girl .. works perfectly .. 

The next step is to sand them down a bit - I got grits from 400 to 7000 so probably start around 800 / 1000 ish and see how it goes. 

I am not sure how durable they are obviously .. All I can say is that I destroyed a few spoons where I can't get the stuff off lol ... but this is for a gray'y'fied UCS set so I am not worried about playability .. But after 6hrs of drying I can see SOME shiny parts still .. but I can touch / use them without destroying - but I think it is better to dry over night and then give a them a bit of a sandpaper treatment. 

I have a few technic pieces that are an odd shape - but they won't show in the set (they are dark gray as opposed to light gray) so I am not worried (or damn, maybe I should order more pieces and give it a shot). 

Anyway .. so yea - don't kill me as a purist - I got virtually killed on another forum for even thinking about melting bricks - but personally I don't care if it works for me ... :) :) 

Anyway - with a nice sealed jam jar the stuff lasts .. seemingly forever .. and all it takes is a few drops of acetone to not just clean your tools but to get it a bit runny again when it starts to dry up.


  • GomjabaGomjaba Member Posts: 20
    btw - the number above (4742) is the brick number - not set number. 
  • 560Heliport560Heliport Member Posts: 3,719
    Hey, they're YOUR Lego: go for it! I like the idea of using bricks to make paint. Then it's still 100% Lego. Well, except for the acetone, I suppose. Can't wait to see the finished build!
  • GomjabaGomjaba Member Posts: 20
    Thanks .. still giggling like a little girl - I have looked for that darn cone for two months in Light Bluish Gray ... more than happy to sacrifice some bricks to make it happen haha

  • LuLegoLuLego Member Posts: 1,010
    Giggling like a girl = high on acetone?
  • GomjabaGomjaba Member Posts: 20
    There's that - so kids - do this in a well ventilated room lol 
  • TheFewTheFew Member Posts: 1,779
    How about that for a crazy post! Painting with recycled Lego. I have seen it all now!
  • Switchfoot55Switchfoot55 Member Posts: 3,268
    I've seen this mentioned a few times in the last couple of months as an alternative for broken parts. One can simply turn them into paint, and use as needed. 

    After a couple of recent bulk-lot purchases, my broken piece box is quite full. Maybe it's time to do some LEGO artwork using this method? 

    Thanks for sharing!
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,526
    I've mentioned doing it here a few times.

    I find it works great for minifigure parts and so on, or for things like the cones you have used. However, the coating is too thick for regular bricks or anything that needs to sit side by side or have clutch with another part.

    My main use was recolouring CMF elf ears and unpainted elf hair pieces with fleshie paint. For that type of use, it is perfect.

  • daewoodaewoo Member Posts: 793
    Purists are, in my humble opinion, full of it.  I will happily modify Lego to suit my purposes.  I cut track to make switches and curves that provide better geometry for layouts.  I told a guy I did this once and I thought he was gonna have a heart attack.  So this is pretty cool and something I'll keep in my back pocket for potential future use.
  • FizyxFizyx Member Posts: 1,332
    edited May 2019
    CCC said:

    I find it works great for minifigure parts and so on, or for things like the cones you have used. However, the coating is too thick for regular bricks or anything that needs to sit side by side or have clutch with another part.
    I was actually thinking about this all night. It looks like you just need a thin layer of the coating, especially if you start from a white piece, so I was thinking you might be able to actually sand down the original brick, especially on pieces that have thicker areas, and coat with the new color, and then sand down again to get closer to the original shape of the piece.  Probably still won't work for things that need to clutch, but may allow for things that need to fit side by side or potentially even inside of each other.

    Of course, the amount of precision work required to do that effectively probably makes it not really worth doing...
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,526
    Yeah, possibly. I never thought of sanding the part first to overcome the thickness problem. You do need quite a thick coat to make sure you get no show-through. I also found that on flat areas the paint remained a bit too shiny even when dry. It's not too bad for small details, but noticeable on larger areas.
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