| Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise


Download our free e-book! Surface Preparation & Safety

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

Paint Pen Lights Up Projects

Friday, May 31, 2013

More items for Coating Materials

Comment | More

Forget pesky electrical upgrades. Who has time, when you can just paint them on? Thanks to an electrically conductive paint, almost any surface can be turned into a functioning light, and then some, developers say.

The product, called Bare Paint, can be used for signaling and powering, acting as a form of liquid wiring that can power speakers, LEDs, or whatever creative option one can conjure.

The inventors and founders of Bare Conductive Ltd. are Isabel Lizardi, Matt Johnson, Bibi Nelson and Becky Pilditch, postgraduate students from the Innovation Design Engineering Course at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London.

For their final project at RCA, the students were looking for something that could be painted onto the body, which eventually turned into their current product.

Bare Paint
Royal College of Art

"Our goal is to put interactivity onto objects you don't expect," inventor Matt Johnson said.

"We started this project in 2009. We were originally interested in trying to apply electronics to the skin," Johnson told CNN.

(Although safe to have around the body, it is not specifically approved for use on skin, the inventors warn.)

"Making a new material was a bit daunting for four designers," said Johnson. So the team took to Wikipedia to acquire knowledge about crafting conductive materials.

Teeny Weeny Electric Bikini

Putting the paint to use on bare skin—lots of bare skin—was UK electronic musician and producer Calvin Harris, who collaborated with the inventors to create a giant human synthesizer for his song "Ready for the Weekend."

For the video, bikini-clad models stood on 34 painted pads, using their hands or body (also covered with Bare Paint) to complete a circuit and trigger different sounds.

Using models, musician and producer Calvin Harris used the paint to make a giant human synthesizer.

Putting it to Use

Currently the paint is  available only in black, but the inventors say it can easily be coated over with a wide range of paints. Acrylic and water-based paints can also be used alongside the material to act as insulation or create multi-layer circuitry. Additionally, the paint can be covered with a waterproof paint or varnish.

Bare Paint can be applied to a variety of materials (some may need a little surface prep), including paper, cardboard vellum, wood, metal, plaster, some rubbers, plastics, and synthetic and natural fibers.

electrically conductive paint
Bare Conductive Ltd.

The electically conductive paint can be applied to a variety of materials, such as fabric, metal, plastic and wood, and washes off with soap and warm water.

The paint can be applied via brush, roller, printmaking equipment, and more. As it dries, its conductivity increases and will continue to increase even after the paint feels dry. Since it's water soluble, the paint can easily be removed from most surfaces with some soap and warm water.

"Devices no longer have to look high tech to be high tech. Our goal is to put interactivity onto objects you don't expect," said Johnson.

The inventors have performed some longevity tests of their own and say the material can last years if kept dry and treated properly.


Tagged categories: Decorative painting; Paint application; Research

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

International Paint/AkzoNobel
Premium Low VOC Polyurethane Finish

AkzoNobel introduces Interthane 990V as a 250 g/l HAPS free polyurethane with outstanding color and gloss retention. 990V is fast curing and applicator friendly.

Polyval Coatings
Polyflex® Polyurea Linings

Polyflex™ new Polyurea Geotextile Membrane System has been specifically engineered to protect the environment in containment applications.

New resins from BASF will have metals loving water:

Excellent corrosion resistance, low VOC, high gloss, thin films

Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America
Performance Amine 1,3-BAC

A highly reactive cycloaliphatic diamine offering superior performance. Reasonable cost and curing efficacy makes it suitable for all types of epoxy resin applications.

ITW Binks
Built for Tough Jobs

From Epoxies to Urethanes to other high solid coatings, the new Binks Airless 75 delivers a great finish using an ergonomic design. Visit for more information.

Carboline Company
Fireproofing Solutions

Pyroclad® X1 Thermo-Lag® Pyrocrete® – protecting against hydrocarbon and jet fires, explosions, and cryogenic spills.

PPG Protective and Marine Coatings Group
Industrial strength performance in ONE can.

Now get the durability and protection of two components in one can: Amercoat® ONE, PSX® ONE and Sigmadur ONE.

Built for Tough Jobs

From Epoxies to Urethanes to other high solid coatings, the new Binks Airless 75 delivers a great finish using an ergonomic design. Visit for more information.

Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine Coatings

With 4,000 distribution points and 3,700+ years of experience, Sherwin-Williams delivers the products, support and expertise you need, right where you need it.

Jessup Manufacturing Company
More Traction for Extreme Marine Conditions

Jessup Safety Track® 3800 Military Grade peel-and-stick non-skid tapes and treads provide extra slip resistance for decks. MIL-PRF-24467C Type XI, Black & Gray.

Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us

© Copyright 2000-2015, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail