Does RIT dye work on sanwa buttons? Yep, result image inside

Ok, so I ordered a violet bezel from madcatz, ordered some violet sanwa buttons from lizardlick. Now I knew that the colors weren’t going to match, but everything arrived today and man was I in for a shock.

So it turns out the photos on lizardlick show “violet”(I even checked these pics on a few different monitors just to make sure it wasn’t just a monitor playing tricks on me) to be quite a bit darker than it actually is. These buttons are almost pink! So I remembered that you can use RIT dye on some plastics, and I only found one post about dying the sanwa buttons and it said there’s a gloss coat that you need to sand off first(well, I’m only going to be staring at the top, so if that’s all I have to sand off with some fine grit that’s no problem), but I can’t find anything with any actual results. Has anyone actually done it? Does it come out blotchy?

And the madcatz “violet” bezel is almost plain blue.

(still waiting for the plexi-panel to arrive, and slacking off on finishing the layout for the art before I print it)

edit: Update in post #12

Well painting the bezel is very easy and the only time i’ve heard of someone painting the button, he was complaining that it was an ordeal.

If the layout isnt finished i would seriously suggest that you just try to make the bezel pink-ish to match and make a pink stick.

Sorry for trying to talk you out of it rather than answering your question… :shake:

I’ve also heard nothing but nightmares about painting buttons. If you want a real “purple” try Sanwas dark blue.

Well that’s the thing, I’m not talking about using paint. RIT fabric dye is the stuff you heat up in a huge bucket of water and then just dunk your items into. Does a decent job with some plastic, doesn’t work worth a darn with others. Because it’s dye and nothing like paint, you can only get darker with it(which would be fine for my application), I just want to know if it actually works with the plastic sanwa uses before doing it myself.

(and the current “violet” color that’s mostly pink just won’t work with the art being used, although I was pleasantly surprised that the far too pink “violet” mesh ball is a closer match for what I wanted the ball to be than the color I was expecting to see when I opened the box, so that’s staying it’s pink-ish color)

Haven’t tried Sanwas, but I’ve dyed some Seimitsus with RIT. It worked, but the color ended up kinda splotchy. I didn’t sand the gloss or anything, I just let them hang on a string in a pot of simmering dyed water. For a really long time. Maybe you could get better results using more passes of shorter intervals, but I don’t know how consistent it’d be.

Wouldn’t actual vinyl dye be a better choice then fabric dye?

If I could find it in the shade of purple I want and not have consistency issues due to the application, maybe. But since I don’t want to use vinyl dye, I’m not interested in discussing it(I would have just gone that route in the first place). I’m looking for answers about using liquid dyes on plastics, which plenty of people have done before with different plastics, and apparently some folks have already done with arcade buttons.

I suppose it’s worth mentioning that the original color still showed through quite strongly (they were green to start - I used black dye, and ended up with a color remniscient of a glass Sprite bottle).

Vinyl dye probably would have worked, but RIT is only like $2 a packet =P. I had it lying around for dyeing skateboard wheels, so I just went at it.

Yeah, I understand the issue of the color coming through, but I’d be doing pink-ish purple to darker purple. I really think knocking the gloss off would make the difference. And yes, there’s a heck of a price difference between some RIT and vinyl dye(which I can’t find in purple, and I’m not about to start playing the color mix game with vinyl dye, since that doubles the price and could come out funky).

This may sound weird but do a google search for dyeing disc golf and RC cars there is a lot of info on doing it with rit dye for plastic parts there are also video on you tube some about mixing rit with acetone and others with heating the dye There is a lot of info on it it surprised me

Yeah, I know. I’ve done it for paintball gear in the past, it’s just that it doesn’t work very well with everything and I was wondering if anyone had experience doing it with the plastic sanwa uses or if I’m going to be the guinea pig. I found it strange there was so little about using RIT dye(or similar) for plastic with all of the customization people like to do with joysticks yet I can find examples of it everywhere from paintball masks to RC car parts and all sorts of other stuff.

Turns out RIT dye works just fine on the plastic sanwa uses on their buttons. The one on the left is a 24mm violet snap-in dyed purple, and the one on the right is a 30mm violet button top that hasn’t been dyed.

I used 1500 grit sandpaper to take the gloss off, then dumped them into a bucket with 1 $2.20 packet of purple dye and 1 gallon of water heated on the stove till it was boiling, and let it sit for about 3.5 hours. Now it didn’t come out 100% perfect, there are a couple minor imperfections on everything(usually a slightly different color at the edge of the rim, or maybe a small darker spot like the one in the picture), however if I spent more time sanding and being consistent with my sanding those imperfections could have likely been avoided. Now I didn’t sand the bottom of the base of the buttons, simply because they’re going to be underneath the panel anyway.

The bezel barely changed colors at all, but it’s slightly more purple now(nothing to compare it with in a pic).

Seems to me like this is a decent and cheap method ($2.20 for the dye, $3.50 for the sandpaper from the auto parts store) for those looking to have something a shade darker than they can get from the manufacturer(and if you can’t find vinyl dye in the color you want).

I, like an idiot, fell victim to this trap :sad: So I was wondering if you perhaps could take another picture of them at a different angle? Also do you think there is anyway to add the protective gloss back? Perhaps a few coats of clear spray enamel? Lastly and please excuse all these questions, I have no idea exactly how plastic dying works, but if dyed with blue or dark blue would that mix with the ‘violet’ and turn more purple? I may have to mess around and try this myself :shake: Thank you :wgrin:

So, question, would these work on white buttons without sanding? Because I have a white 24 on my Saulabi that doesn’t match, and I would like to recify this…