View Full Version : Fixative for rubber - Table Tennis Paddle

Makrel Johnson
06-10-2016, 6:33 PM
I'm casting a line out here to see if anyone has engraved some rubber where the engraving was a light gray when complete.

I'm doing a job of ~20 table tennis paddles and engraving the faces and handles of each. The faces I'd prefer to keep the gray frosty appearance of inside the engraved section but I've literally no clue what could be used. The only thing I though of was clear plasti-dip spray and rattle cans of that stuff spray rather poorly.

I know this is far-fetched but I thought if anyone had tried it, someone here might have.

I'd post a picture but it's a surprise event and many of the recipients are crafty and might see this thread.

Anyways, thanks in advance and have a good weekend!


David Somers
06-10-2016, 6:45 PM

Not sure if I am reading your description correctly. You need to engrave both the Handles and the faces of the paddles? Aren't the handles normally wrapped, like any other sports handles? I would imagine there would be leather wrapping like you can get for most handles, like a tennis racket. That would engrave. I have seen wrappings that were a synthetic leather like material but I have no idea if it is a PVC based product or not. Both were available in my local sporting goods stores. You could always use rubber tool handle dip I suppose. Most hardware stores have that, though the color choices might be poor. I typically see Yellow, Red, or Blue for choices. That stuff goes on fairly well and you control the thickness by how many times you dip it, drying between coats of course. If you wanted the coating on the faces to be the same as the handle you would have to find a way to apply the liquid rubber evenly on each face. Lastly, isnt the facing of a table tennis paddle usually a textured rubber sheet glued onto the face with contact cement if I remember right? So if you could find a rubber sheet of the right consistency you could apply that. In all this of course, be sure whatever you are applying is not PVC based. Check the MSDS sheet before getting it.

Anyone else have more direct experience with this beyond my speculation?


Makrel Johnson
06-10-2016, 7:01 PM
Sorry, maybe I wasn't as clear as I could have been... the paddle faces are rubber. Black on one side and red on the other. The handles are plain wood. These aren't super-fancy paddles. They're for a team building event souvenir.

I'm not going deep enough in the rubber face to reach the foam or wood, just a light engraving. The handles are going to be engraved like normal.

Here's the paddle: https://www.amazon.com/STIGA-Aspire-Table-Tennis-Racket/dp/B003JJZZSQ


David Somers
06-10-2016, 7:22 PM

Sorry....I think I am still being dense. The handles should not be a problem if you are just engraving the wood. But it sounds like you want to engrave the rubber faces that are already there, a Black and a Red side. And then coat that with something, to protect it I presume, but you want it to maintain the gray frosted appearance that the engraved areas now have?

If that is right, I am afraid I have no clue what might work as a clear coating. Do you want them to still be able to play with the paddles? Or are they merely commemorative and meant to be shown on a shelf or tucked away with other little treasures we all collect?
If it is not for play can you simply leave it as is after engraving? Is there a real need to coat it? Same question if they may play with them. Is it actually necessary to coat them? Or am I still not understanding what you are trying to do after engraving the rubber faces?

Looks like a fun project though!!! <grin>

Makrel Johnson
06-12-2016, 9:45 PM
When I engrave the rubber faces, the engraving area was a very light gray that stands out on the black face and red face of the paddles. I was hoping to capture that but I've not found a way to do that and still maintain a normal-looking factory face. I've just decided that it's just laser-engraved rubber and it'll be what it'll be. I guess you can't really play with a paddle face that has random etched edges in it - the ball will go anywhere and everywhere. The wooden handles don't present any problem whatsoever and are #3 on the job list per paddle. I guess it's pretty weird to do paddle faces but that seems to be the type of jobs I get. :)

At the end of June I'll add some images after delivery. Hopefully it'll aid in what I was trying to describe...

- Mak