Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Plastic Surface? [Explained]

We have answered to your query on “can you use acrylic paint on plastic surface” where we have discussed everything you need to know.

Plastics are not eco-friendly, we know it, but some plastic materials are so convenient that we can’t skip using those. All plastics are not toxic, and companies are researching how to make them more natural.

Containers, cups, pitchers, and plates all fall under the category of ordinary household plasticware. And, if you have children, you know how quickly even the most durable plastics lose their luster.

What do you do then? Just throw away the old ones and buy a new one? If the quality of the plastic is good and you can use it at least for 2-3 years, why throw it away when you can fix the problem with its appearance?

Rather than throwing them away and purchasing new ones, you may give them a new lease of life by painting them. Did the suggestion tip you off?

Painting and that is too on the surface of plastic, seems a little impractical because we all know plastic doesn’t hold paint for long. It washes away so easily.

Hence, in this article, we have tried to consolidate all points that will help you paint your plastic and make it long-lasting.

Go through the entire article on the query “can you use acrylic paint on plastic surface” minutely so that you can understand everything about painting a plastic surface before you actually start the job.

Acrylic Paint And Plastic | Does It Go Well?

This is the biggest question of all. Unlike oil paints, acrylic paints have no drawbacks and can be used for a wide range of artistic endeavors.

As with oil paints, the colors are vivid, and the consistency is smooth and thick, so it’s easy to build up a layer of color. If that wasn’t enough, you don’t have to deal with tubes of paint and brushes when using spray cans of acrylic paint.

Plastic, on the other hand, is challenging to paint, as any craftsman or enthusiast worth their salt knows. Because plastic is a smooth, non-porous material, paint does not stick well to it.

If you’re reading this, you’re undoubtedly wondering, “Can acrylic paint adhere to plastic?” Absolutely not, at least not if you intend to begin painting right immediately.

It’s a bit more complicated than simply dousing a brush with paint. Before you begin painting, you must make some preliminary arrangements, but do not let this deter you.

It is not a time-consuming or expensive operation. Some plastics just cannot be painted, even if they have been prepared previously.

All polypropylene products are ineligible for painting. Take a look at the recycling logo and a triangle in the middle if you don’t know what polypropylene is.

Other polypropylene items have different numbers to establish whether or not to use acrylic for painting the plastic.

Flower pots, children’s toys, picnic plates, bowls, cups, heavy-duty plastic baskets, storage containers, and even outdoor furniture are all examples of items you can paint.

Is It Possible To Make The Paint Stick?

Plastic painting with acrylic paint is challenging since it is a non-porous and smooth surface. There is no glue for the paint to adhere to, so you must prepare the surface before applying it.

If you don’t do any preparation work, the paint will peel off. Contaminated or unclean paint also won’t adhere to surfaces. This means that the first step is cleaning the surface.

Degreaser and cleaners are available, or you may just wash the plastic surface with soap and water and let it dry.

It’s possible that acrylic paint will go well on some plastics than others, but it’s also possible that it won’t at all.

Acrylic craft paints, for example, require a plastic priming surface in order to adhere to any plastic. Acrylic paint will not adhere to polypropylene, which bears the recycling emblem inside a triangle on the plastic object.

Acrylic paints have trouble adhering to HDPE with the numerals two and four. Teflon, silicone, and nylon are also incompatible with acrylic paint.

In order to get the paint to attach, you will need to sand the plastic surfaces and apply a primer. Acrylic paint can be used on top of a plastic-safe paint base coat.

The primer you use should also be capable of dealing with plastics if you plan on employing it. Applying a transparent sealant can add even more protection.

Even if a sealer isn’t necessary, the longer-lasting results it produces are worth the extra cost. When painting exterior plastics, this is very important.

Spray sealers are available for your convenience and ease of usage.

Keep Reading: Guide On Using Acrylic Paint On Skin

Types Of Plastic Suitable For Acrylic Paints

It is to tell you that all types of plastic can’t be painted with acrylic paints. Paints differ in outcome from surface to surface, and plastic has no exception.

Therefore, if you are thinking of anything to paint with acrylic paints, here are some types of plastic that you can restrict your thought to.

Flower Pots: Flower pots may be utilized inside as well as outside your property. For a completely new look, old flower pots may be repainted. They’ll add a pleasant glow to any yard or home. This is an easy and inexpensive way to use your outside living space to its maximum potential.

Garbage Cans: Garbage cans come in a variety of sizes and are used for a variety of purposes. You can even paint thrift store plastic garbage cans to give them a new lease on life. Garbage cans, for example, can be given a facelift to improve their appearance and create a more welcoming environment.

Bottles & Jars: Bottles and jars can be used to brighten and illuminate an area. Decorate an area or use them to carry anything from cosmetics brushes and paintbrushes to pens and pencils and markers to flowers and kitchen tools.

Baskets: For example, a basket may be used for everything from laundry and toys to storing stuff and decorations. You can even paint the basket to make it look like a new one.

Storage Containers: A wide variety of storage boxes and totes are available. Storage containers can be used for almost anything. Compost bins, potato-growing pots, and other uses are all possible with these. You can personalize them by painting them in a color that suits your taste and style.

Light Switch Covers: Repainting the switch cover is a simple way to transform the look of a whole space. This is an excellent method to give your child’s room a more unique and enjoyable feel.

Toys: Repaint those worn-out toys for a fresh look. It will appear to be an upgrade even if no money is spent on it.

Closet Organizers: It’s time to face the facts. You won’t be able to find everything you want in the precise color or style you want. Plastic closet organizers can be customized and painted to reflect your unique sense of style and taste with a bit of creativity and a few pointers.

Easter Eggs: With this notion, you can paint a lot more than simply Easter eggs. With a little paint, you can reface and restore a wide variety of seasonal things. This is a terrific way to conserve money while still using things you already have if you enjoy entertaining.

Furniture: It’s possible to make a room look better by painting your furniture. After a few years of use, this is an excellent idea for those tables and chairs. In cases where cleaning is no longer sufficient, painting the furniture can be a more effective option. It’s possible to give your home a fresh new look by painting even your outdoor furnishings.

Home Decor: There are several thrift stores and yard sales where you can get bargains. They may also be painted to give them a new appearance. You have the option of designing your things or simply painting them to achieve the look you want. If you wanted to, you could switch over your decor on a regular basis.

Keep Reading: Comprehensive Guide On Painting With Acrylic On Fabric

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Plastic Surface? Process On How To Paint Plastic

Now that you know plastic and paints, it is time to enlighten you with the process of painting plastic with acrylic. We have described some steps which you can’t skip to get the desired finish of the paint and keep all trouble away. So, let’s get started:


Because plastic is extremely difficult to paint, acrylic paint may not adhere to it unless properly prepared. As part of the preparation for painting, you must carefully clean and sand the surface, post to which a primer can be applied. The acrylic paint can stick to the plastic much better this way!

Clean Plastic

The paint may fail to adhere to a surface if other chemicals or particles are interfering with the paint’s adhesion.

Grease, oils, fingerprints, dirt, additives, and plasticizers are examples of these substances. However, there are several cleaning chemicals and grease removal treatments that can quickly solve this issue.

Even though your plastic may appear innocent from a distance, it contains plasticizers that can leak out after you’ve finished painting it, resulting in a sticky surface.

This can’t be undone after it’s been done; it’s nearly impossible to start from scratch again. Several surfaces must be properly cleaned and prepped before the paint is applied; plastic is only one of them.

Roughening The Plastic Surface

Before you do prime your plastic, roughen it up a bit so that the paint can attach to it. Using fine-grain sandpaper, gradually sand the plastic until the surface is smooth.

Repeat the following cleaning/degreasing process after removing all loose particles using a soft duster. Sanding machines are helpful in painting broad surfaces, but they make it harder to reach small spaces.

Keep Reading: Complete Process Of Carboard Painting With Acrylic

Priming The Plastic Surface

Acrylic paint for plastic may be used directly on the unfinished surface of the plastic without the need for primer; however, there are different paints available.

However, for acrylic paint on plastic, you should prime the plastic before you begin painting. Using two applications of priming is enough.

Spray cans of primer make application a cinch. It’s best to work outside or in a space with sufficient ventilation if you can’t get outside.

Spray it a few inches away from your face and hands, wearing a face mask, gloves, and eye protection. Before you begin spraying, you should mask out any areas of plastic that you don’t want to paint with painter’s tape.

A few hours of drying time may be required, depending on the primer’s specifications. This form of primer, which is applied by painting, is also readily accessible.

It takes longer than spraying priming, but the results are just as good. Let each layer of primer dry completely before moving on to the next one.

Ways Of Testing Paint And Primer Compatibility

You should make sure that the paint and primer you buy are compatible. If the primer and the paint don’t go well, watch each other, there is a high possibility that your effort and time will be futile.

To be on the safe side, use a primer suitable for the type of surface you plan to paint. If you’re still not sure, here’s how you can put your suspicions to rest:

  1. Spray the primer on a test surface.
  2. A primer must be allowed time to dry completely before painting can be completed.
  3. When the paint is completely dried, use a sharp tool to leave a noticeable scratch mark.
  4. Pull the tape off of the scratch mark. The primer and paint can be seen if you look at the paint that is still on the surface. A failure to do so will result in peeling paint.

Applying Paint On Plastic

It is possible to paint your plastic with a brush or with spray paint. Spray paint should be applied uniformly, and the can should be held at least a few inches away to avoid paint buildup. You might also find this guide helpful on drying spray paint faster.

To keep paint in check, many individuals use masking tape, which works with any paint kind. The paint may peel off at the time of removing the tape if you’re using tape to create straight lines.

This is something to keep in mind. Also, if you wait until it’s dry to remove the tape, the paint may come loose and flake off.

Since utilizing tape has both advantages and disadvantages, some people opt to skip priming completely, which we don’t suggest.

Consider the fact that heavier acrylic paint will not stick to plastic as the thinner paint will. First-time users of acrylic paint on plastic should familiarise themselves with the color’s appearance before painting their chosen object or surface with the paint.

The name of the color does not guarantee that the color will look the same after it is applied and dried.

Sealing The Paint On Plastic

Once you’ve done painting and allowed the paint to cure, sealers are applied to provide a layer of protection.

Sealers come in various finishes and can be applied with a spray or a brush – it’s up to you. Painting an item that is used commonly or that will be shown outdoors necessitates sealing the paint.

Items that will not be touched at all do not necessitate the use of a sealer. Before applying the sealer, make sure the paint is totally dry.

For a protected exterior, a second coat of sealer may be required. Ensure the previous layer has completely cured and dried before applying the second coat.

Pro Tips To Get The Desired Result

If you follow the described steps, we are hopeful that you will be able to paint the plastic surface successfully. Although, we thought of sharing some more pro tips that will alleviate the job for you.

First: Tape is a great way to ensure that your lines are neat and tidy. Using high-quality painter’s tape is the most excellent way to create any regions on the products that you want. A good quality tape will not be inexpensive. The effects you get with a lower-quality tape will be less impressive than with a higher-quality tape. The tape will serve as a barrier to keep the surface safe from damage. To protect the rest of the merchandise, you can tape a newspaper to it.

Second: Once you’ve finished, remove the tape. Remove your painter’s tape as soon as the paint has dried. If you leave the tape on while the paint is still wet, it will chip off the new coat of paint. As a result, it is recommended that you use only one layer of priming before applying the acrylic paint.

Third: Make a sweep of your garage and shed to see if there are any unwanted objects. Is there any better method to save money than by purchasing used goods rather than new ones? Get rid of everything that has seen better days or that you haven’t used in a while. Painting these objects is a lot of fun. With a little paint, they can be restored to their former splendor.

Fourth: Sandpaper is available in a variety of forms. Liquid sanders are among the products that fall within this category. Instead of using regular sandpaper, many people now opt to use them. They help to eliminate any glossy effects from the plastic so that the paint adheres more strongly. Home improvement stores carry these. Some of these can be painted in as little as five minutes after they’ve been applied.

Final Verdict

We hope this guide on “can you use acrylic paint on plastic surface” was helpful and solved your query completely. You can alter an object’s appearance to make it more appealing. To make something look brand new, all it takes is a coat of paint.

Old objects might sometimes look better than they did the first time you see them. Simply painting a room may transform its atmosphere, making it appear larger and more inviting.

If you choose, you can use a single, solid color or a palette of solids. You can also add a personal touch to the items by drawing or painting designs on them.

Even little alterations like a fresh coat of paint might give the impression that an object is more valuable than it actually is.

Forget about buying new things when you may save money and still have fun with an old one.
Making a painting together with your friends, kids, or family is a fun way to create lasting memories that everyone can enjoy.

To make sure your efforts and time are worth it, follow all the rules and tips we have covered in the article, and you will get the most desired finish.

DIY is a much better option when you know the tips and tricks of doing something flawlessly. So just abide by the steps and enjoy renovating your plastic items!

Leave a Comment

Explore Us

Follow Us On:

About Us

House Whirl Logo White has a team of professional industry experts to help you find guides on painting, finishing, flooring, bathroom & kitchen to make your home look stunning. We have tested, researched & written hundreds of buying guides to help you select the top-notch & affordable products out there!

Disclosure is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to