Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Plastic? Expert Opinion
Last Updated on March 8, 2023 by Tokyo
The answer is yes, you can use acrylic paint on plastic, but it’s not straightforward. You need to consider some essential points, from selecting the plastic type to spending hours finding the match-able paint type.
There are multiple types of acrylic paints available in the market as many people want to sell their brands. Acrylic spray paints are most compatible with all kinds of plastic. Here we provided some essential considerations to read and follow, especially if you are a newbie and want to make your plastic paint project successful. We also provided a complete detail on what’s the best paint for plastic.
Types of Plastics that you can Paint with Acrylic Paint
Acrylic paint works best only for specific plastic types. Here are some plastic types which you can use for acrylic paint for ideal results:
- Garbage Cans
- Storage Containers
- Flower pots
- Bottles and jars
- Closet organizer
- Home decor plastic products
Some types of plastic don’t stay shiny for a long time. We recommend using a primer and sealer for long-term glossy results to solve this issue.
How can you use Acrylic Paint on Plastic?
After finding the answer can I use acrylic paint on plastic, people are curious to know how to use it on plastic items? Here are some necessary considerations which are required to keep in mind before starting the paint on plastic:
How to Make the Acrylic Paint Stay on Plastic for a Long Time?
Acrylic paint does not stay sticky on the plastic surface for a long time. Preparing the surface and applying the primer are not the only ways that help to make your plastic cover attractive. Still, a good primer and ideal sandpaper can do wonders. Moreover, some volatile organic compounds allow you to effectively fulfill your malleable paint desires.
It’s not only about selecting the primer or the paint. However, you need to check if the plastic is compatible with the specific color or not. For example, polypropylene is not easy to paint, no matter what’s the quality of the acrylic paint you are using.
Similarly, many other plastic surfaces are not much compatible with acrylic paint. Painting polyethylene is not easy as well. However, preparing the surface, sanding it, and applying acrylic spray paint are ideal steps and are helpful to paint these plastics.
How to Paint Plastic with Acrylic Paint?
Although it’s easy to paint acrylic paint on plastic, you must consider some necessary points while following it. The first and most important thing is to prepare the surface for painting. You must follow three main steps to prepare the surface, sand, and apply a primer. Most people skip the second step, due to which they face long-term glossy painting issues.
Step 1: Preparing the Plastic Surface
Preparing the surface to gain a glossy appearance at the end is necessary. You can use soap and warm water to prepare the surface if it’s not much dirty and old. However, if the surface is facing several challenges, then you must follow some specific chemicals and solvents that allow you to clean the surface quickly. As you are now using chemicals, taking some of the necessary safety precautions, including wearing gear and gloves, is good. Here are the steps to prepare the surface:
Step 2: Sanding the Surface
It’s not only about sanding the surface with any sandpaper piece. But the selection of the sandpaper is more critical as it will do the rest of the task. For this, we recommend using 180 to 220-grit sandpaper. Rub the surface enough with this sandpaper and clean it with a dry towel or any piece of old cloth available at your home.Note: You can again rinse the surface with warm water if you see the largest unwanted particles on it.
Step 3: Applying the Primer
A primer helps to make the surface even and smooth for the paint. Some of the colors are highly soft to use, and they don’t need a primer. However, we recommend using it as its primary purpose is to make the surface smooth enough that it can grab the paint evenly.
Apply primer on the surface evenly so that no spots are left on the plastic cover. You can follow the usage method on the precautions mentioned in the primer spray bottle. It’s good to use primer as a spray as most of the primers come in the market with a bottle spray. However, if it does not go in their form or bottle rush, you can apply an even coat of it using a paintbrush.
Step 4: Applying the Paint
Applying the paint on a plastic surface is very easy. The reason is that now you have prepared the plastic cover by following the above steps, and it will show you the results without any hurdles. If the paint is available in the spray bottle, you can apply it directly to the surface. Just make sure to stir the bottle and mix the color well. If the paint is not available in the form of a bottle, you can put the paint in a large beaker and then start painting on the plastic with the help of a brush.
Step 5: Applying a Sealer
A paint sealer is good to use to protect the surface from scratches and chemicals that can affect the paint’s glossy appearance. This product seals the surface, making it safe from outer substances, items, and chemicals. Most people don’t prefer to use it intentionally or unintentionally. We recommend using it if your main aim is to maintain a shiny appearance for a long time.
How to Use Acrylic Spray Paint on Plastic?
Acrylic spray paint is good to use on plastic material because it sticks to it for a long time. Here are the essential steps for how you can paint plastic using acrylic spray:
Step 1: Prepare the Surface
The preparation process to apply acrylic spray paint is the same as we mentioned above. Just follow the guidelines and prepare the surface. Use sandpaper and a primer to get high-quality results. For more information, read the label given on the spray bottle.
Step 2: Using a Primer
You can use any standard primer in the acrylic paint on the plastic application. However, when it comes to knowing about acrylic spray paint, you need to search and buy the primer specifically made to apply for the spray acrylic paint. Rust-Oleum Plastic Primer Spray is perfect for this purpose.
Step 3: Apply Spray Paint
Applying the spray paint differs from applying the paint available in a bottle or can form. Stir the spray paint bottle well such that the color mixes well. Now start using on the surface so that you are similarly standing beside the surface.
Don’t apply thick layers of spray paint; use it evenly on the surface. Allow the color to fry for 12 hours if you want to apply a second coat. In the end, allow the paint to dry for 24 hours before the final usage of the surface on which you used the acrylic spray paint.
Best Primers to Use for Acrylic Painting on Plastic
There is no doubt that multiple primer brands are available in the market, which can help you to make your acrylic paint on plastic journey successful. But we need to select the one with more benefits and fewer cons. Here are some top-rated primers which can help you to enjoy the plastic paint process:
1. Rust-Oleum Plastic Primer Spray
It is a famous and easy-to-use primer for acrylic paint on plastic material. Available in whitish color, it offers a shiny finish. The quality provided by this primer is top-notch, and it is durable enough to meet your long-term plastic painting needs. Once you use this primer, you don’t need to repaint the surface repeatedly.
2. Vallejo Grey Primer Acrylic Polyurethane
It comes in grey and has a bottle instead of the sprayer. It’s a ready-made primer; don’t mix it with water, alcohol or other substances. This Vallejo primer is helpful to prime small plastic items like a can, bottles, a lid, or any other plastic material. We highly recommend this primer for small acrylic paint projects
The Best Acrylic Paint Sealer for Plastic
The best sealer not only helps to seal the paint but also makes the plastic surface shiny for a long time. Here are some best sealers which are based on high quality and affordable prices:
1. Aleene’s Spray Gloss Acrylic Sealer
This sealer is of good quality and is cost-effective. Making the surface glossy for a long time helps to hide the thick paint spots on the plastic cover. There is no need to effort much while applying this sealer as you need to open and use it as a spray. A spray bottle is enough to complete your medium-range projects.
2. KRYLON Acrylic Clear Acrylic Coating
KRYLON acrylic is another essential and top-rated sealer that is used all around the world. It’s helpful to make the surface resistive against UV rays, sun rays, chemicals, and other substances unsuitable for a shiny plastic exterior. It is a non-yellowing sealer that dries quickly. It also protects the surface from water and extreme weather conditions.
The Best Acrylic Spray Paint for Plastic
Does acrylic paint work on plastic? It depends upon the paint and plastic type. Here are some paints which work on plastic and offer splendid results:
1. KRYLON Colormaxx Spray Paint and Primer
As the name represents, KRYLON Colormaxx spray paint works as paint and a primer. This two-in-one paint helps to gain a shiny and clear appearance without any spots. It spread on the surface evenly. This paint comes in 75 different colors, and you can use the one that fits perfectly for your plastic paint projects. It is helpful for both the exterior and interior surfaces without quality issues.
2. Rust-Oleum Spray Paint for Plastic
This spray paint is one of the top-rated and durable paints for plastic. It’s useful for plastic material, which cannot paint evenly with many other colors. PVC, polypropylene, polystyrene, and vinyl plastics are not easy to paint with many different paints; hence, this Rust-Oleum paint is helpful for these as well. This paint quickly dries in 20 minutes, and there is no need to wait for long hours to apply a second layer of plastic. In short, Rust-Oleum is the best paint for plastic.
Tips for Acrylic Paint on Plastic
The above guide can help you to make the plastic paint journey successful and joyful. Here are some extra tips which are helpful for everyone and especially if you are a beginner:
Tip 1: Test Your Paint
Before applying the paint to the plastic surface, you need to test it. To check its quality, use it on a smaller portion and then see the results. Allow the paint to dry, and then see the quality. You can luckily move with that paint if the quality is good and the color gives a glossy appearance. In another case, you need to change the acrylic paint.
Tip 2: Tape for Clean Lines
Using tape is another trick to gain the highest quality with clean-lined results. Use video on the areas which you don’t want to paint. It is also useful when applying a specific paint color on a site. Instead of marking the locations with a pencil, use tape to get crystal precise paint results. Also, remember to remove the tape as soon as possible because it’s unnecessary to dry the pain before its removal altogether.
Read Also: Masking Tape vs Painters Tape
Tip 3: Sandpaper Alternatives
Traditional sandpapers are not available at most of the marketplaces. Liquid and plastic sanders are the best alternatives you could have. So, if you cannot find sandpaper, you can use these alternatives.
Thankfully, these sanders perform the sanding job more efficiently than traditional sandpaper. These are helpful to quickly remove the unwanted plastic shiny surfaces for the preparation work before painting. Alternative sanders are more useful for heavy and long-term plastic projects.
Tip 4: Alternative to Primers
If you don’t have a primer or cannot arrange it, then you can use a base oil paint that works just like a primer. It is only possible when a primer is unavailable; the best option is still to buy a primer.
Frequently Asked Questions- Can You Paint Plastic with Acrylic Paint?
Wrapping Up- Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Plastic
Hence, acrylic paint can stick to the plastic only if you follow the tips and steps mentioned above. Most people try to save money, don’t use a primer or sealer, and blame the paint brands. Always keep in mind not to compromise on the quality for the sake of saving some amount of money. Carefully use all the products that are essential and also a sealer to make the surface glossy. Keep reading our latest blogs for more information on painting products and tips.
- How to Clean Brushes from Acrylic Paint – 5 Easy ways to Clean
- Acrylic Vs Latex Paint 2023- Difference You Need to Know
- How to Mix Acrylic Paint? A Complete Painter’s Guide
- Tempera Vs Acrylic Paint: What Is the Difference Between Tempera and Acrylic Paint?
- Is Acrylic Paint Safe for Kids? Best Information of 2023
- How to Dispose of Acrylic Paint – Step by Step Guide 2023
- Acrylic Paint on Leather: How to Paint and Seal Leather
- Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Fabric? Step by Step Guide 2023