How can you use acrylic paint on plastic? [Tips and Tricks]

Last week I went to my cousin’s house, and she had a beautiful painting of a landscape hanging in her living room, but it was looking faded.

I recommended her to repaint it using some acrylic paint; at first, she was skeptical about how she could use acrylic paint on plastic. But then she decided to give it a try.

The results were amazing as the painting looked as good as a new one.

But the question still remains, can you use acrylic paint on plastic?

The answer is yes, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind before you start painting. The paint you select is a key factor in the success of your project. You may also need to properly prepare and seal it by sanding or priming plastic before adding any type of exterior coatings on top for protection.

You need to ensure that the paint will work with your project and not damage it in any way!

Point to Consider

Using plastic for painting might seem easy, but prepare to put in some work, or the paint won’t stick.

This comprehensive guide will explore all the basics of painting plastic, from the different types of paint you can use to the best way to apply it. You need to know tips and tricks about using acrylic paint on plastic, so let’s get started!

Will Acrylic Paint Stick to Plastic? Yes or No?

Acrylic paint is a mixed bag when it comes to plastic. Some acrylics are more likely than others, but generally, they’ll only stick under certain circumstances and with the right type of surface for them!

Some factors like the type of plastic, how you’re prepping it, and the brand of paint can all play a role in whether or not your project will be successful. In this article, we are going to discuss painting plastic with acrylic paint, and talk about the best acrylic paint for plastic.

acrylic paint on plastic, painting, plastic

What is Acrylic Paint?

Acrylic paint is a fast-drying paint made of pigments suspended in a synthetic resin. It can mimic the appearance of oil or watercolor, can be used on various surfaces, and is ideal for indoor and outdoor projects.

How can you Use Acrylic Paint on Plastic Successfully?

Acrylic paint can be a great option for painting plastic, but it’s important to understand how to use it properly to get the best results.

The materials you need to cover your plastic object with acrylic paint will vary depending on the size and complexity of the project. Consider how much time constraint there is and what type/size material needs to be covered (in regards to breadth).

After considering these factors cycle-wise, please feel free to purchase whatever supplies are needed!

The best paint for plastic is one that takes into consideration the material it’s being applied to. Many craft acrylic paints don’t adhere well with many types of surfaces, making them prone and chip away eventually – so make sure you know what kind beforehand!

You can also try using a primer to create a smooth base for the paint to adhere to or look into specific types made for different plastics.

The paint you choose depends on your project. Acrylic spray paints are perfect for large surface areas, while craft-style bottled or tube-based colors won’t stick as well to small objects like plastic pieces and jewelry findings that need detailed work with precision and accuracy.

This is a great breed of acrylics if you need to paint small details on the plastic. The brush-on type also works well with recycled bottles and jars or other smaller projects that involve crafts made from these materials too!

In general, it is recommended that you sand the plastic surface before painting. This helps to create a smooth base for the paint to adhere to and also can help with the color coverage of the project.

There are various ways to apply acrylic paints, including some with primer or sealer already in them. For example, spray paint for plastic can be used when you want the finish quality and color right away without waiting around before applying your top coat!

Ensure you’re using the right supplies and that your work surface is protected. Also, be sure to clean up any paint drips or

What Types of Plastic Materials can you Paint With Acrylic Paint?

There are a variety of plastic items that can be painted with acrylic paint, but not all materials are created equal. Some plastics are more porous than others, affecting the paint’s ability to adhere.

plastic types, acrylic paint, types of plastic

Here are some of the most common plastics that can be painted with acrylic paint:

Flower Pots

Are your plastic flower pots faded from the sun? People have been using flower pots for years to add color and life to their homes. You can now take this idea one step further by painting them with different paints so that you have a unique decoration for your house or yard!

You can use any colors you want to make it your own.

Plastic Bottles

Recycled plastic bottles can be turned into all sorts of things, from vases to bird feeders. And with a little paint, you can give them new life and color!

For this project, it is best to use plastic acrylic paint. This will help the paint to adhere better and also provide better coverage.

Bottles and Jars

Jars are the perfect vessels for all of your favorite things. Depending on your need, you can use them as storage or decorating options!

From holding makeup brushes to displaying flowers in a beautiful and functional arrangement, jars have it going on here with their versatility alone. Glass painting is a simple, creative…


It’s true. You can’t always buy what you need for your closets, but with just a few tips and tricks on designing them yourself in style or color that matches perfectly, let’s get painting!

In this case, it is best to use a primer before adding your color of choice. This will help the paint adhere better and provide better coverage.


Whether you’re painting an old piece of furniture that you’ve had for years or giving new life to a garage sale find – there’s no denying the power of a fresh coat of paint (or two).

Acrylic paint will give your plastic furniture a smooth and even finish. You can use any color you want to make it your own. Even outdoor furniture can be painted to give you better curb appeal and enhance your outdoor living space.


You can find a million different uses for baskets. They’re great as laundry bags, toy storage, or just to cover those dirty dishes! If you want something more creative than what I’ve listed here, go ahead and paint it yourself – the colors are endless with this versatile item that will work in any room of your house.

For this project, it is best to use plastic acrylic paint. This will help the paint to adhere better and also provide better coverage.

You can use any colors you want to make it your own.

Plastic Mailboxes

Whether you’re looking to add a pop of color or give your mailbox a makeover, acrylic paint is a great option.

It will look amazing and add curb appeal to your home. In this case, it is best to use a primer before adding your color of choice. This will help the paint adhere better and provide better coverage.

You can use any color you want to make it your own.

Storage containers

Totes and bins come in all shapes, sizes and uses. You can use them to store just about anything from your kitchen supplies or cleaning materials throughout history!

If you’re feeling creative, paint a bin into the perfect design for whatever project you need at home – making composters out of old clothes & shoes by painting over their exterior with earth tones mixed until they form an organic-looking tonality needed specifically for that project.

Easter Eggs

Painting is a fun and creative way of transforming everyday items with just one coat! From Easter eggs, wreaths or even Christmas tree lights – there’s no limit as long as you have an imagination.

 You can paint more than just Easter eggs with this theory; you’ll find different things that need a little splash of color in their lives.

In this case, it is best to use plastic acrylic paint. This will help the paint to adhere better and also provide better coverage.

Home Decor Items

Flower pots, vases, picture frames and more can be given a new lease on life with just a can of acrylic paint and your own two hands.

It will enhance the look of any home decor item. In this case, it is best to use a primer before adding your color of choice. This will help the paint adhere better and provide better coverage.

You can use any colors you want to make it your own.

How to Make Acrylic Paint Stay on Plastic? 

acrylic paint, plastic, paint plastic

You need a little effort to get acrylic paint sticks better on plastic. First is cleaning and priming – this will prep your surface for maximum sticking power!

Next comes that waterproofing layer which helps keep water out and ensures every stroke of color stays where it belongs.

Once you’re ready to start painting, use light coats. This will help the paint go on evenly and prevent any drips or runs.

Don’t forget to seal it with a layer of varnish or lacquer once you’re done! This will protect your job and make it last for years.

Why acrylic paint peels away?

The most common reasons for acrylic paint peeling away from plastic are contamination and failure to clean or sympathize with surfaces properly.

To start, you should use mild dish soap mixed in warm water on your object before scrubbing it off if necessary; many options exist depending on how dirty an area needs cleaning, including products containing low VOCs chemicals like turpentine well pure solvents such as alcohols etc.

If you’re still having trouble, feel free to contact our expert team for help! We’re always happy to assist in any way that we can.

If you want to paint a plastic surface that’s been rough-471nked up, make sure there are no loose particles from beforehand on top of your newly painted area.

The more abraded it becomes around these flaws and imperfections will be easier for the paints to bond with because they’re less likely to stick into gaps between them where oxidation may occur, which could lead to failure later down the line!

The choice of whether to use a brush or spray primer is an important one. Brushing will give you better coverage than spraying. Still, both methods have drawbacks depending on what kind of paint job you’re doing and how much time between applications that need protection from chipping/ blistering etc., so it depends!

How to Paint Plastic With Acrylic Paint? Step by Step Guide

It can be tricky to know how to paint plastic with acrylic paint. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! To paint plastic with bottled acrylic paint, follow these instructions if you want to brush on the finish from a bottle or tube.

Painting is an art form, so if you’re going to be creating your work of art, then it only makes sense that the materials would vary based on what paint and other tools are used.

Step 1: Prepare Your Materials

The first step is gathering all the materials you will need. This includes the plastic object you want to paint, a can of acrylic paint, a small plastic cup, a stir stick, and a piece of sandpaper.

It’s always a good idea to wear protective gear when painting and special clothing that can get messy with paint. Protect your area using a drop cloth or newspaper first!

The U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that you go to a well-ventilated area or open window when using products containing chemicals like xylene, toluene and methyl ethyl ketone because they can be toxic if inhaled.

You should also wear protective gear, such as an N95 mask, to protect against air particles (microbicides).

Step 2: Prep the Plastic Surface

Now that you have all your materials, it’s time to prep the plastic surface. This is an important step because it will help the paint adhere better and ensure that the final product has a smooth finish.

Start by cleaning your plastic surface with mild soap and warm water. If you need to remove any grime or residue from the furniture, use a grease remover or fine grain sandpaper instead! After removing all dirt, rinse it with clear fresh tap water before drying it using a soft towel.

Next, cover the surface with rubbing alcohol and leave it to dry. The force of this chemical action helps remove any grease or oil on your object and dirt film that may have accumulated over time-you can also use sanitisers if you prefer not to go through all this bothersome scrubbing!

You’ll need to sand down any high spots or edges where paint may start wear-and-tear before applying another layer of Protection moisturizer. Rubbing all shiny surfaces with fine grit will help ensure a better bond between your freshly applied finishes and the plastic material itself, leading to brighter colors and longer-lasting results!

When you are finished sanding, clean off all of the dust with a towel and then go over it one last time.

If using soap or other cleaners on your project, add them directly to whatever mediums will be used for painting to ensure an even coat across every inch!

Step 3: Add primer

Primer can be tricky when trying to achieve the perfect application, often leaving streaks or an uneven sheen.

First, you will want to cover the area with paint thinly and then use a brush to distribute it evenly. Second, apply a layer of primer using the same method as before.

When it comes time to prime your paint job, make sure you use the right product. Primers are designed for different types of surfaces and can be found in spray or liquids in cans/bottles, depending on what type is needed by the modeler.

To make sure durability and chip-free, apply the primer following these steps. Coat every inch with thin layers so it can dry 100% before you go out into harsh weather or risk having chipped polish!

Step 4: Applying the Paint

Now that the plastic surface is prepped and primed, it’s time to start painting!

Start by pouring a small amount of paint into the plastic cup. Use the stir stick to mix the paint thoroughly, then dip your brush into the cup.

Apply the paint with a brush or sponge. Aplly the thin coat first. Don’t layer acrylics too thickly. Otherwise, they will not stick well, and you’ll waste your time!

When you’re finished, let the paint dry before moving on to the next step.

The finish may look dull when dry and require another thin layer of paint for a nice and smooth finished.

Step 5: Applying a Top Coat

After the paint has dried, it’s time to apply a top coat. This will protect the paint from chipping and fading and give it a nice sheen.

A few different types of top coats can be used on painted surfaces, but the most common is polyurethane. You can find this at most hardware stores or online.

To apply the top coat, simply follow the instructions on the can.

Step 5: Leave it to Dry

And that’s it! Once the top coat has dried, your newly painted plastic surface will be protected and look fabulous.

Just make sure to let the painted surface dry completely before using it.

Now that you know how to use acrylic paint on plastic go forth and create something beautiful!

Do you know how to Seal Acrylic Paint on Plastic?

Sealing acrylic paint is important if you want it to last. Sealers will help protect everything from rain and moisture, which means that plastics are safe for longer periods and look newer to a win/win situation.

Sealers can be found in either liquid or spray form.

They come with varying finishes to choose from, including glossy and matte options; people say that they like using these for different reasons – some find it easier than other types of products because there’s less chance of making mistakes when applying them vs., say hotel paint which needs several thin layers before being finished (and then you have the added worry about sanding).

The right kind will also protect your color from fading due to sunlight or other harsh conditions.

When the paint is dry, apply your chosen sealer. Using a spray-on product, use exactly what you did when painting so that no air bubbles or brush marks are showing on top of it!

Liquid types will require two coats but may need more depending upon how thickly applied they were initially – even single coats usually do.

However, this type needs time to cure fully before becoming tough enough for most tasks around the home.

It never hurts to be prepared. Add an extra layer for items regularly exposed to harsh conditions, and you’ll have all the protection they need!

Try acrylic sealer spray paints

Acrylic sealer spray provide a protective, clear finish Give a glossy luster to virtually any indoor or outdoor project A durable protective finish Applies clear and dries gloss Spray-on formula goes ono simply and evenly. See More Details Aleene’s acrylic sealer spray dries quickly into gloss and protects the surface

Proven Tips for Painting Plastic with Acrylic Paint

Now that you know the basics of how to paint plastic with acrylic paint, here are some tips to help you get started:

Use painter’s Tape for Clean Lines

Use a piece of painter’s tape to create clean lines on your project. This is especially helpful when painting plastic items with raised details or multiple colors.

The paint will never look as good on your walls if you don’t use painter’s tape. You can easily cover up imperfections, like scratches or cracks, with this simple tool available at any hardware store!

Once done, remove the tape.

The painter’s tape can be removed without waiting for the paint to dry. Do this carefully, though- otherwise, you might scratch your newly applied layers of color!

Alternatives to Sandpaper

If you don’t have sandpaper, you can use a piece of cloth or an old toothbrush to scuff up your plastic item’s surface lightly. This will help the paint to adhere better to the plastic.

Pro Tip

These liquid sanders are the best way to get a smooth finish on your project. They clean and remove the shiny plastic surface simultaneously, saving you time in prep work!

The alternatives are safe for indoor use, so painting them can be done quickly too–around 10 minutes usually does it.

Use a Primer

A primer is not necessary but can be helpful, especially if you paint a light color over a dark plastic surface.

The primer will also help the paint to adhere better to the plastic.

Using an oil-based primer, you want the best results when painting plastics. If not available or your project involves enamels on top of the plastic, stick with acrylics and avoid any problems in future projects!

Use these tips, and you’ll surely succeed when painting plastic with acrylic paint!

What’s the Difference Between Craft and Regular Paint?

The main difference between craft paint and regular paint is that craft paint is usually water-based.

This means that it’s easier to clean up and is less likely to cause any damage to the surface you’re painting. It also means that the paint is less likely to fade over time.

Regular paint is oil-based, which makes it more durable and resistant to fading.

However, it can be more difficult to clean up and can cause damage to the surface if not used correctly.

The Best Primer for Acrylic Paint on Plastic

Acrylic paint is a versatile medium used on various surfaces, including plastic. But what’s the best primer for your project?

One that works with acrylic paint and plastic! There are spray options, or you can use the liquid.

Liquitex BASICS Gesso

liquitex basics acrylic, paint

The acrylic gesso is a great product for preparing your painting surface before you start to add any medium or color. It includes 16 fluid ounces of the stuff, so it will last a while even if you’re using lots and lots!

The value also makes this perfect as an educational tool because they can easily adjust their skills without worrying about ruining something expensive like paints might sometimes be (even though we know that sometimes accidents happen).

This is also a water-based product, so that it can be thinned down and used in many different ways. You can apply it with a brush, a sponge, or a spray bottle!

Vallejo Grey Primer Acrylic Polyurethane

Vallejo, acrylic paint

The Vallejo Surface Primer is a 200-ml bottle of grey primer that you can use to prime your model kits or small plastic items.

It’s easy to clean up with just water, but don’t mix this product before applying because it will cause bubbling on the surface!

It is recommended to apply several thin layers of this primer instead of one thick layer. This will give you a better finish and help to avoid any brush strokes in the final product.

Rust-Oleum 249058

Rust Oleum, acrylic paint

The Rust-Oleum plastic primer is great for beginners who are looking to get a jump on their car painting project.

The product comes out in white form and helps prepare surfaces before you start your paint job so that everything goes smoothly from here!

For use on interior or exterior surfaces, including wood, plastic, plaster, metal masonry and unglazed ceramic.

This oil-based formula provides long-lasting protection and low odor with a witty output tone of voice.

The Best Acrylic Paint Sealer for Plastic

There are many ways to seal your plastic projects, but which is the best? We’ve tested out a few options and are the resulting products!

DecoArt Multi Purpose Primer and sealer

Deco art, sealer, paint

Darice has been committed to earning your trust since we were founded in 1948. We’re proud of the low prices, high-quality products and excellent customer service that make us stand out from other companies on price Sand manufacture location

We believe it’s important for every business – whether they sell sand or something else!

So when you need quality at an affordable price, see what all Darices got going down here in Texas.

The paint is specially formulated to provide a durable, long-lasting finish for all surfaces.

If you’re using it on wood or metal furniture covered with family portraits, choose the gloss varnish, which gives an even sheen without sacrificing coverage – just thin enough. 

Hence, there are no pools of excess solutions below your projects!

Do yo know

Parents especially choose acrylic paint for their children’s toys as opposed to the dangerous spray paints, due to their chemicals and kids putting toys in their mouths all the time.

Aleene’s 26412 Spray Gloss Finish

Aleene's spray paint, gloss finish, spray gloss paint

Aleenes Spray Gloss is the perfect product for any project needing an extra protection layer. This clear finish dries into a high gloss, making it durable enough to protect plastic and other materials!

A never-before-seen sealer from Aleene’s comes out in seconds with no messy mixing required; just spray evenly over your projects – indoor or outdoor- and watch as this amazing acrylic gets absorbed by both surfaces giving you long-lasting finishes without ever drying too quickly or smudging.

Pro Tip

After applying several coats of clear acrylic sealer, follow the instructions on the bottle for drying time. Don’t handle your plastic item until it’s dry completely. Then, you’re done!

Krylon K01305 Gallery Series Artist

Krylon, sealer, acrylic paint

Aleenes Spray Gloss is the perfect product for any project needing an extra protection layer.

This clear finish dries into a high gloss, making it durable enough to protect plastic and other materials!

A never-before-seen sealer from Aleene’s comes out in seconds with no messy mixing required; just spray evenly over your projects – indoor or outdoor ones.

The item is not returnable, but it does come with a UV coating that protects against harmful rays.

This Krylon artist-quality spray provides an ultra-hard, durable glossy finish.

It can be used on all sorts of surfaces, including wood, metal, ceramic, glass, and more!

Which is The Best Acrylic Paint for Plastic?

We’ve all seen those beautiful, intricate paintings on plastic surfaces and wondered how in the world they were made.

The good news is that with the right paint and a little bit of patience, you can achieve the same results!

So, you’re looking to paint your plastic? Well, a few different types of paints will work for this. 

Acrylic craft or spray-on acrylics give an excellent finish and can be used on any surface, while water-based is best suited for moulding projects.

Craft Paint for Plastic Surfaces

There are plenty of spray sealers that give you different types of finishes such as a matte or a glossy finish. Mostly paint can be used on plastic, but some work better than others. We’ve found that the best paint for plastic surfaces is acrylic paint.

This can be either in the form of craft paint or spray-on acrylic.

Here are a few best craft paints.

Apple Barrel PROMOABI

These 18 vibrant acrylic paint colors are perfect for any painting or crafting project.

The set includes white, yellow flame (bright sunny citrus), and bright magenta/fuchsia mix, which can be used as a blush color when mixed with other shades in your portfolio – there are even browns galore!

This versatile acrylic paint can easily be brushed, stamped or sponged to your projects. The simple cleanup is easy with Apple Barrel’s great set of paints!

FolkArt PROMO830

Pick your favorite colors from this vibrant acrylic paint set. It includes 12 – 2 oz bottles of crafty goodness, perfect for any project you can think up!

The color assortment ranges from lime green to classic whiteness, with every other hue in between, including blue sky or deep aquamarine shades.

With this easy-to-use acrylic paint, you can transform any surface into something beautiful. 

Cleanup is a breeze thanks to its water-based formula that cleans up easily with just soap and hot water!

Arteza Outdoor Acrylic Paint

With a selection of 20 beautiful colors, this outdoor acrylic paint set is perfect for any project you can dream up!

The colors are highly pigmented and can be used on various surfaces, including wood, metal, glass, and more!

The paint is also weather resistant, so you can rest assured that your project will withstand the elements.

Plus, cleanup is a breeze thanks to its water-based formula!

Acrylic Spray Paint on Plastic

Spray painting plastic is the easiest and quickest method as it provides smooth and even coverage. Acrylic spray paint is another great option for painting plastic surfaces. This paint dries quickly and can be used on any type of surface, including plastic!

spray painting is just fun and simple. You need a good quality spray paint. Here are a few best acrylic spray paints.

Rust-Oleum Spray Paint for plastic.

This Rust Oleum spray paint can be used for any project, big or small. 

The paint can be used on various surfaces, including wood, metal, plastic, and more!

It’s the one-stop shop for anything you need to paint. Whether it’s outdoors or inside, this product will work on almost any surface!

The paint is also fast drying so you can return to your project in no time!

Krylon K05515007 Spray paint

Krylon has been one of the most popular paints for years.

It’s versatile and can be used on almost anything, including plastics like PVC or resins sensitive to solvents other types may not work well with!

With its fast-drying formula, you can paint your car in just one hour, and the paint will be dry before noon!

And because it’s chip resistant after sitting for at least seven days, we know this won’t leave any pesky chipped areas on either of these features.

The paint comes in a can and is easy to use.

The 360-degree spray tip will make your job easier, as you won’t need any priming or sanding required!

Back to you

Acrylic paint is perfect for giving old plastic a new lease of life and making the most of your projects. The trick lies in choosing which type to buy- there are sealers, primers or simply just plain acrylics!

By following these simple steps, you can create beautiful works of art that will last for years. Have you tried painting on plastic before? What kind of results did you achieve?

Share your experiences with us.

We hope you enjoyed learning how to paint plastic with acrylics! If so, please leave a comment telling us what your thoughts are.

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