Painting plastic surfaces may be one of the most challenging tasks. They are prone to flaking paint, even when you think you have an adequately adhered coating, because of their chemical composition and smooth surface. Because plastics can expand and contract at a faster rate than paints, they are vulnerable to flaking paint.

Nevertheless, paint can apply to plastics without affecting their durability if appropriately prepared and uses in specialty products. Install a high-adhesion latex stain-blocking primer on interior walls.

Choose interior latex paint for bathrooms and kitchens that do not receive constant exposure to water. The walls of showers are unsuitable for paint.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to paint plastic step by step explains it below.

How to Paint Plastic



To achieve a smooth, lasting finish, proper preparation is crucial. Cleaning with mild soap and water should be the first step in painting plastic surfaces. Rub rubbing alcohol over the plastic after it has dried. You should also set up a protected work area, either by using newspaper, cardboard, or a tarp, to prevent accidents and minimize cleanup. Painter’s tape can use to cover up any plastic parts that you do not wish to paint.


When spray painting plastic, hold the can’s nozzle between 12 and 18 inches away. Begin spraying in an area slightly off the surface, then sweep the can across the surface smoothly, stopping only once the edge reach. Continually overlap your strokes in this manner until the entire area is coating. Overspray is not advised, as plastic-specific paint tends to adhere quite well.


Apply a few thin and even coats to achieve the best results. After 15 minutes, the paint will be dry to the touch. However, you should wait 30 minutes before applying a second coat. If the environment is humid, you should wait even longer.


We recommend protecting the job with a clear acrylic sealer if the plastic you’re painting will spend time outside. Using the same smooth, overlapping strokes you used to apply the paint, spray on the sealer after the final layer of paint allows it to cure. Sealers can apply in one coat, but two or three are fine. Allow 30 minutes between each coat to dry. Allow the plastic to sit for two hours after the final sealer coat; then you’re done!



Mineral spirits or rubbing alcohol should use to clean the plastic surface. As well as cleaning your brand new item, this process breaks down any sealants used on it. Let the piece air dry after washing it with a wet rag.


Sand the surface lightly with a fine-grit sanding block until it becomes dull. A rough surface will make the primer adhere better. Use a dry brush to clear away any debris after sanding (a large paintbrush works great!) and a wet cloth to wipe the surface clean. Let the object completely dry before proceeding.


Using the instructions on the back of the can, apply the plastic primer. Rather than using multiple coats or one heavy coat, Rust-Oleum recommends applying one thin coat and shaking the can as you spray.


Follow the directions on the can when applying the spray paint. Paint furniture or other items that are going to use a lot with about 3 to 4 coats, letting each one dry between coats.

Color-blocking: Create a pattern with tape. Cover any areas you do not want to spray with the first color with plastic. Spray-paint the second color over the first one after it has dried completely. Keep painting until you are satisfied with your design.


In the end, spray a clear primer over the entire piece to protect it. This step is significant when it comes to outdoor plastic or other items that are subject to the elements.



Add a little dish soap to a bucket of warm water. Using a sponge or rag, scrub the plastic. Outdoor furniture, tables, and vinyl fences, which are mildew-prone, will need more than one washing and may require a lot of scrubbing. Make sure there are no suds left on the surface by thoroughly rinsing.


Plastics with a matte surface adhere to paint far better than those with a glossy surface. Due to the glossy nature of most plastics, sanding is a must. Using 180 to 220 grit sandpaper, lightly sand all surfaces. You can sand plastic by hand since it is soft. A random orbital sander may better suit large areas to sand.

Sanding the plastic vigorously could cause it to melt since friction can create much heat. Electric sanders are particularly sensitive to heat.


This will remove the fine plastic dust that is left behind after sanding. For a final clean, use mineral spirits or isopropyl alcohol. Use a well-ventilated but protected area to place the plastic, such as outdoors on a dry day, under a patio awning.

Clean the surface by smearing the spirits or alcohol on a clean rag. Continue doing so until the rags are dust-free and clean.

Find out how to dispose of rags soaked in mineral spirits by checking your local waste management regulations. As the soaked rags are flammable, take care when throwing them away.


Spray painting plastic requires patience. Plastic is quite different from wood, paper, or cardboard since it is nonporous and doesn’t absorb paint like those materials.

Layout the work material horizontally if possible. Test the paint on a scrap of scrap material or in the air once the can has been thoroughly shaken.

Tilt the can about 45 degrees at about 8 to 12 inches away from the plastic. Lightly spray over the surface. Total color coverage will usually result in drips at this point.

The fine dust produced by overspray can dull semi-gloss and glossy paint. Spray cans must not move backward while spraying. Go forward instead. Fresh paint will cover up the spray dust.


Ensure that the plastic dries in a warm, dry environment for a minimum of two hours. Solid and dry paint should not be tacky to the touch.

You may need to sand down dry drips and drops. The paint has to be dry and hard 100 percent before applying it to the wall. Then you might have trouble removing smeared paint.

Apply a second coat of paint to the plastic. Avoid the temptation to paint the walls too thickly. Aim to mist the surface at about 12 inches away while tilting the paint can at an angle. You risk ending up with a dusty, grainy coat if you spray from too far away.

Then, paint the surface with a final coat after the plastic has dried for a few hours.


To achieve a good finish when painting plastics, your preparation is of great importance. Do a partial dry fit to ensure that the model parts and mold lines are in good working condition, as well as double-check your model parts and mold lines.

Take a little sandpaper and putty and get ready. Once your model is finished, you’ll amazed at how great it looks without the small gaps.

We hope you found how to paint plastic in this article helpful.