Can You Spray Paint A Christmas Tree? (DIY Guide + Ideas!)

Sometimes you want to add some of your own flair when decorating for the holidays. So what if you want to change the color of your Christmas tree? 

Luckily, if you are wondering if there are ways you can spray paint a Christmas tree, you can! We will go over ways you can spray paint your own Christmas tree. 

In short, yes! You can spray paint a Christmas tree, so long as you do it in a well-ventilated area. However, it is tricky depending on what type of tree you're painting. Choose white tree.

So, can you spray a fake Christmas tree? If you are painting an artificial tree or plastic tree or fake tree, any all-purpose water-based spray paint will work just fine on plastic. 

Aside from plastic christmas trees, you can also spray paint on pre lit Christmas tree and flocked christmas trees. Of course, cover the lightbulbs and parts of the pre lit tree you don't want to be spray painted tree before applying the paint on pre lit christmas tree. This can be a time-consuming task, but trust me when I say it is not one you want to skip.  

If you’re looking at how to flock a pre lit Christmas tree with spray paint, you must ensure that the kind you use is water-based latex paint other than regular latex or oil-based paint. Oil-based paints are harmful to real trees as they can potentially damage the life system of a tree by killing tree tissue. 

If you spray paint a real tree, although the paint lasts for a while, the real tree does not. You can paint onto the leaves of the real tree as long as it's water-based spray paint. 

A real tree lasts about six weeks indoors before it starts to dry out. Spray painting a real tree does hurt it a bit as it traps in damaging bacteria and fungi, as well as seals in excess moisture. 

Can You Spray Paint A Christmas Tree?

What Color Should You Paint Your Christmas Tree? (Ideas & Options)

So, now that you have an idea of what type of tree to paint, you might be wondering what color to paint it.

Can you spray paint a Christmas tree pink? Yes, but most people follow a holiday season palette instead of pink tree, so white spray paint is a primary staple.

There are other colors than white spray paint you can paint your artificial tree to make it your own. 

white christmas tree

Another way you can paint it is by showing your equal admiration for all things Christmas and Halloween and spray painting it black instead of white tree.

Luckily, you can even have matching decorations for your gothic Christmas tree. 

christmas tree

You can complement the paint’s color with Christmas ornaments as per Christmas tree theme.

For instance, if your favorite set of colors ranges from green, purple, or red, you can glitter spray paint, glitter paint on your tree and match it with red or purple ornaments, homemade ornaments or other decorations. 

christmas trees

How To Spray Paint A Christmas Tree Step By Step

Now we get to the exciting part: spray painting your Christmas tree!  

Before starting, make sure that your spray paint is the right kind for use on a tree. A water-based latex product is one of the better choices. This type will effectively adhere to the tree's surface and branches. However, some Rust-Oleum products and craft spray paint will also provide sufficient coverage and stick to the tree.  

Any other type of regular spray paint, especially oil-based, will not adhere to the tree effectively. In addition, using traditional paint on a living tree can clog its lenticels and stop growth.  

Materials Needed 

  • Christmas Tree 
  • Spray Paint 
  • Primer 
  • Drop Sheet or drop cloth 
  • Painter's Tape 
  • Protective Equipment  

1. Prep Your Tree

Before you get started, it is essential to prepare your tree. First, ensure you clean any dust, debris, or items off the tree. Using a vacuum with a soft bristle hand attachment can simplify this task.  

Some artificial Christmas trees will have pre-strung lights. If you cannot remove these before painting, use small pieces of painter's tape to cover each light bulb so you do not paint over them. 

The spray paint will still cover and coat the strings of lights, but it will blend in with the entire tree. This effect gives it an even more magical look once complete, and only the lights stand out.  

Paint an artificial Christmas tree will require you to separate and space out all the branches as much as possible. You do not want the branches of the artificial Christmas tree to clump together, or you will have uneven areas on your small tree when it is complete.  

If your artificial Christmas tree comes apart in pieces, you can ensure better coverage by separating these sections and painting them one at a time.  

If you are painting a real tree, make sure to straighten it onto the tree stand. You want it upright, so you get an even coat throughout the tree.   

2. Set Up The Space 

Once you finish preparing your tree white, assigning the workspace is vital.  

Spread a drop sheet or tarp out in the space you will be painting. This sheet should protect the surrounding area and items. This sheet is necessary for working inside or out. It will help prevent the paint from splattering onto the floor, your driveway, or grass.  

If you paint indoors, it should be in a well-ventilated room. Open any doors or windows nearby to encourage airflow before you begin. The temperature in the room should be between 70 to 75°F for it to dry correctly.  

Wear protective eyewear, a respirator mask, gloves, and footwear or socks you can get paint on as you move around the tree.  

Moving outside can be better if you want to avoid any overspray indoors. However, spray painting a Christmas tree outdoors should be done in mild weather. Painting in extreme humidity and winds can unintentionally turn your new project into a disaster. 

Areas like an outdoor shop or garage work great for this task. Remember to move any items out of the spray zone before starting on your tree.  

3. Prime and Paint Your Item 

Apply water-based primer onto your tree white to strengthen the adhesion and smoothness. Once dry, you can start painting! However, if working with a real tree, you do not have to prime it because it will dry out. 

Spray the tree at all angles to create an even coating. Use light coats of paint rather than spraying heavily at the beginning. More lightweight coats of paint will dry quicker and minimize any paint dripping off the tree onto the drop sheet.  

Start with the top-down method, then the sides, and finally underneath the branches. Once you finish the first coat, you should take a closer look with different angles to see if you missed any areas or require touch-ups.  

The tree will need time to dry and cure before you can put it out for display. Allow for 72 hours from painting the Christmas tree to the time you add decorations or move it around.  

Spray Painting Christmas Tree FAQs 

How do you flock a christmas tree with spray paint? 

You can flock your Christmas tree by spray painting in small increments on the tips of the branches. 

How do you store a spray-painted christmas tree? 

You can store a spray-painted Christmas tree by either wrapping it up in plastic or empty garbage bags. 

How long does it take for spray paint to dry on a christmas tree? 

It usually takes approximately five to six hours for the spray paint to dry on a Christmas tree. 

Can you spray paint christmas tree lights? 

You can lightly spray paint your tree lights. However, applying the paint too thickly will prevent the light from really shining through, so proceed with caution.  


So, to review, can you spray paint a Christmas tree? Luckily, you can, and typically water-based spray paint is best. However, only use spray paint an artificial christmas trees rather than real ones.