Can You Spray Paint Plastic? (How To Make It Stick)

When working with plastic, you’ve likely asked the question, “Can you spray paint plastic?” It’s a common question that people want to know the answer to. If you’d like to know if it’s possible to use spray paint on different plastic materials, you’re in the right place. Check out this guide that will teach you everything you need to know about using spray paint and plastic together. 

Spray paint is a liquid paint found in a spray canister that makes completing projects much simpler than taking paint from a can and applying it with a roller or paintbrush. The benefits of using spray paint are tremendous. Most people prefer it because it's easier to work with, makes applying paint a much faster process, and can help you save money in the long run by avoiding common painting mistakes made with a brush or roller. 

While it’s convenient, you’re probably wondering how to spray paint plastic and if it’s even possible to do so. It’s often best to use spray paint when you want your finished product to have a bit of a shiny finish to it. It’s not uncommon for people to use spray paint when completing different do-it-yourself projects, such as painting over old wood furniture, including coffee tables, nightstands, dresser drawers, and more. It’s also relatively easy to use on plastic. 

Most types of spray paint will work on different types of plastic. So, if you were wondering if you can spray paint plastic, the answer to that question is yes. Of course, you’ll need to take a few steps beforehand, which includes preparing your surface for the paint before you begin spraying. If you don’t prep the surface in advance, the paint job might not turn out too well. Instead of looking precise and decent, it may look bumpy and runny. The prepping process often involves cleaning the plastic material and then using a plastic primer before you begin spray painting with a color of your choice. 

Can You Spray Paint Plastic

Can you spray paint plastic chairs?  

You can spray paint many types of plastic chairs, including garden chairs, Adirondack chairs, and patio chairs. Spray painting them is an excellent way to bring them to life with new, exciting colors in various shades. One of the best types of spray paint to use on these chairs is the EasyCare Premium Decor Spray Enamel. You can use a sweeping motion with your hands while holding the bottle to ensure complete coverage of the chair from top to bottom. 

Can you spray paint a plastic deck box, flowerpot, bins, and buckets?  

Yes, you can spray these products, but you’ll need to take a step-by-step process in doing so. First, flip the bin, bucket, or pot over so that the bottom faces the sky and add a light coating of spray paint. Next, let it dry completely before you flip it over to the other side and add another light coating of the paint. You don’t want to go too crazy with your spray paint because if you do, it can impact the condition of your flowers or anything else you’re putting in bins and buckets. You don’t want to put too much paint and have it rubbing off on belongings. 

Can you spray paint a plastic table?  

Yes! You can spray paint a table like you would the chairs. You can even use the same type of spray paint. It’s super convenient to get a bottle of spray paint and primer in one to help skip the step of trying to apply primer, wait for it to dry, and then add the coating of paint to it. 

Can you spray paint plastic car bumpers?  

If you want to spray paint the plastic of your car bumper, you’ll need to purchase paint designed specifically for use on vehicles. If not, it may not turn out well and can end up looking drippy. 

How To Easily Spray Paint Plastic? (Step By Step Guide) 

You can’t just grab any old spray paint and start painting plastic items. Follow the steps below to properly spray paint plastic: 

1.  Buy the Right Spray Paint 

When you walk into the store to purchase spray paint, you’ll notice that some bottles are labeled specifically for use on plastic products, such as Krylon Fusion for Plastic. It’s important to buy paint that you can safely and effectively use on your plastic materials to avoid encountering different issues, such as the paint not sticking.  

2.  Gather Your Materials 

You won’t need a lot of materials when spray painting plastic, but it’s important to make sure you have everything you need within arms' reach. Here’s what you will need: 

  • Mineral spirits 
  • Fine-grit sanding block 
  • Plastic primer 
  • Topcoat paint (spray paint color of your choice for plastic) 
  • Clear sealer 

3.  Clean the Material 

Start the cleaning process by wiping down the plastic surface with mineral spirits or rubbing alcohol. This helps clean the item and breaks down any sealants that may have been used on the item previously. Then, wash the piece with a wet rag and let it air dry.  

4.  Sand Your Plastic Surfaces 

While cleaning the material is a priority, sanding is not a necessity for everything you’re planning to cover in spray paint. But, sanding is recommended to give texture to the surface so that the primer will stick. After sanding, use a brush to wipe away the debris, and wash the item with a wet rag.  

5.  Prime Your Item 

The priming process is a must if you want your paint to stick with ease and last a long time, but don’t worry because there are primer and paint options combined into a single product for convenience. You’ll be glad to use them when you see the outcome of your paint job. If your spray paint already has a primer, skip to step 6.  

6. Spray Paint the Surface 

Next, shake your spray paint can to mix everything together inside it. Then, apply a tack coat. This is a very light mist of your preferred spray paint color. Let it dry. Continue adding several light coats of paint, letting each dry until your item is fully coated.  

7.  Use a Sealer 

Use a clear acrylic sealer as a finishing touch. It’s the best way to achieve a flawless finish while ensuring your paint job lasts a long time. The sealer is available in spray form, too, making it that much easier for you to complete any paint job. 

Paint car with spray gun

Important Tips When Spray Painting Plastics 

You want to take proper measures when you’re planning to add spray paint to plastic materials. Here are a few tips to help you along the way: 

  • Clean the material.
    First, you need to clean the material you’re planning to cover in paint. If you have a pressure washer, this would be super convenient, allowing you to clean the plastic within minutes before drying it and getting ready to cover it in paint.
  • Always use a primer.
    Don't forget to use a primer. You can apply primer and then paint or get a two-in-one product that helps you save even more time and energy. It's the best way to get your spray paint to last long and look good while sticking to the plastic materials. 
  • Spray from a distance.
    Spray items at least 10 inches away from the surface. If you spray too close to the plastic, it will cause thick spots in some areas and thinner spots in others.  
  • Do a test run.
    Pick a scrap piece of plastic, an old laundry basket, or a flower pot, and test out your spray painting skills. Test out spraying the item from different distances and with different strokes, so you familiarize yourself with the proper technique. 
  • Take safety precautions.
    You should also take precautionary measures to protect yourself by wearing a mask over your nose and mouth to avoid breathing in the fumes from the spray paint. In addition, gloves would be good to prevent you from getting paint on your skin. 

Why Use Spray Paint On Plastic Surfaces? 

Spray paint is great to use on plastic surfaces for several reasons. If you aren’t sure it’s worth it, here are some benefits of using spray paint on plastic: 

  • It’s much easier to apply and makes a lot less of a mess.  
  • If you don’t feel like dealing with paint cans, brushes, rollers, and roller trays, spray paint is a great alternative.  
  • You won’t need to worry about buying a bunch of equipment to use with it.  
  • It works well on most plastic surfaces. You can use the paint to treat different plastic surfaces, applying an even layer of paint throughout the product.  
  • Spray paint offers the longevity that most painters and homeowners can truly appreciate. 
Worker Painting A Red Car In Paiting Booth Using Professional To

Frequently Asked Spray-Painting Plastic Questions 

Can acrylic spray paint be used on plastic? 

No, this isn’t ideal. You’d need to sand your plastic down and then use a primer just to get the acrylic spray paint to adhere. It would be a time-consuming project with no guaranteed results, which is why it’s best to stick with non-acrylic spray paint for such surfaces. 


Can you spray paint without sanding?  

Yes, you can spray paint without sanding, but it's important to take other measures. For example, you'll want to clean the surface before you paint it, especially if it’s a chair or table that has been outdoors for a while. Cleaning helps you remove dirt, dust, and buildup from the plastic before you begin using your primer and paint. 


How long does spray paint take to dry on plastic?  

The average time varies based on different factors, including the size of the plastic product and the location placed after painting it. If it’s sitting outside to dry and it’s a warm day, it should dry within a few hours. However, it’s possible for some items to take even longer to dry. It’s best to wait up to 12 hours before touching. 


How long does spray paint last on plastics? 

If you take the proper steps involved in preparing the surface and then applying the paint, your spray paint can last for as long as you’d like it to last. 


Conclusion

Now that you know more about how to spray paint plastic, you can complete different do-it-yourself projects using spray paint because it’s convenient. It’ll help you save time, energy, and money while changing the color of different plastic materials. 


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