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Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Plastic?

Acrylic paint is a well known type of paint that can stick to pretty much any surface from wood, to fabric, to even clay. But, can you use acrylic paint on plastic? The short answer is yes. You can definitely use acrylic paint on plastic surfaces, and in this article we go over the proper steps to ensure your paint doesn’t peel or chip later on.

Before painting your plastic surface, always make sure to prepare it beforehand. I always recommend a primer before applying the paint, that way your acrylic paint will stick to it, without peeling off. Some say acrylic paint isn’t really meant for plastic, but with a few techniques, it can definitely be done!

Here are some of my other articles that talk about using acrylic paint on wood, clay, and fabric. You will need to prime the plastic surface before you paint it, that way the acrylic paint will stick to it better. This step isn’t 100% necessary, but it doesn’t help in the long run. I recommend this primer from Amazon as your base.

After you prime the plastic, make sure it’s fully dry before applying the paint. Once your acrylic paint has fully dried, you will then need a clear sealant to protect the paint from scratches and peels. This spray from Krylon is my top recommendation. I personally use this one to gloss my acrylic canvas paintings.

What Types of Plastic Can Acrylic Paint Stick To?

Some examples of plastic items that acrylic paint will bind to are:

  • Flower Pots
  • Garbage Cans
  • Plastic Bottles and Jars
  • Storage Totes
  • Light Switch Covers
  • Toys
  • Furniture

You can pretty much use acrylic paint on any type of plastic, and below we go over how to properly seal your project.

What Kind of Paints Can Be Used on Plastic?

Not only can you use acrylic paint on plastic, but there are a few others that can work well. Some include spray paints, oil paints and brush on paints. Apart from acrylic paint, one of my favorites to use on plastic projects is spray paint. It’s very easy to use and can get every corner. Krylon has a great selection of colors, and even some cool metallic sprays.

Krylon is a great brand because not only do they have tons of different colors to choose from, but they carry a wide selection of primers. You simply spray your primer on the plastic, wait until it’s dry, and then spray your paint. Once your paint has dried, don’t forget to seal it with, you guessed it, a Krylon sealant.

Can I use Brush-on Paint for Plastic?

Yes, you definitely can! Krylon actually just introduced the first ever brush on paint for plastic. It’s like spray paint for your plastic project, but in a brush form. This makes it super convenient, and no more toxic sprays in the air.

The brush-on paint doesn’t require sanding or priming the surface, you just paint it on in a one step deal. I think this is great for those projects that you want more detail in such as with a brush. I recommend this small size brush-on paint for starters.

Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Plastic Toys?

Some people want to personalize their toys, or plastic projects. Other people even paint toys as a hobby. You can definitely use acrylic paint on plastic toys, you just need to seal it properly, and it’s good to go!

Check out my other article that is all about using acrylic paint on miniature models. It gives you the run down on what supplies you need, and even which acrylic paints are best for plastic toy miniatures.

A lot of people actually paint their own tabletop game pieces, others choose to restore or customize their plastic toys with acrylic paint, because it’s such a versatile type of paint.

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. Have you ever gone to a children’s art place to make some sort of project? I can guarantee you that acrylic paint is what they will be using almost 100% of the time.

For plastic toys with moving parts, always try to disassemble them prior to painting it. Otherwise you might accidentally sealing it with the paint as it dries. Once you have completed the paint job, you might choose to seal it with a gloss. Krylon spray sealant is perfect to for any surface and will leave your project shiny as well as protected.

How to Seal Acrylic Paint on Plastic

The first step is to make sure the acrylic paint has completely dried before you seal it. Once it is, you can either spray acrylic paint gloss and/or sealant, like the one I linked above, to make sure you paint won’t chip or peel later on. It also gives it a nice glossy look.

You might also choose to leave your painted project as is, which will leave it with more of a matte finish look, but it risks chipping and peeling with time. You can also choose to seal your project with a matte finish, if glossy isn’t your style. Whether on plastic surfaces or canvases, I mostly always seal my acrylic painted project. I think it gives it a nice looks and also protect your hard work.

Don’t forget to check out my Recommended Products Page for all your acrylic painting needs. Happy Painting!

Acrylic Art World

Annick's passion has been painting with acrylics since her youth. She has a lot of experience with all sorts of projects, from simple acrylic painting to advanced techniques like acrylic pouring.

7 thoughts on “Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Plastic?

    1. Hello,
      Thank you so much for your feedback! I hope you were able to do a great acrylic paint project.

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