The DIY Designer: Painting plastic materials –

August 28, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Uncategorized

All these plastic items were painted using spray paint. (Photo: Jenna LaFevor)

Anytime I have to paint something that’s plastic, I pick up a can of spray paint. I’ve found that in the long run, spray paint adheres better to plastic than any other kind of paint. 

Before you start spray painting plastic items, though, make sure you properly prep your piece. Follow these steps to ensure a good paint job on your plastic piece.

Clean it.
If you’re painting something that’s been lying around collecting dust for a while, give it a good wash down with soap and water. Let it dry completely before painting it. After it’s dry, use a tack cloth to pick up any stray dirt or dust.

Prime it.
Priming isn’t always necessary, but over time, plastic can more easily get paint chips than other materials. Priming it helps to give a better bond to the spray paint. You can pick up a spray paint primer like this one at any local home improvement store. One to two coats are usually all you need.

Paint it.
Give your piece at least two coats of spray paint, waiting no longer than one hour between coats. My personal favorite spray paints are Rust-Oleum, Krylon and Design Masters. I’ve always had good results with each.

Let your piece fully dry overnight before putting it into use. If you use a semigloss or gloss spray paint and the humidity level is high, your piece may need to dry for longer than 24 hours. Touch it gently in an inconspicuous spot to see if it’s dry or not.

More painting questions?
Be sure to read this article on frequently asked questions about painting and leave any you may have in the comments!

Jenna LaFevor rants on at Rain on a Tin Roof about DIY projects, junk décor, thrifty finds, crafty creations and other decorating dilemmas. She went to UTC, where she got a teaching degree that now collects dust. When she isn’t trying to keep her kid from climbing out of the circus ring or making sure her husband’s shirts are taken to the dry cleaners so she gets out of ironing, she can be found with a paintbrush in one hand and a cheap beer in the other. But if you’re buying, she’ll have a cosmopolitan. You can email her at or you can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter @raintinroofblog or at her blog. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not or its employees.