Can you Use Acrylic Paint on Plastic?

Can you Use Acrylic Paint on Plastic

Acrylic Paint is a unique water-based paint used to paint surfaces like woods, glasses, papers, metals, and others. Although the paint is not made for plastic surfaces, you can apply acrylic paints on plastic with the correct method. So, can you use acrylic paint on plastic?

You can use acrylic paint on plastic, but you must first sand the plastic surface to make the paint adhere better, then spray the primer, and finally use an acrylic paint that adheres easily to the plastic surface.

The water-based paint, when used on plastic, does not adhere entirely to the plastic surface. It can peel off if handled or exposed to water and any form of touching. Hence, there is a need to use primers and seal the surface after painting, among many other processes.

Find below how to apply acrylic paint on plastic materials without it peeling off.

Let’s keep reading!

Will acrylic paint stick to plastic?

Many people are curious whether this paint can stick to plastic surfaces. The answer is yes. With the suitable material, paint, and methods, the acrylic paint will stick without peeling off.

How To Paint Plastic With Acrylic Paint?

You can paint different plastic materials ranging from pots, cans, containers, baskets, toys, furniture, etc. Below are step-by-step instructions on how to apply acrylic paint to plastic.

1. Gather the Materials

Depending on the plastic material you are painting, you may need to investigate the correct type of paint to use and other materials.

Some of the materials you may need to paint plastic with acrylic paint include.

  • Acrylic paint of your choice
  • Sandpaper
  • Painter’s tape
  • Paintbrush or sponge
  • A small cloth or towel
  • Warm water
  • Soap
  • Alcohol

Bear in mind that before gathering the needed materials, you need to protect yourself from the paints. You may need to wear a protective apron and gloves. Also, the surfaces where you will be applying the paint may require spreading clothes or newspapers to avoid stains. It is also advisable to paint in a well-ventilated and lighted area.

2. Clean the Plastic Surface

One of the reasons why Acrylic paint doesn’t stick to plastic surfaces is because of dirt, germs, fingerprints, or debris on its surfaces. So, you should clean the plastic by washing it with warm soap and water.

Dry with a towel before rubbing alcohol on the surface. This helps to remove oils or greases that may be trapped after washing. Leave it for some time to dry.

3. Roughen the Surface

Furthermore, some plastic surfaces are too smooth for acrylic paint to stick to, so you need to rub Sandpaper on the plastic. Ensure you rub it with care to avoid causing major damage to the surface.

4. Clean the Surface again

After rubbing Sandpaper on the plastic, there will have been deposits on the surface. It is important to clean it off before applying the paint. Hence, you need to re-wash the surface with soap and repeat the cleaning process.

5. Make Use of Primer

It is important to make use of Primer before using acrylic paint on plastic surfaces. Primer helps to make Acrylic paint stick on plastic surfaces and reduce the risk of the paints peeling off.

When looking for a Primer to use, ensure you get the one made for plastics. We recommend Rust-Oleum Primer Spray because it is easy to use and ensures strong adherence of the paints to the surfaces. Not only that, it is fast and durable, making it easy to change your plastic coats.

Ensure you apply the Primer in a thin layer to ensure quick drying of the surface. It would help if you waited till the Primer dries off before moving to the next step.

6. Apply the Paint

Once the surface to be painted is dry, you can then use the painter’s tape to mark the area you wish to paint. Apply your acrylic paint in thin layers using sponges or a paintbrush. We advise you to use soft brushes to distribute the coat evenly and avoid making thick layers.

Soucolor Acrylic Paint Brushes is a perfect set of brushes for applying acrylic paint on plastic surfaces. It is soft, easy to clean, and does not shed hair on your plastic surfaces. It also helps in spreading thin layers of coats on plastics.

After applying acrylic paint on the plastic surface, you must wait for it to dry up before touching it. You should leave it for at least 2 hours or more to dry up depending on the paints used.

7. Seal your Paints

It is common to see people applying varnishes or sealers to seal their paintings. This is done to ensure the paint coats don’t peel off and last longer.

Sealing your painting gives additional protection to the acrylic paint on the plastic from peeling off. Make sure the paint has dried off before applying any sealer to the surface.

You may want to check Aleene’s acrylic sealer out. It is one of the best sealers you can use to prevent paints coats from peeling off on your plastic materials. It provides an adhesive finish that is long-lasting.

After the application of the sealer, make sure you leave it to dry up. Then you can now make use of your plastic material without the fear of it peeling off.

Tips and Tricks to Apply Acrylic Paint Well on Plastic Surfaces

  • Ensure you choose the right paint that is suitable for Plastic surfaces
  • Use the painter’s tape to mark the area that needed to be painted and use it during painting.
  • Avoid waiting till the paint dry up before removing the painter’s tape. It can distort your paintings if you don’t remove them as soon as possible.
  • Allow your paintings to dry completely before touching them.

How To Get Acrylic Paint off the Plastic?

Unlike the application process, getting acrylic paint off plastic materials is quite easy. If you intend to change the paint on your plastics, you may have to go through the same method used before, depending on the paint type.


Using acrylic paint on plastic has become easier with different tricks and methods. The results depend mainly on getting good paints, using the right plastic surfaces, and applying the proper technique.

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