If you would like paint hard plastic surfaces, you must consider some important factors prior to application. Unlike wood, hard plastic is nonporous, making it unable to absorb paint adhesives. This quality will cause plastic to shed new finishes unless it is pretreated with abrasion techniques. Abrasion will create a tooth for new paint to adhere to and will help to prevent future paint failure. You should also choose a particular type of paint based on the location and function of the plastic surface.
Things You'll Need
- Dish soap
- Coarse sponge
- Palm sander
- 220-grit sandpaper
- Blue painter's tape
- Heavy-duty fabric drop cloths
- 2- to 4-inch latex paintbrush
- Acrylic latex primer
- Acrylic latex paint
Wash the hard plastic with soap, using a coarse sponge. Rinse the plastic with wet rags. Wait 1-to-3 hours for the plastic to dry.
Enhance adhesion by sanding the hard plastic, prior to application. Scour the plastic with a 220-grit sandpaper until it feels slightly rough.
Place fabric drop cloths beneath the plastic to protect the floor. Protect areas running adjacent to the hard plastic with painter's tape.
Apply an acrylic latex primer to the abraded hard plastic, using a 2- to 4-inch latex paintbrush. Wait 2 hours for the primed plastic to dry.
Clean the paintbrush with tap water.
Apply an acrylic latex paint to the primed hard plastic, using the cleaned latex paintbrush. Wait 2 hours for the finished plastic to dry. Add another coat if the primer shows through.
Tips & Warnings
- Use an acrylic enamel instead of an acrylic latex paint if the plastic will be subjected to a large amount of duress.
- Don't prime unsanded hard plastic, or the finish will fail.
- Don't paint unprimed hard plastic, or the paint will peel.
- Do not use an acrylic enamel on soft, malleable plastics, as it will not be able to bend along with the underlying surface.
- Photo Credit sandpapier image by Thomas Aumann from Fotolia.com
What Type of Paint Do I Use on Plastic?
Getting paint to adhere to plastic has always been tricky and, until fairly recently, involved complex industrial finishing processes. Spray paints and...
How to Paint Plastic Furniture
Plastic furniture is commonplace, not just in children's rooms and outdoors. The furniture usually gets thrown out before it wears out. The...
How to Wet Sand Plastic Model Cars
Plastic model cars are among the most common form of models built and displayed by hobbyists. Manufacturers around the world produce a...
How to Paint Plastic
While many plastic products such as storage crates are durable enough to last for decades, the plastic's color may not be exactly...
How to Paint ABS Plastic
ABS plastic is used in many household, plumbing and construction projects. It can take the form of a water pipe or a...
How to Clean Hard Plastic
Hard plastic is often hard to clean due to stains from foods such as spaghetti or soup. Your plastic may have a...
How to Spray Paint Plastic
Because plastic is a smooth, slick surface, it is ill-suited for standard paintbrushes and rollers, which may leave subtle flaws in the...