Can Bathroom Acrylic Paneling Be Painted?

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You can paint acrylic bathroom paneling if you improve its adhesive qualities prior to application. Like other slick, nonporous surfaces, bare acrylic panels will not hold a painted finish. To generate adequate adhesion, abrade the paneling. Choose the right paint based on the location of the paneling, or your new finish won't last very long.

Cleaning

  • Your acrylic bathroom paneling will likely reject its new finish unless it is completely clean. The cleaning process is especially critical for acrylic paneling located within a shower. Layers of transparent soap scum will not allow the primer base to adhere. For best results, scrub the acrylic paneling with a trisodium phosphate cleanser using a coarse nylon sponge.

Abrasion

  • Acrylic bathroom paneling is too smooth for primer adhesion. Alter its adhesive qualities by sanding the acrylic with 100-grit sandpaper. Ease the process by loading the sandpaper into a handheld palm sander. Scour the entire paneling, leaving no portion unsanded. Run your hand over the acrylic to ensure that it feels rough, or flaking is likely to occur.

Primer

  • Before the acrylic bathroom paneling will accept paint, it requires a coat of bonding primer. Ordinary latex primer is fine for acrylic paneling outside the shower; however, it may not prove adequate for paneling subject to consistent water exposure. Apply an acrylic primer to acrylic bathroom paneling located within the shower.

Paint

  • Latex paint is well suited for properly prepared acrylic bathroom paneling outside the shower. Though you can use an eggshell or satin paint, a semi-gloss latex paint will prove easier to clean. If you plan to paint acrylic shower paneling, use either an acrylic enamel or two-part epoxy.

Application

  • Unless you're experienced using an electric or gas-powered spray rig, you should apply the primer and paint using a roller and paintbrush. Apply light coatings to prevent sagging. Touch up the acrylic bathroom paneling with a polyester paintbrush. These tools tend to provide slick results. Don't use a nylon paintbrush, or marks may show in the finish.

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