How to Paint Silicone Rubber

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Things You'll Need

  • Rags

  • Dish soap

  • Blue painter's tape

  • 1- to 4-inch oil-based paintbrush

  • Oil-based primer

  • Latex or oil-based paint

  • 1- to 4-inch latex paintbrush

  • Craft brushes

  • Mineral spirits

Image Credit: Hemera Technologies/ Images

Whether you're trying to paint special effects on silicon rubber prosthetics or you just want to figure out a way to get paint to adhere to the silicone caulk that is sealing the edges of your exterior windows, the process is pretty much the same. Because paint doesn't stick very well to silicone, certain preparation techniques are required to encourage paint adhesion. If you need to paint silicone rubber, you need to learn these techniques before you get started.


Step 1

Clean the silicone with dish soap and a wet rag. Rinse the surface completely before continuing. Allow the surface to dry.

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Step 2

Apply blue painter's tape to any areas you want to protect from paint.

Step 3

Apply oil-based primer to the silicone rubber using a 1- to 4-inch oil-based paintbrush. Apply a thin coat. Do not over-apply or you may end up with runs or drips. Allow the surface to dry for three full hours.

Step 4

Clean the oil-based paintbrush at least three times using mineral spirits.

Step 5

Apply latex or oil-based paint to the surface in the same manner as you did the primer using a 1- to 4-inch paintbrush.


Use a latex paintbrush to apply latex paints and an oil-based brush to apply oil-based paints.

You may also use an oil-based spray primer and oil-based acrylic paint instead of brush-on paint.


Clean latex brushes with water. Never clean a latex paintbrush with mineral spirits as this will ruin it.


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