Whether you're making the audio switch from CD to MP3, or dealing with a stack of old backup computer discs, recycling your CDs for decorative purposes is a good way to spare the landfills. Each CD takes a coat of paint that can last for years with a little preparation. After priming, you can use available craft paints, creating whatever pattern or designs you wish.
Things You'll Need
Fine grit sandpaper
Plastic primer spray
Paintbrushes, sizes 2 to 14
Clear coat spray paint
Place a layer of newspaper onto a flat work surface to protect the surface from paint.
Place the CD onto the center of the newspaper. Clean the surface of the CD using denatured alcohol. Dip a cotton swab into the alcohol until damp, then swab the surface of the CD until you've removed all of the dirt or dust. Allow the CD to dry for about 15 minutes.
Scratch the surface of the CD for better adherence of the paint. Use a fine grit sandpaper to go over the surface of the CD, texturing the CD while removing any printing already present. Wipe the CD clear of any residue sanding with a clean cloth.
Shake the plastic primer spray can well. Hold the spray nozzle about eight inches from the surface and coat the CD with plastic primer. Apply multiple thin layers, waiting 15 minutes between layers. By using multiple layers, you avoid spraying too thick a coat that results in drips. Wait two hours after the final coat for the primer to dry. Sand the surface with fine grit sandpaper to level the coating and remove any irregularities that could show through the paint layer.
Paint your pattern or picture onto the CD using a natural bristle brush with craft paint. Allow the paint to dry overnight.
Apply a layer of clear coat over your painted surface to protect the paint from damage. Spray on the clear coat using three thin layers and allowing the clear coat to dry for about 10 minutes between each. Allow the final coat of clear to dry 48 hours before touching the CD.
When sanding, take care not to sand all the way through the coating of the CD to the layer of clear plastic beneath. The paint surface will appear discolored when light shines through the clear plastic.