Spray painting plastic can be a frustrating task. Most spray paints do not adhere well to plastic surfaces and can quickly peel, bubble, chip or flake off, making the surface look worse than before you started. This is why it’s important to use the right spray paint for plastic.
I’ve tested several different brands and types of spray paints over the years and I can tell you that there are only a few spray paints that will truly bond to plastic. Some spray paints simply coat the top of the surface without bonding to it which can lead to disastrous results. In this guide, you’ll find the best spray paints for plastic, as well as how to prep the surface and apply the product.
RUSTOLEUM 2X ULTRA COVER
RUSTOLEUM SPECIALTY PAINT
Best Spray Paint for Plastic
This is by far my favorite spray paint for plastic. It’s the only one that I’ve found that actually bonds directly to the plastic surface. Unlike other types of paints for plastic, Fusion doesn’t require you to prime or sand the surface which saves a lot of time! When Fusion is fully dry, it looks and feels more like a durable plastic coating and less like paint. You can create a durable, professional looking finish that won’t peel, chip or fade.
- Coverage: Up to 25 sq. ft
- Dry to touch: 15 minutes or less
- Fully Dry: 1 hour
- Application conditions: 50 – 90F and humidity below 85%
- Cleanup: Lacquer or paint thinner
Rustoleum Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover claims to bond to plastic. In my experience, while this product does work on plastic, it’s definitely not as durable as Krylon Fusion. This product can be used on a variety of surfaces in addition to plastic like, wicker, metal, wood etc. In my opinion, if you’re going to use this product on a plastic surface, I highly recommend that you use a primer before spray painting.
- Coverage: 8 – 12 sq.ft
- Dry to touch: 1 hour
- Application conditions: 70 – 80F
- Cleanup: Mineral Spirits
Similar to Krylon Fusion, Rustoleum plastic paint was specifically designed to adhere to plastics. This is an oil based formula ideal for use on polypropylene, polystyrene, resin, PVC, fiberglass and vinyl plastics. A primer is not required but they do offer a specialty plastic primer if you’d like to make sure the paint will stick well.
- Coverage: 8 – 10 sq.ft
- Dry to touch: 20 – 30min
- Fully dry: 24 hours
- Application conditions: 70 – 80F at 50% humidity
- Cleanup: Paint thinner, xylene or mineral spirits.
How to Spray Paint Plastic:
In 4 easy steps, you can quickly reform plastic surfaces to better reflect your personal style.
- Surface Prep: Clean the surface using an amonia based cleaner for old plastic and paint thinner to clean the surface of new plastic.
- Lightly sand the surface and remove dust with a tack cloth. If you don’t want to sand, you can use a liquid sander instead. I like Klean-Strip and Krud Kutter Prepaint Cleaner.
- Allow the surface to dry, so the spray paint will stick.
- Spray the surface according to the directions on the can. It’s usually a good idea to spray light single coats and build up as you go.
Helpful Tools for Spray Painting Plastic
Have you ever experienced hand and finger fatigue while spray painting? This inexpensive tool will eliminate the pain of consistently holding down the nozzle. In addition, this tool helps to improve accuracy and control so you get the perfect coat every time.
This spray shield provides a large, safe area to spray paint or stain, and protects your surrounding area from overspray drift. The shelter is designed to help direct the spray airflow towards the ground. It also folds down for easy storage.
Painter’s tape is a staple when it comes to paint or stain projects. I prefer scotch blue tape or Frog tape because they both leave clean lines.
You’ll definitely have success painting plastic with any of these 3 products. If you’d like more information on all types of paints, and not just spray paint for plastic, check out my article on “A Complete Buyer’s Guide on Types of Paint”
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