Will Spray Paint Stick to Plastic?

Spray paint can be a great way to add color and design to any plastic surface. Whether you want to spruce up a plastic chair or give a new look to an outdoor planter, spray paint is an easy and affordable way to get the job done.

We all know the age-old question: will spray paint stick to plastic? Well, the answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think. After extensive research and testing, we’ve concluded that it depends on the surface preparation and spray paint you use.

So, if you’re looking for an answer to this age-old question, consider all of these factors before making your final decision!

In general, spray paints blend with plastic to establish a sturdy bond lasting for decades. It is important to use the right spray paint and prepare the surface properly before applying it so that it will stick well and not peel off easily.

In this article, we will discuss the basics of spray-painting plastic, the different types of paints available, and tips on how to get the best results when spray-painting at home.

What Is a Spray Paint?

Spray paint is an aerosol sprayed onto a surface to create a decorative or protective coating. It comprises pigment, binder, and solvent mixed in an aerosol can. The pigment provides the color, the binder binds the pigment to the surface, and the solvent evaporates quickly.

You can use spray paint to spray paint plastic surfaces. DIYers often use spray paint for automotive detailing, graffiti art, home improvement projects, and many other applications. You can apply it on metal, wood, plastic, and other surfaces to add color or protection.

What Type of Plastics Does spray paint Stick To?

Spray paint is a versatile and easy-to-use medium for creating art, decorating objects, and adding color to surfaces. However, knowing which type of plastic spray paint will stick to is important before beginning a project.

Generally, spray paint will adhere well to polyvinyls, polyurethanes, polyesters, and acrylics. Note that some types of plastic may not be suitable for painting with spray paint due to their composition or the presence of additives.

Consider the surface texture when choosing a plastic for a project, as some plastics are more prone to peeling or bubbling than others.

The Recommended Spray Paints for Plastic

Even though spray painting plastic is simple, it can be challenging and time-consuming if you don’t have the appropriate paint. That’s why choosing the best spray paint for plastic surfaces is important.

Many different spray paints are available, from acrylics to lacquers, so it’s important to understand their differences to decide which is best for your project. Let’s review some of the most popular brands and types of spray paint for plastic surfaces, their benefits, and tips for getting the best results.

Krylon K02732007 Fusion All-In-One Spray Paint

Krylon K02732007 Fusion All-In-One Spray Paint is a versatile, easy-to-use spray paint with a durable, long-lasting finish on any surface. Its unique formula allows it to bond to difficult surfaces such as plastic, wood, and metal.

The paint is also resistant to chipping, fading, and cracking, making it ideal for indoor and outdoor projects. With its quick drying time and easy application process, Krylon K02732007 Fusion All-In-One Spray Paint is the perfect solution for all your painting needs.

Valspar Plastic Spray Paint

Valspar Plastic Spray Paint is a great option for those who want to quickly and easily add color, texture, and protection to any plastic surface. It is designed to provide superior adhesion, durability, and color retention in various temperatures and conditions.

The paint also resists fading, cracking, chipping, and peeling. It can be used on interior or exterior surfaces, including plastic furniture, garden planters, shutters, mailboxes, and toolboxes.

With its easy-to-use spray can format and quick drying time, Valspar Plastic Spray Paint is the perfect solution for your next DIY project.

Rust-Oleum 327874 American Accents Spray Paint

Rust-Oleum 327874 American Accents Spray Paint is the perfect solution for all your interior and exterior painting needs. This spray paint provides long-lasting protection to whatever surface you apply, giving it a glossy finish.

As a bonus, this paint dries to the touch in only 20 minutes, so you don’t have to wait too long before moving on to the next step of your project.

With its durable finish and quick drying time, Rust-Oleum 327874 American Accents Spray Paint will meet all your painting needs.

Tips & Techniques for Successfully Applying Spray Paint to Plastic

Knowing the right techniques and tips for successfully applying spray paint to plastic is important. From sanding the plastic surface and priming it before painting to cleaning it thoroughly before starting and understanding how to prepare plastic for paint, there are certain steps you need to take to get the best results.

Clean the plastic surface

Before painting a plastic surface, ensure the surface is clean. You can use a detergent or rubbing alcohol to remove dirt and other residues from the plastic surface. This will ensure that the paint adheres properly, lasts longer without chipping or fading, and also help create a smoother finish for your project.

Sand the plastic surface

Sanding the plastic surface is necessary to ensure the primer and paint adhere properly. Use a fine-grit sanding block and apply gentle pressure when sanding the surface to coarsen the surface, enabling both the primer and paint to stick better.

Spray From a Distance

Spraying from a distance is an important technique to ensure the coat of paint is even and uniform. The ideal distance to spray from is usually ten inches away, ensuring the paint does not get too thick in one area or too thin in another.

It also helps to reduce the amount of overspray and create a smoother finish. Spraying too close can lead to uneven coats, which can be difficult to fix without starting over again.

Apply a primer

Primer is an important step in any painting project and can make all the difference between a successful and a failed paint job. Primers are designed to protect the surface from damage, prevent color fading, peeling, or flaking, and provide a better base for the paint to stick to.

Remember to choose the right primer for your project, as it can help you achieve better results with less time and effort.


Always remember that the paint, thinner and propellant must be mixed properly for the best results. That’s why it’s essential to shake the can before spray painting. By shaking the can, you mix the paint, thinner and propellant so that they are evenly distributed when applied. It will ensure you get even coverage with no streaks or patches of paint on your surface.

Repair the damages

Check for and repair any damages before you start spray painting. It ensures that the paint job looks its best and lasts longer. The best way to repair damages is to use plastic-recommended adhesives or soldiering. Adhesives are used for minor repairs, such as cracks and chips, while soldering is best for larger cracks and holes. Both methods are easy to use and can help you get the perfect finish when spray painting.

Let the paint dry

let the paint dry after spray painting for the paint to cure fully. It takes time for the paint to harden and become resistant to scratches, chips, and other wear and tear. Therefore, it is recommended that you let the painted plastic item cure for 24 hours before using it. Curing helps your item look its best for longer and also helps protect it from damage.

How To Spray Paint Plastic?

Now that we have learned about the types of plastics compatible with spray paints, the recommended spray paints for plastic, and the tips for successful painting, breathing new life into your plastic objects should be a breeze.

You will need the following;

  • Fine grit sandpaper, e.g., 220 grit sandpaper
  • Plastic primer
  • Plastic spray paint
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Sealer
The steps
Clean the plastic surface

The best way to clean plastic is to pour rubbing alcohol onto a rag and scrub the surface. Cleaning the surface removes dirt, debris, and any oils or waxes that may be present on the surface of the plastic. Once you have scrubbed away all of these contaminants, wash with a mild detergent and let it completely dry before you start spray painting.

Sand the plastic surface

Sanding the surface is a crucial step in readying it for painting. Use fine-grit sandpaper (220) to roughen the surface so the primer can stick better. After sanding, wipe the surface with a wet rag and let it dry completely before applying primer. Sanding also helps remove dirt, dust, or other particles affecting the paint’s finish.

Apply the primer

Applying plastic primer helps create an even surface and ensures the paint will adhere better. Shake the primer before applying it to the surface for the best results. One thin coat of primer is usually enough, but you can apply a second coat if needed.

Spray paint the plastic

Before applying the spray paint, shake the can for at least a minute to ensure that the paint is properly mixed. Apply 3 to 4 coats of paint for maximum coverage, which will help ensure your project looks professional and lasts longer.

After every coat, let the paint dry for 15 minutes before applying the subsequent coats. If you intend to create a pattern, use masking tape to cover the areas you don’t want to paint. Finally, follow the guidelines provided by the manufacturer for the best results.

Finish with a clear sealer

A sealer is the final step in painting projects and is essential for protecting the paint from wear and tear. It also gives a finished look to any outdoor plastic objects that have been painted. Applying a sealer after painting will ensure your project looks its best for years. The right sealer can help protect against UV rays, moisture, and other elements of nature that can damage your work.

If you have accidentally painted on plastic surfaces that you didn’t want to stain or paint, don’t worry. You can remove them with household items such as vegetable oil or rubbing alcohol.


Does spray paint work on plastic?

Painting plastic can be a tricky process. It requires the right kind of paint and the right kind of preparation before you start painting. Use general-purpose spray paints. Most general-purpose spray paints work on plastic, but preparing the surface before painting is important.

Before you start painting, it is important to clean and sand the surface with fine-grit sandpaper and ensure it is free from any dirt or dust particles. After applying primer, apply your chosen paint in thin layers until you get your desired finish.

You can use Krylon Fusion for Plastic or Rust-Oleum Specialty Plastic Primer Spray, two of the most popular spray paints that work on plastic. Both brands provide excellent adhesion and durability when used properly.

Will spray paint stick to plastic without a primer?

Consider a few things when you find yourself in this situation. Primers are often necessary when using old paint, as they help it adhere better to the surface. However, newer plastic spray paints don’t necessarily need primer and can stick to plastic without it. It is imperative to check the instructions on the paint you are using, as some may require a primer for the best results. Additionally, it is also important to remove any dirt or grime from the surface before applying paint so that it will stick properly.

How do you prep plastic for painting?

Painting plastic surfaces may turn out nasty, but you can achieve great results with the right preparation. Preparing plastic for painting involves cleaning the surface to remove dirt and grease, sanding it to create a smooth surface, and applying a primer coat before painting. Following these steps will ensure that your paint adheres properly and lasts longer.

Bottom Line

Spray paint will stick to plastic, but some important considerations must be remembered. The key is understanding the different types of plastics, what paints work best for each, and how to properly prepare the surface before applying the paint. With this knowledge, you can confidently spray paint plastic surfaces with a beautiful finish lasting for years.