A can of spray paint can change the look of almost anything. However, many people wonder whether spray painting plastic actually works. Does the paint chip or peel? Today I am answering one of your most frequently asked questions, “Can you really spray paint plastic?”
Before I started this blog, I don’t think I had ever touched a can of spray paint in my life. Now, it’s one of my favorite things. I have spray painted everything from an old locker to closet doors to our clothes dryer, but there is one question I get asked over and over again…
“Does spray paint really work on plastic?”
The short answer is “yes”, but let me tell you why the answer is yes.
Let’s start with these bins I spray painted for the mudroom
Texture of the Bins: Glossy
Type of Spray Paint Used: Rustoleum Hammered Metal
Lesson Learned: This was the first time I had ever spray painted plastic, and almost immediately after the spray paint dried, I noticed it starting to chip off. There are two reasons I believe this may have happened: 1.) The texture of the plastic was glossy, which didn’t allow for great adhesion of the paint and 2.) the type of spray paint used didn’t state it could be used on plastic.
Remedy: If you notice that the spray paint is starting to chip, you can apply a coat of Mod Podge to seal the paint. I have had these bins in my pantry/mudroom for over a year now and they are still holding up nicely after applying Mod Podge.
Coat Closet Bins
Texture of the Bins: Lightly Textured Matte
Lesson Learned: The second time I spray painted plastic bins, the plastic had a matte finish, and I used a different type of spray paint that said it could be used on plastic.
I did a base coat in the Oil Rubbed Bronze (“plastic approved”), and then added a fine mist of the Hammered Metal to create a little texture. The spray paint has adhered to these bins amazingly well. I have not had any chipping or peeling. This may be because the plastic was slightly textured with a matte finish and/or because I used a spray paint that was made for use on plastic.
Bins Under the Bathroom Sink
In July, I took on an organization project under our bathroom sink and, once again, spray painted some plastic bins.
Texture of the Bins: Combination. Some Glossy. Some Matte
Lesson Learned: This time around, I had some items that were glossy and some that were matte. I didn’t want to take a chance on the glossy bins, so I used a high-grit sandpaper to create a little bit of texture for the spray paint to cling to.
I, again, used the Oil Rubbed Bronze (that was “plastic approved”) as the base and then added Flat Chestnut for a bit of texture. Honestly, I’m not sure the sanding was necessary. I think the spray paint would have adhered either way. No Mod Podge was required for the glossier bins this time around. While it’s only been a few months since these were made, everything has held up nicely and I’ve had no issues with chipping.
In the end, I would say the best tip is to use a spray paint made to adhere to plastic, if you can’t find a color you like in that variety, you can always lightly sand the plastic first to create texture for better adhesion, and seal the paint with Mod Podge once it has dried.
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