THE BEST PAINTS FOR PLASTIC SURFACES AT HOME
In a home, there are countless plastic objects that can be renewed with a fresh coat of paint. Painting plastic isn’t complicated but only the best products ensure long-lasting results.
When it comes to paints for plastic surfaces, there are plenty. But not all meet our high standards. And choosing the best one is often confusing, especially if you’re not an expert.
To help you with your choice, we’ve tested and rated some of the most popular plastic paints in the UK. Check out our picks below to find the right product for your renovation project.
OUR BEST PICK PLASTIC PAINTS
Best Of The Rest
Multi-purpose spray paint for all surfaces. Ideal for all DIY projects.
All-purpose acrylic spray paint suitable for a wide range of surfaces and applications.
Designed specifically for plastic – a spray paint formulated to provide flawless results.
POPULAR PLASTIC COLOUR PALETTES
Choosing a colour for plastic surfaces depends on the type of object you need to paint. A shade that looks amazing on a garden chair, for instance, may look unattractive on a bathroom shelf.
Green is a popular choice for garden furniture and related objects, such as planters and storage benches. Brown is an awesome alternative while a distressed look created with two paints in contrasting colours is a splendid option for any shabby chic décor.
Gold and silver are two hues that add personality to plastic planters, adding an elegant touch to an otherwise dull material.
White or light grey are great choices for the bathroom shelves or cabinets. In the bathroom, blue is another popular choice, and it pairs wonderfully with ivory or off-white.
Black is a contemporary choice that looks amazing on most plastic objects. This timeless colour adds elegance; for a stylish effect, pair it with silver or gold. Amber and copper paints are harder to find, but they can enhance the beauty of many discoloured plastic objects.
Colour versatility is not the strongest point of Hycote’s Spray Paint, but this general purpose acrylic paint for metal and plastic provides a flawless and long-lasting finish that is second to none. Application ease and covering power are two features that define this exceptional product.
Supplied in 400ml and 500ml tins, this spray paint is manufactured by James Briggs’s brand since 1982. The product is defined by an excellent durability and adhesion to primed surfaces. It is ideal for many DIY projects and can be protected with clear lacquer for better resistance over time.
An easy application is ensured by the aerosol container. Just shake the tube vigorously to mix the paint and apply from a distance of about 25cm.
The product is available in two colours and three finishes – we tested matt black. Black is also available in satin and gloss finishes. Alternatively, you can choose matt or gloss white.
Like any other product, Hycote Spray Paint has its share of drawbacks too. But considering the value for money, the durability of the paint and the application ease, this product is still our favourite out of those we tested.
While there is a minimal difference in price between our top pick and Humbrol Acrylic, this solution is still the most cost-effective on the market. Combined with the versatility of 49 colours, this product is a firm runner-up.
Supplied in 150ml sprays, the paint boasts a non-toxic, water-based formula that is environmentally friendly and safe for children and pets once dried. However, it is still an aerosol paint and as such, the product is flammable and an irritant on application.
That said, the product is excellent. It adheres well to a wide range of surfaces and is suitable to use on plastic, ceramics, wood, metal and glass – to name just a few. The colours are vibrant and long-lasting. Ranging from neutral colours to dramatic choices, finding the right shade for your project is easy.
Coverage depends on application technique and thickness of the coat; in general, we were satisfied with the performance even if some users appear to have complained about this online.
Plasti-Kote is one of the most popular spray paints on the market. Advertised as a paint for all surfaces, we tested its capabilities on plastic. And we were surprised by its performance. The paint applies smoothly and comes in a range of finishes to suit all applications.
With a tough and hardwearing formula, the product is resistant to scratches, is waterproof and UV absorbent. These characteristics make this paint ideal to use on outdoor plastic objects; the colours resist discolouration and won’t fade in time.
Due to a generous number of colours, finding the right shade is easy, while the finishes vary from low to high sheen. For comparison purposes, we tested matt black which dries to a rich, elegant and contemporary colour.
Plasti-Kote Super is a solvent-based product which is toxic. Aerosol vapours may cause dizziness and the product should only be used in well-ventilated environments.
The name says it all. Easy Spray by Tetrosyl is an easy-to-use spray paint suitable for interior and exterior use. It adheres to plastic, metal and a wide variety of different surfaces. It has fantastic coverage, dependent on the application technique and thickness of the coat – and provides hardwearing, long-lasting results.
The acrylic formulation makes the product environmentally friendly. Yet, as all aerosol paints, the product is not user-friendly. The vapours can irritate your eyes and cause dizziness; moreover, the product is flammable.
For this reason, it’s essential to use with caution and only in well-ventilated spaces.
On a positive note, the product dries quickly and is permanent once dried. Easy Spray has a great resistance on most surfaces and its durability can be improved by a clear topcoat.
Last but not least, a spray paint that impressed us a lot is Rust-Oleum Direct to Plastic. This product is formulated specifically to revitalise and renew plastic surfaces, giving new life to interior and exterior objects.
The product is supplied in 400ml cans and comes in two colours: white and black. While the colour choice is limited, what we consider a drawback is the finish. This paint comes only in a gloss finish although matt is a more popular choice among homeowners.
A thing we like is the excellent adherence of the paint and the long-lasting durability on un-primed surfaces. In fact, Direct to Plastic doesn’t have to be painted over a primer which lowers costs and minimises the timeframes of your project.
One of the most annoying drawbacks of the product according to users is the difficulty when painting vertical surfaces that can’t be laid flat. Otherwise, the product is excellent.
HOW TO PAINT PLASTIC
• Spray paint for plastic
• Drop cloths
Step 1 – Prepare and prime the surface
Painting plastic objects is easy and this material requires minimal surface preparation. Cleaning the object with a degreaser, making sure you remove all stains and dust, is usually the only surface preparation required.
Rinse the surface with clean water and let it dry completely before applying the primer.
Polymer-based primers are the best for plastic surfaces. Priming is necessary to improve the adherence of the paint and the results. This base also prolongs the lifespan of the paint by increasing its resistance to daily wear and tear.
Use a paintbrush to apply the primer as instructed and wait for it to dry and cure before applying the paint.
Step 2 – Paint the surface
Most plastic paints for home use come as spray paints. The best thing about them is that they are very easy to use. Just shake the can vigorously for a couple of minutes and apply an even coat by spraying the product with a firm movement from one side to another from a distance of about 25 cm.
Wait for the paint to dry and check coverage. If the results are satisfactory, wait for 24 hours before touching the surface excessively.
On the contrary, spray a second coat and wait for it to dry before checking the results. When you’re satisfied with the colour, let the product to dry and cure for at least 24 hours before handling the object.
Because aerosol vapours can cause dizziness and irritations, it is recommended to work in well-ventilated areas, or outdoors if possible. Don’t handle the product near an open flame because aerosol paints are also flammable.
Although solvent-based paint resists for longer, we still recommend using an acrylic paint which is harmless for the environment and non-toxic once dried.
To ensure long-lasting results on exterior surfaces, bear in mind it is also possible to protect the paint with a clear waterproof topcoat.