You’ve got a lot of options when it comes to painting with your oils. You can paint fabrics, woods, even some metals…. But can you use oil pain on plastic? As it turns out, you most definitely can. You’ll need to prepare the surface first so that it will stick, but once you’ve done that they you can paint planters, Tupperware, 3-d printed sculptures… you name it! Just make sure that it’s not something that’s going to bend, otherwise you risk the hardened paint getting cracks.
In today’s article I’ll talk about painting plastics in regards to how it’s done, your expected drying time, and I’ll also cover some other paints which are great for plastic.
Let’s get started!
So, can you use oil paint on plastic?
Not only can you use oil paint on plastics, but it’s one of the best paints to use on this medium! It also happens to look great, so let’s go over what you need to know if you’d like to give it a try on your own. The first thing that we are going to need to do is to prepare the plastic surface so that your oils paints will stick properly and not simply flake off later.
With a nice, 1000 grit sandpaper, you can give the item a light sanding in order to ensure that we are starting off with a smooth surface.
After this, you’re going to need to look for a surface primer that you like. There are a number of spray primers for oil paints on the market, so just find the one that you like the most. After that, give the plastic surface a thorough cleaning and then put at least 2 coats of primer on the plastic — as evenly as you can.
How long does oil paint take to dry on plastic?
Drying is probably everyone’s least favorite part of painting with oils. On average, they take about 24 hours to dry to the touch, and maybe a little bit longer if you’ve got a lot of thick layering going on. That said, unless you are painting something super-complicated then you should give the plastic at least 24 hours just to make sure that it’s ready to be sealed.
If you want to speed up drying, you can put the item in direct sunlight for a few hours and that should do the trick, but I would still allow it to have 24 hours of overall drying time. Oils are notorious for drying slowly, and even if you are using a quick-drying variety it doesn’t hurt to wait that extra amount of time just to make sure that everything comes out properly.
It’s up to you, of course, but I thought I would throw in my 2 cents worth!
What kind of paint can be used on plastic?
Just about any paint may be used on plastics. Acrylics look great and an acrylic or an oil-based are both fine for painting on plastic. Watercolors look amazing on plastic eggs, for instance, if you’d like to make some special candy-eggs for Easter. Whatever paint that you choose, however, it’s a good idea to prime the surface first unless there is a priming agent built-in to your selected paint.
Sanding also helps, and while it takes a little extra time, it’s a good practice to get into if you want to make sure that you don’t run into any flaking issues that could have been avoided with a few minutes of quick work with some high grit paper.
Acrylic will the better choice for plastics that will be bent or stretched a little with use, but if it’s something that isn’t going to move around much then just about any paint will do.
Just remember to prepare it first and to seal it for protecting your work and you should be fine!
Some final words on oil paint and plastic
The verdict is in! You can definitely use oil paint on plastic, provided that you prepare the surface by cleaning it, sanding it down for smoothness, and then priming it to maximize the stick-potential of your paints. Don’t forget to seal it up afterwards, so that your hard work will be protected, and you’ll be able to enjoy that painted plastic for many years to come.
Before I bid you adieu and get back to my latest project, I’ll leave you with a 3rd party link that will give you some useful tips for when you are painting plastic on your own. It has some brush recommendations for detail work and more, so be sure to check it out.
Hope you have fun painting your plastic and that you have an amazing day!