Life in plastic, it’s fantastic. Immortally iconic words uttered by now legendary pop musicians many years ago. Plastic makes up so very many of the day to day essentials we couldn’t live without. Single use plastic is something we’re all making a concerted effort to reduce our consumption of, but nonetheless, there are still a huge number of things that we use on a regular basis made from more hard-wearing plastics that will, over time, lose the sheen they had when they were new.
Plastic paints can be incredibly useful in breathing some new life, and giving some often much-needed protection, to common plastic items around the house that take a lot of wear. Consider things like garden furniture – plastic garden chairs and/or tables are a common part of most people’s households, and rather than shell out for a new set when your existing collection has started to discolour, why not renovate them instead? It’ll prolong their life, make them look new and shiny again, and save you some money in the longer run. Plus, it’s one way we can look to reduce plastic waste, by reusing and recycling instead of throwing things away.
Check out our selection of the best plastic paints available on the market today, so that you can make the most informed decision about which paints to buy.
|Rust-Oleum Straight to Plastic Spray Paint||2 m2 /l||12 hours||£££|
|151 Spray to Plastic Professional Finish||2 m2 /l||10 hours||£|
|Rust-Oleum Universal Paint||9 m2 /l||8 hours||££££|
|Rainbow The One Multi Surface||12 m2 /l||2 hours||££££|
|Plasti-kote Premium Spray Paint||6 m2 /l||1 hours||££|
This spray paint from Rust-Oleum is designed to be incredibly easy to use, as the name suggests. It can be sprayed straight onto plastic surfaces, without the need for any kind of primer or basecoat, making it a quick and easy solution for renewing the lustre of common household plastics. This covers both indoor and outdoor uses, making it a great versatile choice. Multiple coats are usually required, but thanks to the quick drying nature of the paint, these can be applied with minimal time in-between – it’s touch dry in around half an hour, and should be left for 24 hours once all coats have been applied for complete hardness.
The paint adheres to plastic surfaces fantastically well, with a lovely white gloss finish that looks clean and smart. Thanks to that high level of adhesion to the plastic surfaces, it’s also exceptionally durable, strengthening its claim of suitability for outdoors. For covering stains and yellowing, it’s really hard to knock Rust-Oleum’s Direct to Plastic.
- High quality finish
- No primer needed
- Very durable
- Strong odour
- Limited colours
151 are a smaller brand than some of the more recognisable names, but that doesn’t diminish the quality and value of their spray paint for use on plastic surfaces. Available in 4 different colours (subject to availability), you’re offered great versatility for different applications around the home. This includes use both indoors and outdoors, in terms of the colours available (green, brown, black and white) as well as its durability and professional standard finish.
The glossy finish of all the available colours is a very smart and sleek one, and as you would expect for something suitable for outdoor usage, has a good level of weather protection. It resists discolouration and fading, and can be applied directly to plastic without the need for priming beforehand. All in all this is a good value option for a direct to plastic spray paint.
- Decent colour selection
- Weather proof
- Good value
- May need several coats
While the majority of plastic-specific paints are aerosol spray paints, plastic as a medium is very forgiving to paint on. That’s why versatile paints, such as this all-surface paint from Rust-Oleum, are more than up to the task. Available in a delightful spectrum of 16 different shades, you’ve got a bit more variety for introducing some vivid colours to your home plastics. These come in a variety of colours and finishes, from gloss through satin and matt, giving you plenty of flexibility and choice.
The formula is designed to be both primer and paint in one package, for an extra level of convenience as well as saving you some money on buying primer as well. As a brush-applied paint, its consistency makes it very easy to work with, and can be used both indoors and outdoors for a great level of versatility. Touch dry in just a couple of hours, it’s also pretty convenient to use.
- Lots of colours
- Paint and primer combination
- Fairly quick drying
- Strong fumes
Rainbow Paints set out to make a paint that was suitable for as many applications around the home as they could possibly manage, something which they have achieved with The One. As the name suggests, this is a paint that covers all bases in terms of where it can be used, as well as being both paint and primer in one. That saves you time and money in the longer run.
The One also refers to the single coat application that’ll be needed, allowing it to dry very quickly. 12 different colours in a variety of gloss, matt and satin finishes are also available, giving you a wide range of choice in how you express yourself through the paint. Additionally, as a water-based paint, it’s very quick to dry, needing just a couple of hours.
- Lots of colours
- Quick drying
- Primer and paint
- Pricey for this quantity
It’s fair to say you can’t look at a product by a brand named Plasti-kote and wonder what their products are well-known for doing. This, their premium standard spray paint, is a great example of really high quality spray paint for use on plastic that comes in at a surprisingly reasonable price. Colours vary by supplier, but Plasti-kote’s website lists an astonishing 43 different colours across the common 3 types of finish; gloss, matt and satin.
It’s very quick to dry, needing roughly 30-50 minutes to achieve touch-dryness. From there, the paint can be recoated at just about any time. Even the can design itself is carefully-designed. It has a twist and lock mechanism, an button that’s easily pressed and a nozzle that’s carefully shielded to prevent paint spray getting on your fingers. Easy spray technology built in to the nozzle design also helps you achieve a consistent and smooth finish.
- Quick drying
- Easy to use can
- Lots of colours
- Strong fumes
Which Plastic Paint To Go For?
Plastic paint is a great thing, allowing you to renew and get some new life out of otherwise tired and faded plastics around the home. Got some garden furniture that you want to start using again but don’t want to because it’s a little gross looking? Storage containers standing out in all the wrong ways? Here are our picks for the best overall plastic paint, as well as the best value option, to give you some pointers on your best bet for what to buy.
Best Plastic Paint – overall, the Plasti-kote Premium Spray Paint is the best choice for painting plastic. This comes thanks to a carefully designed can to make the act of spray painting a little easier, and with a vast array of colour choices to boot. The quick drying time makes it easy to use as well, and with a great finish it’s hard to beat overall.
Best Value – as a good value paint, the 151 Spray to Plastic Professional Finish stands out. It offers a solid range of colours that dry to a really smart finish, and at the price paint here compared to other plastic-specific spray paints you’d struggle to find better value.
Plastic Paint FAQ
What paint to use on plastic
Plastic is a fairly forgiving medium to paint. Unlike some surfaces, such as wood, plastic is not very porous or absorbent and so many types of paint can be used. While the majority of plastic paints are solvent-based spray paints, most types of acrylic water-based paints are viable.
How to paint plastic
Painting plastics is a very straightforward process! The preparation is probably the most important stage; using a gentle degreaser, thoroughly clean the surface and allow it to dry completely. If you’re using a spray paint, do so at roughly 30cm away from the surface, also taking care to do so in a well-ventilated area. It may also be sensible to lay down plastic sheeting to protect the area around you if spraying.
How to remove paint from plastic
Removing paint from plastic depends on how stubborn the paint is. There are, fundamentally, 4 levels to it. If the paint is still wet, warm soapy water before it dries will do the trick. Should the paint have started drying, use a clean rag with a small amount of a neutral oil like vegetable oil and carefully rub the area. If the paint ahs fully dried, your remaining 2 options are to use a paint scraper to carefully chip it away; or, as a final resort, use an isopropyl rubbing alcohol with a clean cloth. Stronger paint thinners will begin damaging the plastic itself, so avoid them at all costs. And, remember to protect yourself from fumes if you have to go down the alcohol route!