How To Use Plasti Dip on Surfaces

Coating Tools, Automotive and Sporting Goods, Household Items & More

Tools and eyeglasses laid flat on wood surface and covered in black Plasti Dip

The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 4 hrs
  • Yield: 1 coated item/surface
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $8 to $15

Once you learn how to use Plasti Dip, the experience can grow on you. You initially purchase it for just one reason; it might be to create a rubbery grip for a tool or an electronic device. After that's done, you find yourself roaming the house and garage for something—anything—that you can dip. It really is that much fun to apply this smooth, colorful, rubbery coating to bare surfaces, both transforming their look and making them easier to use.

What Is Plasti Dip?

Plasti Dip is a rubber-like coating that can be applied by dipping an item in the product or brushing or spraying the product on an item and letting it air-dry. It can be used on most surfaces, such as plastic, wood, glass, metal, chrome, and PVC (though it's best to first test the coating on PVC to make sure it adheres). The result is a flexible insulating coating that provides an enhanced grip for items such as handles or faucets. It comes in standard colors, like white, black, and gray, plus a multitude of other brighter colors, including neon.

Even for items that do not need an improved grip, Plasti Dip's thick coating can cover up imperfections and provide a smooth, clean appearance. Plasti Dip can later be peeled off and removed without damage to the item. If you are testing an item or surface with the liquid rubber and want to remove it, make sure you wait a full 24 hours for the Plasti Dip to dry before peeling.

Where to Use Plasti Dip


The classic way to use Plasti Dip is to coat the handles of tools. Plasti Dip literally was invented just for this purpose. Coat the handles of pliers, screwdrivers, putty knives, hammers, and more with Plasti Dip for better grip.


Doorknobs, shower controls, cabinet fixtures, and faucet handles can all be dipped in Plasti Dip for improved grip and a style refresh. In larger quantities, Plasti Dip can be used for dipping the lower part of mugs or glasses. Dip the handles of scissors or cutlery with Plasti Dip. Eyeglass temples with
missing tips can be dipped in Plasti Dip for easy replacements.


Because Plasti Dip remains intact for temperatures ranging from -30 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, it's an excellent coating for outdoor items such as sprayers, faucets, trowels, and spade handles. Frayed rubber gloves can be easily repaired by dipping into the Plasti Dip.

Automotive and Sporting Goods

Plasti Dip is a popular coating for small automotive parts such as knobs, emblems, rims, steering wheels, and handles. In spray form, Plasti Dip can even be used to create custom stripes and patterns on vehicles or coat the entire vehicle for a complete transformation.

Sporting goods lend themselves well to Plasti Dip. Racket handles, barbell grips, and bicycle handles can all be dipped.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

For Dipping Plasti Dip

  • Spring clamp
  • Utility knife
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Protective gloves

For Spraying Plasti Dip

  • Respirator
  • Protective gloves
  • Spray shelter or drop cloth
  • Tub or pail (optional)
  • Spray can grip or holder (optional)


For Dipping Plasti Dip

  • Plasti Dip, 14-1/2 ounce can

For Spraying Plasti Dip

  • Plasti Dip, 11-ounce spray can
  • Sandpaper (optional)
  • Primer (optional)


How To Dip Items in Plasti Dip

Materials and tools to apply Plasti Dip to surfaces

The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

  1. Remove the Old Coating

    If the item already has a rubberized coating that is peeling off, remove the remainder. The old coating either needs to be in substantially good condition for a re-coat with Plasti Dip or completely removed.

    Old pink coating removed from pliers with utility knife before applying Plasti Dip

    The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

  2. Clean and De-Grease the Item

    Use soap and water to clean the surface if it is dirty or greasy. Lightly sand any rusted areas. Let the item completely dry since Plasti Dip will not stick to wet surfaces.

    Plier handles cleaned with soap and water and dried with blue towel

    The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

  3. Dip the Item

    Open the Plasti Dip can. Dip the item into the open can by the handle. Do not pour the Plasti Dip into another container.

    Plier handles dipped in can of black Plasti Dip while wearing gloves

    The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

  4. Remove Wet Drips

    While the Plasti Dip is still wet, remove any obvious drips with your gloved finger. Other drips may develop as the item dries, but these can be cut away later.

    Wet drips from Plasti Dip removed with gloved finger

    The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

  5. Let the Item Dry

    Hang the tool with a spring clamp and let the tool air dry for at least 4 hours. If you want to apply multiple coats to the item, let the item dry for 30 minutes, then drip it again. Make sure that you have plastic sheeting underneath the Plasti Dip item to catch drips.

    Items hanging from black pole and clipped to air dry Plasti Dip with plastic sheet underneath

    The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

  6. Remove Remaining Hardened Drips

    After the Plasti Drip has fully cured, cut away any remaining hardened drips with the utility knife. Even after fully drying, items that have been coated in Plasti Dip can be coated again. Just make sure that the Plasti Dip coating is clean.

    Utility knife cutting away hardened drips from coated item handle

    The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

How to Use Plasti Dip Spray

Always wear a proper respirator and protective gloves when spraying Plasti Dip. It is toxic until it dries.

  1. Prep the Spray Area

    A spray shelter is ideal when working with Plasti Dip. Or, work outdoors and use a large drop cloth which works best since you need to use sweeping motions while working with Plasti Dip.

  2. Prepare the Surface

    Before spraying your item or surface, you may need to sand and prime it for a smoother finish. If the surface already has a good, smooth painted finish, no sanding or priming is necessary. Plasti Dip also has a special primer for metal surfaces.

  3. Prep the Spray Can

    Do not use the can if it's cold because the liquid will not easily spray. Warm it up a bit by sitting it in a tub or pail of warm water (never boiling water) for a few minutes.

    Once the can is warmed up, shake it well for at least a minute.

  4. Practice Spraying

    As with any spray can paint, practice helps. Read the directions for tips. Typically you will hold the spray can from 12 to 16 inches away from the object you're painting.

    Practice spraying in a sweeping motion on an item you don't mind ruining, such as an old glass, piece of metal, or another surface that is like the item you are going to spray with Plasti Dip.


    For more control while spraying, use a spray can grip or holder that slips onto any spray paint can. You will be able to spray comfortably for longer periods without having to keep your finger on the spray button.

  5. Spray Light Layers

    When you are ready to begin spraying the item or surface, do a first light coat. As you spray, overlap each pass of the spray around 50% for even results.

    Before the first coat dries, apply another slightly heavier coating. Repeat, making each coat slightly heavier than the last.

    Apply three to four coats of Plasti Dip spray for a smooth finish. You can always apply more coats for aesthetic reasons. Plasti Dip doesn't harden as it dries, but it does solidify into a rubbery surface.

Tips For Working With Plasti Dip

  • To thin the Plasti Dip, add 5% to 10% of naphtha.
  • Plasti Dip can be brushed on if the item is too large to fit into the can. The texture may not be as smooth as if you had dipped the item, though.
  • To fully immerse an item in the Plasti Dip, hang it from a wire.
  • Do not let Plasti Dip come into contact with gasoline or motor oils.
  • Generally, the limit for Plasti Dip coats is two to three dips or three to four brush/spray coats. You can also go up to five coats and if you feel you need more, go one coat at a time until you are satisfied. Plasti Dip recommends that in most cases, a thickness of 10 to 12 mils is fine (which is two dip coats and a maximum of four to five brush or spray coats).
  • While Plasti Dip is an electric insulator, the electrical code in your area may not allow liquid rubber coatings to be used. Check with your local permitting office.
  • How long does Plasti Dip stay on?

    Plasti Dip is formulated to be peeled off so the coating is never permanent. However if properly applied on a car exterior, for example, the coating will stay in good shape for around three years before it needs a recoating. For other applications, such as for tools, Plasti Dip may last longer.

  • Does Plasti Dip come off when you wash your car?

    Plasti Dip does not come off your car if you wash it. Make sure you don't take your car through the car wash until the coating is fully cured after four to five weeks. Clean the interior as usual after the coating cures. If you see peeling Plasti Dip, don't wash your car or it can begin peeling even more.

  • Should I clear coat my Plasti Dip?

    If you want to add an extra layer of clear protection, be on the safe side and use Plasti Dip's clear coat product. That way if you want to remove the coating, it will be easier.