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Because not all paints will adhere to plastic, it's important to choose paint specifically formulated for use on this type of surface to avoid the disappointment of peeling or bubbled results. Whether you want to freshen up plastic furniture, give a toy a new lease on life, or jazz up plastic fencing or other outdoor decor, Krylon Fusion All-in-One provides the performance, color, and coverage you want.
We evaluated paints for plastic based on their adhesion ability, range of colors and finishes, smoothness of application, and ease of use.
Here are our favorite paints for plastic.
Best Overall: Krylon Fusion All-In-One Spray Paint
Excellent coverage and adhesion
Several unusual finishes, including hammered, metallic, and textured
Doesn't drip or run
Some say about nozzle not working
Mismatched cap/paint color at times
There’s no need for a separate primer when you use Krylon Fusion All-in-One spray paint. This top pick covers beautifully, even over irregular or difficult surfaces, without need to sand or do extensive prep work first. Don’t worry about bubbling or peeling when you spray it on your plastic furniture or other plastic items around your home: Not only does this paint bond tightly to plastic, it also adheres smoothly and evenly to most other surfaces, including wood, metal, glass, tile, ceramics, and masonry. Because it also protects against rust, it can be your MVP when painting plastic furniture or other objects that have metal components.
Krylon Fusion All-in-One's wide colors selection ranges from neutrals to brights to black and white. Choose from matte, satin, or gloss finishes. Several specialty finishes include clear, metallic, hammered, and textured. All dry to the touch in around 20 minutes without running, dripping, or bubbling, and are dry to handle within two hours. Plus, the paint sprays at whatever angle you need, even when holding the can upside down. The larger-than-average spray button makes it an easy finger press.
Use Fusion All-in-One for interior or exterior projects, but always spray it in a well-ventilated area. One 12-ounce can covers up to 25 feet. As most paints that adhere to plastic, the base of this paint is an alkyd, which is similar to oil, so cleanup, if any, requires a solvent, not plain water.
Best Budget: Behr Premium Spray Paint/Primer
Covers painted surfaces very well
Paint doesn't sag or run
Some complaints about odor
Mismatched cap/paint color at times
There’s no need to break your budget when buying paint for plastic, even if you have a large area to cover. Behr Premium Spray Paint/Primer offers a wide range of colors, including neutrals, brights, fashionable grays, jewel tones, and basic black and white, all at a reasonable price. Choose from satin, gloss, or flat finishes. All offer excellent adhesion and coverage to plastic and many other surfaces, including metal, wood, ceramic, glass, masonry, and terra cotta. With just a coat or two, you can cover old or new surfaces with a smooth, even coat that won’t show what’s underneath, drip, or bubble.
Behr Premium includes primer right in the formulation, so no need for lengthy prep sessions before you start painting. It dries quickly as well; expect your project to be dry to the touch within 15 minutes. You can use the paint for interior or exterior projects, but always use it in a well-ventilated area. A 12-ounce can covers up to 15 feet. As this is an oil-based paint, you need a solvent for any cleanup.
Best for Outdoors: Rust-Oleum Universal Spray Paint/Primer
Doesn't fade in the sun
Sprays at any angle
Resists chipping, flaking, peeling
Sprayer not working well at times
If you’re painting outdoor plastic objects, such as patio furniture, plastic fencing, an outdoor storage shed, or children’s backyard playsets, then you’ll love the superior coverage, adhesion, and long-lasting results of Rust-Oleum Universal Spray Paint/Primer. This sturdy paint-and-primer in one sprays from any angle and easily covers plastic, wood, metal, wicker, and masonry. It neither fades nor chips and it resists rust, so even rough weather doesn't leave a mark.
You can choose from many colors, as well as multiple finishes, including flat, gloss, satin, pearl, metallic, and hammered. All dry to the touch within 30 minutes. This is an oil-based paint, so you need a solvent for any required cleanup, although typically, spray paint doesn't require much. Each 12-ounce can covers up to 15 feet.
Best Metallic: Krylon Premium Metallic Spray Paint
Shiny, true-metal sheen
Metallic colors, including chrome
Smooth, even performance
Dried paint rubs onto hands at times
If you’re looking to add some bling to a plastic item, such as decor, furniture, crafts, or accessories, the shiny, true-metal-appearance of Krylon Premium Metallic Spray Paint is for you. This high-performance paint comes in several colors, including chrome, pewter, gold, copper, rose gold, and silver, all with a smooth, glossy sheen that closely resembles the actual metal.
With a sheen that resembles real metal plating, the paint excellently adheres and covers plastic, along with many other materials, including wood, paper, ceramic, glass, wicker, metal, and plaster. It dries to the touch in just 15 minutes and is ready to be handled in an hour or so. Each can covers up to 20 square feet.
Best for Laminate Cabinets: Giani Nuvo Plus Cabinet Paint Kit
Provides very even coverage
Low VOC and odor
Substandard brush and rollers
Laminate is a material made by pressing plastic resins and thin layers of decorated paper together. The result tends to have a plastic-y feel, even though it can closely resemble real wood. But painting laminate cabinets is often more challenging than painting wooden cabinets, as not all paints will stick to laminate surfaces. Luckily, if you want to change the color of your laminate kitchen cabinets, you get everything you need with the Giani Nuvo Plus Cabinet Paint Kit, which comes in a wide range of popular cabinet colors.
The kit contains two 31-ounce cans of high-quality paint that requires no primer, yet provides excellent adhesion and coverage over laminate, wood, and metal surfaces. It’s enough paint to cover up to 100 square feet, which is sufficient for most average-sized kitchens, and it’s low-VOC, water-based, low-odor, and safe for use inside the house. You also get a roller frame, two roller covers, a two-inch paintbrush, two stir sticks, and full instructions.
Best for Cars: Dupli-Color Vinyl & Fabric Spray Paint
Flexible without cracking or peeling
Can be used on auto carpeting
Limited range of colors
Does your car’s vinyl dashboard, seats, console, panels, or even flooring need a fresh coat of color? For this we suggest Dupli-Color’s Vinyl & Fabric Specialty Coating, which sprays on smoothly and easily, dries to the touch in 30 minutes, and allows handling in one hour. There’s no need for priming with the paint, which provides excellent adhesion and coverage without cracking, peeling, or flaking, yet still remains flexible.
The paint sprayer’s large, conical nozzle makes it easy to angle the can to reach tight angles or areas inside the car. You can choose from several colors, including most of the common colors used for car interiors, including black, tan, gray, white, silver, and red.
Best for Miniatures and Models: The Army Painter Mega Paint Set
Dispenses controlled paint amounts
Interesting and unusual colors
Shake vigorously before each use
Lacks built-in primer
If your hobbies include painting plastic miniatures or models, such as toy soldiers, fantasy figures, game pieces for role-playing games, model ships, planes, or boats, then you might appreciate the quality and color selection in this comprehensive set from The Army Painter. Not only for painting war-game figures, the Mega Paint Set includes fifty 18-ml bottles of paint, each with a dropper tip, so you can dispense just the small amount of paint needed.
These high-quality acrylic paints cover plastic very smoothly, but you need to prime the plastic prior to painting. Once that’s done, however, your hardest task is deciding which color to use first: The set includes 39 colors, ranging from neutrals to brights; five metallics; four Quickshade Washes for adding shadowy tints of color; and two effects paints. (One is the color of rust, and the other is titled “Glistening Blood.”) You also get a high-quality paintbrush and a guide to painting miniatures. A great way to start or add to a hobby.
Best for Decor: Krylon COLORmaxx Spray Paint/Primer
Huge color range, on-trend hues
Some complaints that paint is runny
Here’s the perfect paint for flipping thrift-store finds, transforming old furniture, reviving scuffed and scraped luggage, giving home decor a makeover, or renewing just about any other plastic object needing a little beautification. Krylon COLORmaxx comes in a very wide range of colors, including many unusual brights, and in flat, satin, or gloss finishes.There are metallics, as well.
The primer is built right into the formula, so no need to waste time priming before you paint. It dries to the touch in just 10 minutes, so you can redecorate in the morning and display your creation in the afternoon. The paint covers excellently and adheres without fading, flaking, chipping, or rusting over plastic, wood, metal, wicker, paper, glass, and ceramics.
Best for Furniture: Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch 2X Ultra Cover Paint + Primer
Huge range of colors
Resists chipping and peeling
Mismatched lid / paint color at times
Why put up with meh plastic furniture when it's so easy to give it a facelift? With Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch 2X Ultra Cover, you get twice the coverage of most other general-purpose spray paints, along with excellent adhesion, fast drying time, and a smooth, even coat of color. Choosing that color might be the hardest part, because there's a wide selection of fashionable hues, as well as six different sheens, including ultra-matte and high-gloss.
Along with plastic, this spray paint adheres beautifully to wood, wicker, and metal, so you can use it for a multitude of painting projects. The primer is built in, meaning less prep time before getting started. The large, angled nozzle sprays in any direction—even upside down—without tiring your hand. It dries to the touch in 20 minutes, and one can covers up to 12 square feet.
Best Brush-On: Majic Paints Diamond Hard RePurpose Interior/Exterior Satin Paint
Smooth, even coverage
Requires little prep time
Only 10 colors available
Most paints that adhere to plastic are spray paints. That’s no problem for most smaller projects, or if you don’t mind going through multiple cans. But when tackling a larger job or when precision counts, you might prefer a brush-on paint. Luckily, Majic Paints Diamond Hard RePurpose Interior/Exterior Satin Paint brushes on smoothly and evenly over most surfaces, including plastic, without need of sanding or priming.
The durable, scratch-proof finish doesn't fade, and is suited to interior or exterior use. So go ahead and paint furniture, fences, toys, decor, and just about anything else you can think of, with one of the 10 beautiful, satin-finish colors. Each comes in a 32-ounce can, so you should have plenty of paint for your project. Along with plastic, you can use this paint on wood, tile, ceramic, metal, glass, brick, masonry, and drywall.
If you want spray paint that covers plastic smoothly and evenly, is easy to use, comes in plenty of colors, and doesn't flake, peel, or fade once it’s dry, it’s hard to go wrong with Krylon Fusion All-in-One. But if you are specifically looking for a product to use outdoors, whether on patio furniture, fencing, or anything else exposed to the elements, Rust-Oleum Universal Spray Paint/Primer covers plastic beautifully, and holds up to sun, rain, and wind.
What to Look for in Paints for Plastic
The majority of paints that adhere to plastic are spray paints. Spray paint applies evenly over plastic's smooth surface, and you don't need to worry about brush marks, which would show up very clearly on a plastic surface. Still, if you prefer or need a brush-on paint, other choices work well on plastic surfaces. Brush-on paints are especially helpful if you are painting something very small and detailed, such as a craft or miniature; or, conversely, if you need to cover a large surface such as a cabinet or piece of furniture.
Think of any color, and chances are, a spray paint matches that hue. You can find paints for plastic in just about any color you might desire, including white, black, neutrals, primary colors, super-brights, on-trend colors, and metallics that look just like real metal. In fact, the hardest part of choosing a paint for use over plastic is deciding on the color you like best.
Paints for plastics come in a variety of different sheens—also called finishes—ranging from ultra-matte to high-gloss. Of course, you also can find in-between sheens such as satin, semi-gloss, and eggshell. Some spray paints feature specialty sheens, including pearl, textured, hammered, and metallic. Your choice of sheen is a matter of preference and style, but typically, it's easier to wipe glossy surfaces clean, while matte paint does a better job of covering imperfect or rough surfaces.
What is the best paint to use on plastic?
Many paints cover plastic well. Generally, these are oil-based or alkyd-based paints, as water-based paints typically don't adhere well to plastic and may peel, bubble, or flake off once dry. That means you need mineral spirits or thinner for any necessary cleanup, unlike water-based paints that require just water.
As for the form of paint, most paints for use on plastic are spray paints, which do a good job of laying down an even coat of color over materials with smooth surfaces such as plastic. Still, you can opt for brush-on paints for plastic, if you prefer.
How do you use acrylic paint on plastic?
If you want to use acrylic or water-based paint on plastic, you have to sufficiently prep the items. Typically, that means first sanding the surface to create "grip" and then applying a primer. Once the primer is completely dry, you can coat it with the desired acrylic paint. Be prepared to apply more than one coat, as acrylics do not always provide as much coverage as oil-based paints, especially over a smooth surface such as plastic.
Can you permanently paint plastic?
To extend the life of your painted plastic, you need to do two things. First, ensure that the paint you use doesn't require a separate coat of primer—if it does, make sure you prime the object before applying paint. Second, apply a clear sealant to the plastic once the paint has completely dried. This provides an extra layer of protection against the elements and wear and tear.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Michelle Ullman, the tool expert for The Spruce. She has extensive experience not only in writing about all things related to the home but also in carrying out various DIY projects, including landscaping, painting, flooring, wallpapering, furniture makeovers, and simple repairs around the house and yard.
For this roundup, she considered dozens of spray paints that work on plastics, evaluating each for performance, ease of use, durability, and color range. She also considered feedback from customers, as well as her own experiences carrying out numerous DIY projects.