Painting Plastics

This story covers the steps and options for painting plastics.

Painting Plastics

Plastics are perhaps the most difficult surfaces to paint. Their chemical composition and smooth surface do not promote good paint adhesion, and the fact that plastics can expand and contract at a greater rate than many paints leaves them vulnerable to flaking paint, even when you think you have the coating securely adhered.

With proper preparation and specialty products, however, you can paint plastics and not have to worry about the durability of the finish.

For interior walls (tiled with plastic tile, for example, or finished with other plastic products), apply a high-adhesion latex stain-blocking primer. For bathroom and kitchen walls not subject to constant exposure to water, use a top-of-the line-interior latex paint. Shower walls and similar surfaces do not make suitable candidates for paint.

For extra insurance against peeling and cracking, ask your paint dealer about primers and paints made specifically for plastic surfaces. They will give you a great deal of versatility in transforming drab outdoor objects into attractive ornaments.

Painting Plastic Lawn Furniture: Step 1

Wash the object thoroughly with a mild detergent solution and let it dry. Then lightly scuff with 200-grit sandpaper. Wipe off the dust.

Painting Plastic Lawn Furniture: Step 2

Using a spray primer and top coat formulated for plastics, prime the surface, let it dry, then paint it. Spray multiple light coats, letting them dry completely before applying each succeeding coat.

Painting PVC Trim

To paint PVC trim, wash, rinse, and let dry. Scuff-sand (220-grit) and wipe clean. Prime with acrylic latex primer recommended for exterior PVC surfaces and top-coat with 100-percent acrylic latex paint using a high-quality sash or trim brush. To avoid potential warping, do not paint trim darker than its original color.

Spray-Painting Tips

When spraying furniture, paint the bottom. Then turn the chair upright and paint in the order shown. The best way is to paint as much of the object as you can see from one side, then reverse your position and paint as much of the surface as you can see from the other side. Applying paint in this order will ensure that you get full coverage and will eliminate drips. Apply the paint in light coats and repeat the process, completing one side and then the other. Let this complete coat dry before applying the next one.

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