Can You Paint Plastic Furniture?

Do you have some old plastic furniture that needs a new lease on life? Or perhaps you want to change the color of your plastic furniture to match your new home decor? Whatever the reason, you may wonder if your plastic furniture can be painted. 

You can paint plastic furniture, but there are a few steps you need to take in order to ensure that the paint will stick and last. Proper surface preparation is key to achieving a good finish. Lastly, a paint and primer made specifically for plastic surfaces will ensure the paint adheres properly.

In this article, you will learn about:

  • The factors to consider when choosing paint for plastic furniture
  • What finish is best
  • What type of paint to use
  • The best paint and primer for plastic furniture

Is Painting Your Plastic Furniture a Good Idea?



Painting plastic furniture is an affordable way of giving your old furniture a new lease of life. You don’t have to spend much money on buying new furniture.

It’s Easy

Painting plastic furniture is not complicated and does not require any special tools or skills. It can be done in a day or less and can be achieved with minimal effort.


When you paint your plastic furniture, you have control over the color and design. You can pick any color that suits your style and home decor.


Painting your plastic furniture provides a protective layer that prolongs its lifespan. A coat of paint can protect your furniture from damage caused by UV rays, scratches, and adverse weather conditions.



Although it is easy, painting plastic furniture is a time-consuming job. Proper surface preparation, painting, and drying can take several hours.

Exposure to chemicals

The paint on plastic surfaces contains chemical compounds that could be potentially harmful if inhaled or ingested. Make sure you use protective gear when working with these paints.


Sometimes the paint may fade or crack over time due to prolonged exposure to UV rays and harsh weather conditions. This could potentially damage your furniture, so using good-quality paint and primer is important for the best results.

The Best Paint and Primer for Plastic Furniture

The first step in choosing the best paint and primer for plastic furniture is understanding the different types available. Paints made specifically for plastic have better adhesion and durability than regular paints.

While spray paints are popular for plastic furniture for their even coverage and smooth finish, brush-on paints may be more suitable for intricate designs or detailed work.

When it comes to primers, it is important to look for a product specially designed for plastic surfaces. These primers will help the paint adhere to the plastic and prevent peeling and chipping.

Additionally, some primers are formulated to work specifically with certain types of paint, such as oil-based or latex paints.

Best Paint

Rust-Oleum Specialty Spray Paint for Plastic is the go-to choice for DIYers and professionals. This spray paint is specially formulated to adhere to a variety of plastics, including PVC, resin, fiberglass, polypropylene, polystyrene, and vinyl plastics.

One of the standout features of this oil-based spray paint is its superior adhesion, ensuring that the finish lasts for a long time. The paint boasts excellent color retention and a soft gloss finish that looks great on indoor and outdoor furniture. 

The Rust-Oleum Specialty Spray Paint for Plastic is also incredibly user-friendly thanks to its quick-drying formula. It dries to the touch in just 20 minutes, making it easy to complete your painting project quickly. Each can cover up to 10 square feet (1m2), so you can get plenty of use from a single purchase. 

Lastly, one of the best things about this spray paint is the selection of popular colors. Whether you’re looking to add a pop of color to your patio furniture or bring new life to an old plastic chair, you will find the perfect shade. 

Best Primer

Using the right primer is essential for achieving a smooth, long-lasting finish. And for this purpose, Rust-Oleum Specialty Oil-Based Alkyd Spray Primer is one of the best options available in the market.

This primer is specifically designed to prepare plastic surfaces for top coating, making it ideal for use on a variety of plastic items such as lawn chairs, mailboxes, storage lockers, and more.

Rust-Oleum Alkyd Spray Primer can be applied directly to plastic surfaces, and its superior formula readily adheres to hard-to-paint surfaces.

This means you can renew or change the color of plastic items around your home without worrying about paint adhesion.

What sets Rust-Oleum Alkyd Spray Primer apart from other primers is its oil-based alkyd formula. This formula provides a durable, long-lasting finish that can withstand the elements and resist wear and tear.

Additionally, the alkyd formula helps to prevent cracking or peeling, ensuring that your painted plastic furniture looks great for years to come.

How to Paint Plastic Furniture

Tools and Materials

  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Sandpaper (120-180 grit)
  • Cleaning supplies (soap, water, and sponge)
  • Paintbrush or rollers (if not using spray paint)
  • Drop cloths
  • Masking tape
  • Sanding block
  • Respirator mask
  • Safety goggles

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Preparing the Work Area 

Before you start spray painting, you will need to prepare the work area. Cover the floor and surrounding objects with drop cloths or newspaper to protect them from overspray. Use painter’s tape to cover areas you do not want to paint, such as hinges or handles.

Step 2: Cleaning and Sanding 

Plastic furniture will need to be properly cleaned and sanded for the best adhesion of the spray paint. Use a cleaner or dish soap and water to wash the furniture. Rinse with water and dry the furniture with a clean towel.

After the furniture has dried, use sandpaper to rough up the surface of the plastic. This will allow the primer and spray paint to adhere properly.

Step 3: Mask off the Areas Not to Be Painted

Cover any areas of the furniture you want to leave unpainted with painter’s tape, such as handles or knobs. Take care to cover the edges properly to avoid any paint getting underneath.

Step 4: Apply Spray Paint Primer

Priming the furniture will help the paint bond better to the plastic. Choose a spray paint primer suitable for plastic furniture.

Shake the can for 1-2 minutes before use. Hold the can 8-10 inches (20-25cm) away from the furniture and spray in a sweeping motion. Allow the primer to dry for about an hour or longer, depending on the primer used.

Step 5: Apply Spray Paint 

Choose a spray paint color that suits your preference and is compatible with plastic surfaces. Shake the can of spray paint for 1-2 minutes before use. Hold the can 8-10 inches away from the furniture and spray in a sweeping motion.

Apply several thin coats of spray paint to achieve the desired color and coverage. Allow each coat to dry for 10-15 minutes before applying the next. Apply as many coats as needed, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 6: Apply an Acrylic Sealer 

Once the paint has dried, it is important to seal in the color and add extra protection against wear and tear. For this, Krylon Triple Thick Clear Glaze Aerosol is perfect. This aerosol sealer provides a glossy finish with superior durability, making it ideal for plastic furniture. 

Apply the sealer in a sweeping motion, holding the can 8-10 inches away from the surface of the furniture. Allow each coat to dry for 20 minutes before applying the next.

Step 7: Drying and Finishing

After applying the final coat of spray paint, allow the furniture to dry completely. Check the manufacturer’s instructions on the spray paint can for drying time. Once the furniture is dry, remove the painter’s tape and drop cloth. Give the furniture a final inspection to ensure the paint is even and has adhered well to the furniture.

Joshua Milton

Joshua Milton is a passionate DIY and home improvement enthusiast. With his expertise in various projects, he provides practical tips, step-by-step guides, and creative ideas for transforming your living space.

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