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Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Plastic Pots? (Answered)

Plastic pots are a cheap and convenient way of gardening. But the plastic pots are usually boring and not that attractive to see. You may want to paint your plastic pot to design as you like. So, what color to use? Can you use acrylic color on plastic pots? 

This article will explain all you need to know about painting acrylic on a plastic pot.

Using acrylic paint on plastic pots

You can use acrylic paint on a plastic pot, but you need to apply one or two layers of primer so that the paint adheres to the plastic pot. You can also use a sealer to enhance the longevity of the color. Make sure to get acrylic suitable for plastic to paint your plastic pot.

We live around many, many things, but do we pay attention to all the things? You probably don’t remember when you got the penholder on your table. If you look around, most things in your house are like pen holders; you don’t have any special memories or feelings about them.

But art and beauty have an extraordinary power that can make things special to you. When you paint your pen holder, it will make you feel good whenever you look at it for years to come. 

Plastic pots can be a suitable medium for art, but if you are confused about whether acrylic will suit it, this article is for you.

Plastic pots are pretty cheap, light, and also very durable. But the only con is that the cheaper ones are usually not very attractive. Painting them can be a good idea. But can you paint with acrylic color?

Yes, acrylic paint can be a good choice for plastic pots if you follow the correct preparation steps. The preparation step includes sanding the plastic pot surface, adding primer, and adding sealant (optional). But without those steps, acrylic can not adhere to the plastic surface.

Without the sealant, the acrylic paint will easily peel off, making the plastic pot look even worse. Let’s find out why acrylic can not adhere to plastic pots without additional steps.

The acrylic color has a smooth finish and works great on surfaces with tiny pores, such as paper or wood. But plastic is smooth, and it does not have any pores. So, when the acrylic color dries on a plastic surface, the color can easily come off the surface as they have a similar consistency.

When the color and the surface have different surfaces, they work well together. So, when we apply acrylic paint on the plastic surface, we need to make the plastic pot surface different from the acrylic paint.

For that, we will use a primer on the plastic surface. The primer will help to make the surface suitable for acrylic paints. If you want, you can also use sandpaper to make the plastic pot surface a bit rough. It will make the color more durable. 

Those simple processes help you to paint on plastic pots. We will explain the detailed procedure in the later part of the article. Let’s find out if you can put acrylic paint on those plastic pots.

Plant pots: 

Large plastic plant pots need a bit of sanding and primer to use acrylic color on them. 

Flower pots:

You can apply acrylic color on a plastic flower pot or any other plastic surface by using and drying primer before applying the acrylic paint.

Do you need to prime plastic for acrylic paint?

Primer is essential for painting on a plastic surface. The primer layer easily gets attached to the plastic surface and acrylic paints. Both acrylic paint and plastic have a similar type of smooth surface when the paint dries.

Two surfaces of similar consistency do not stick together, so you need a third substrate that binds together well. Here primer works as a third substrate.

If you have just one or two pots to paint, the whole acrylic painting process may not feel like a win-win. You will have to buy color and primer, but you will not be able to finish all the product in two or three pots. 

However, you can get some more pots or just keep the color and primer for painting in the future. 

You can also use sealant spray for the painting project. You may ask why sealant? Sealant is usually used for painting porous surfaces. But you can also apply it after applying primer. Sealant adds extra durability and longevity to the acrylic paint on plastic pots.

How to seal acrylic paint on plastic?

Sealing is the first step of painting plastic pots. It is a process of making the plastic pot prepared for the painting. The first question is, what plastic pots will be suitable for acrylic painting? 

Any type and quality plastic pot will be suitable for acrylic paint after sealing. 

But I think expensive pots are already costly and beautiful; it is better to buy cheap ones and make them attractive by painting them. Follow the steps below to prepare the plastic pots for acrylic painting.

Make the surface less smooth:

Get 280-200 grit sandpaper and make the pot surface less smooth. Acrylic paint works well on less smooth surfaces.

Wash the particles:

After that, wash the plastic particles or any dirt with soap or water. If your pots are old and dusty, you have to clean the plastic pots before sanding. 

Note that you always need a wash after the sanding process. However, you can choose not to sand the pots, but sanding will give you the best result.

Dry the pot:

After sanding, wash and dry the pot. After drying, apply primer to the plastic pots. Make sure to cover all the areas of the pot where you want to paint. After the primer dries,  you can add another layer of primer for a better result.

Use a sealer spray:

Use sealer spray on the plastic pot for durability. It is essential when painting the pots you want to keep outdoors. 

How to use acrylic paint on plastic pots?

The painting process of acrylic on a plastic pot depends on your painting style. You can keep the painting simple or make folk art on your plastic pots. But no matter how you paint your plastic pot, you must follow the sealing process described in the previous section. 

Here are some helpful steps you can follow to paint your plastic pot with acrylic paint.

Determine the design:

First, decide how you want to make your acrylic painting on the plastic pots. Do you want to use one color to make it look better, or make some folk art to decorate? 

If you want to draw shapes and designs on the pots, determine the design you want to draw. You can search google for design ideas.

Paint the background color:

Then paint all the pots with your preferred background color. You can take some background color ideas from google. Note that every color will not suit as a background color.

Draw the designs:

After the color dries, you can start drawing the designs you selected to paint on the plastic pots. You can mix the acrylic color and make a new color. So, that gives you the space to be creative with the color. 

Start slowly; you can do it faster once your hands get used to the painting.

Let it dry:

After completing the painting, let the plastic pots dry. You can paint again after two days of drying for a more compact result. You can also erase the mistakes by applying the background color.

What type of paint will stay on plastic?

Acrylic is a water-based color unsuitable for plastic without some additional steps. But how do other colors work on the plastic? Check out the following points.

Oil-based color: 

Oil-based color works great on plastic surfaces. The oil-based paint does not need tiny pores to stick to a surface. 

Latex-based color: 

Latex-based colors are another type of paint often used to color the old plastic stuff and make it look new. Latex also works fine with plastic.

Acrylic paint:

Acrylic paint works on plastic if you apply primer before painting.

Final Thoughts

Acrylic paint is suitable for plastic pots or other plastic surfaces, with some additional steps before coloring. Spraying primer is essential for painting acrylic on plastic pots. Always get acrylic color suitable for the plastic. Use sealer before painting for a durable result.