Can You Use Oil Paint On Plastic?

Oil paints are undoubtedly awesome and inclusive for many projects and their utilization encompasses various surfaces. Oil paints are great on metals, canvases, and also wood.  So, can you use oil paints on plastic surfaces?

Yes, oil paints can be used on plastic. In fact, oil paints are one of the best paints for plastic. It creates a solid surface, especially if the plastic is outside. 

But, there are surfaces that we don’t recommend using oil paints. To learn this, and more, we have prepared an article that will explain everything you need to know about using oil paints on plastic. Let’s get it.

Does Oil Paint Stick on Plastic?

Yes, oil paint does stick on plastic. If the plastic has been painted before then the oil paint will stick faster. 

But, what if the paint hasn’t been painted before? Then you can use a primer or sand the plastic. Usually, a primer will protect the plastic and the paint, and also help the paint to stick better.

If the plastic is very flexible or faced down then it can be harder for the oil paint to stick. If possible, avoid moving the plastic after you have painted it, that increases the chances of oil paint sticking to the plastic.

How Long Does Oil Paint Take to Dry on Plastic?

It depends. Some oil paints take up to a whole day to dry and some less than thirty minutes. In comparison to other forms of paint, oil paints take relatively a way longer period to dry up.

This length of time provides a painter the chance and opportunity to make necessary or unseen changes. This sole reason makes it popular amongst artists. It shouldn’t matter what form of oil paint is being used, it is still highly advisable to let the paint sit for 24 hours.

The speed at which the paint dries off is also determined by the location of the painting. If painting is done outdoors, it would certainly dry faster than if it was done indoors.

If speed is an important factor in your work regime, then it is advisable to paint outdoors. Be watchful of the weather as rain could severely damage your unfinished work. Other factors that can influence the drying period of your oil paint include;

  • The Environment and Weather
  • The Brand of Paint Being Used
  • The Clor of Pigment Being Used
  • The Authenticity of the Pigment

These are perhaps the most relevant factors in determining the length an oil painting will take to dry up. Additionally, it is highly unadvisable to make use of hair dryers or heat guns as drying techniques. Damages done to the plastic as a result of direct heat are impossible to fix.

Do I Need to Prime Plastic Before Painting With Oil?

A primer should be added if the plastic surface has not been previously painted. If the plastic surface has been painted before, then there’s no need to apply primer. 

The primer will help the oil paint to stick better. Oil paints can take up to 24 hours to fully dry. Having something (primer) to help the paint stick better can speed up the process.

If the surface has been painted before, then there’s no need to prime it. But, you might need to sand the surface to help the oil paint stick better. For this. you can lightly sand the surface, just to remove the bumps that the plastic might have.

You will be sanding the plastic later too. So, it’s recommended to have sandpaper or a sander to help you.

How To Paint Plastic With Oil Paints?

Painting plastic with oil is pretty straightforward. The only question to be asked here is if the painting is done is indoors or outdoors. If it is being done indoors, a nose mask should be put on as a guide against the horrible fumes.

There are factors to consider before painting, said factors are explained in detail below;

1. Clean The Plastic

Clean The Plastic

You have to clean the surface before applying oil paint, or any paint for that matter. You can use dish soap and warm water to clean the surface.

The plastic should be clean of dirt, debris, or anything else that may prevent the paint from sticking to the surface.

If using dish soap doesn’t work, you can use rubbing alcohol. Alcohol acts as a surface cleaner in this scenario, stubborn greasy stains unaffected by the regular dish soaps will be entirely eradicated with the use of alcohol.

This process is better done outdoors as the oil paints exhume crazy fumes, equally as bad as the smell that comes from washing plastic with alcohol. Ethanol can also be utilized for this same purpose.

2. Sand The Plastic

Sand The Plastic

To get an even and smooth finish, it’s recommended to sand the plastic. Depending on how many scratches the plastic has, you can start with rough or fine sandpaper.

I recommend starting to sand the plastic with 800-grit sandpaper and then moving to finer sandpaper (such as 1000-grit sandpaper).

The reason for this is because the 800-grit sandpaper removes any scratches or bumps the plastic has and the 1000-grit sandpaper gives the surface a smooth look and helps the paint to stick better.

Related Read: Can You Use Metal Paint on Wood?

3. Use a Primer Paint

Use a Primer Paint

If the plastic hasn’t been painted before, then it’s recommended to use a primer to help the paint stick better. Once you clean and sand the plastic you can add the primer paint.

It’s recommended to add one layer of primer if the plastic is in a good condition, and two layers of primer if the paint is in a bad condition (even after sanding).

You should wait until the primer is fully dried before you add another layer of primer or paint.

4. Apply Oil Paint on The Plastic

Apply Oil Paint on The Plastic

And now it’s time for magic. Once the primer has dried, you should apply the oil paint. Keep in mind, oil paints are thick, so you don’t want to add two layers unless you really need to.

Adding two layers of thick paint can easily create bumps that will take forever to remove with sanding. Eventually, you can try to thin the oil paint before adding the second layer.

5. Add Oil Paint Sealer

Add Oil Paint Sealer

This is the concluding aspect of painting your plastic surface with oil paint. Ensure the above steps were judiciously taken and all procedures and techniques were adhered to.

Once your plastic product dries up, gently use a dry, clean cloth to dab your end produce. This clears it of anything that might have gotten stuck during the earlier mentioned processes. Conclude by adding a sealer.

Tips On Painting Plastic With Oil Paint

If you are interested in having a long-lasting professional result on your work, the following guidelines on how to paint properly should be distinctively followed.

  1. Always test the paint on cardboard before applying it to the plastic.
  2. The flexibility of your plastic: Plastic is known to react to the effects of heat when it touches its surface. It could compress or stretch, hence, the product chosen must have the tenacity to handle all the heat that comes with the processes.
  3. Outdoor plastic decorations are exposed to the light and heat the sun brings all year round. Choose a product that has a highly retaining characteristic.
  1. With respect to priming and painting your plastic surface, plastic primers and plastic paints are best used. It creates an original outcome devoid of any flaws.
  2. Always clean the plastic before starting to paint it.
  3. Avoid using two layers of oil paint.
  4. If the results aren’t good enough, you can try to sand the plastic to get a smoother finish.

How To Seal Oil Paint on Plastic?

Oil paint is widely known amongst artists as being unreachable and impenetrable. For this reason, sealing oil paints on plastic isn’t practiced by all painters. However, it remains advisable to seal your result.

It offers additional protection against a harsh change in weather. The steps to follow if you are intending to seal your oil paint on plastic are given below.

Find a High-Quality Sealer

There are different types of sealers. Make sure to find one that is compatible with oil paint and plastic. There are sealers that won’t stick or protect the paint on plastic.

Apply The Sealer After The Paint Has Dried

Your sealer is best applied roughly 12 hours after the completion of the job. Sealers are highly water-resistant, so one layer of sprayed sealer should be sufficient.

Oil paints are quite difficult to get through and they often act as a source of rigid protection for the plastic as well.

If these procedures are followed step by step and the techniques are properly followed, we would find that oil paints are best paired with plastic.

It gives a maximum result with just a little space for imperfection.

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