Can You Use Rustoleum Spray Paint on Plastic


Last updated: June 18, 2023

Plastic is by far the cheapest material used to make …

Can you use rustoleum spray paint on plastic

Plastic is by far the cheapest material used to make most household items. However, plastic tends to fade, crack and grow dull over time. Rust-Oleum is one of the few high-quality spray paints you can use to restore the original look of your plastic models. 

The Rust-Oleum brand offers innovative coating solutions to retain the beauty of indoor and outdoor plastics. You can be sure the paint will adhere perfectly to your plastic, even without a primer. You can use Rust-Oleum spray paint on plastic, PVC, polypropylene, polystyrene, and other materials like resin, fiberglass, and vinyl. 

In this post, we will discuss Rust-Oleum spray paint for plastic, the benefits of spray painting plastic with Rust-Oleum, the best spray paint for plastic, and how to spray paint with this brand of paint. 

Can You Use Rustoleum Spray Paint on Plastic?

Yes. Rust-Oleum spray paint is a renowned producer of high-end spray paint for plastic and similar materials. Rust-Oleum spray paints contain the finest ingredients that are compatible with most substrates. You don’t need a primer to use Rust-Oleum; they also have specialty paints just for plastic.

What is Rustoleum Spray Paint?

Rust-Oleum spray paint is a coating solution by the paint brand Rust-Oleum. The company is the leading manufacturer of premium paints, spray paint, varnishes, sealants, and primers. Typically, Rust-Oleum spray paints are all-purpose oil-based, although they also produce acrylic and latex paint. 

The paints can be used on various materials such as metal, wicker, wood, plastic, concrete, etc. You can use Rust-Oleum on large construction projects as well as creative art and craft pieces. 

Rust-Oleum offers excellent protection against the effects of wear, such as cracking and chipping. They also protect against fading and peeling and can retain surface sheen for a long time. 

Rust-Oleum can be an interior and exterior spray paint and is safe for furniture and children’s toys. Most Rust-Oleum paints dry to touch in under 30 minutes, while some can dry within an hour. 

Benefits of Spray Painting Plastic with Rustoleum

Spray painting plastic with Rust-Oleum comes with multiple benefits, such as:

Restoring Faded Precious Items

Your plastic garden furniture may wear out due to prolonged exposure to natural elements. Rust-Oleum’s high-quality ingredients can restore outdoor plastics’ original sheen and appearance. 

It renews and revitalizes plastic surfaces, providing superior adhesion and a durable finish. Use it on your beautiful plant pots, lawn chairs, plastic mailboxes, and storage lockers. 

Covering Surface Imperfections

Rust-Oleum can cover subtle and obvious flaws on your surfaces. It provides a smooth, even coverage that hides scratches, dings, and surface damage. 

Protection Against U.V. Light 

With Rust-Oleum, you can count on superior protection against harsh rays from the sun and the adverse effects of weather. For example, the Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover 2x offers twice the adhesion and protection needed for the paint to last longer on outdoor items. These unique spray paints are made with U.V. inhibitors to provide long-lasting durability.

Easy and Quick to Use 

Rust-Oleum has another significant advantage over other spray paint types: its ease of use and flexibility. By flexibility, we mean anyone can quickly master using Rust-Oleum spray paint, even if you’re a complete novice. 

Rust-Oleum spray paint cans typically feature unique nozzles and tips to prevent finger fatigue and create consistent, even strokes. In addition, the Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover 2x provides complete coverage with a single coat, allowing you to complete your project faster with less paint. 

Versatile Applications

You can use Rust-Oleum spray paint on any project, whether you’re an avid DIYer or a professional painter taking on commercial projects. You can use Rust-Oleum to renovate home interior decor, remodel outdoor furniture, beautify plastic mailboxes, or revitalize a vintage car. 

Factors to Consider When Spray Painting Plastic with Rustoleum

Plastic isn’t your typical substrate. It’s known to repel paint since it’s not as porous as wood, fabrics, or cardboard. As such, it’s important to use only Rust-Oleum specialty paint when painting plastic which guarantees superior adhesion and smooth surfaces. 

Below are some of the crucial factors to always keep in mind when using Rust-Oleum spray paint for plastic:

  1. Use thicker paint: Oil-based enamel Rust-Oleum paints will stick much better on plastic surfaces than regular Rust-Oleum spray paint. Use those paints to prevent drips and runs and maintain the quality of your finish. While at it, apply light or thin coats for an even consistency.

  2. Keep your work clean: If you set your substrate directly on the workspace, the paint overspray will stick on the surface, creating a mess. Avoid this by slightly raising or elevating your plastic model with small wooden blocks.  

  3. Get a trigger handle: Finger strain is common with spray paint. But you can enjoy a comfortable spray painting experience with an effective trigger handle costing no more than five dollars. 

  4. Wear a Respirator: While not all Rust-Oleum spray paint for plastics have toxic fumes, you want to protect yourself just in case. Besides spray paint toxicity, it is also, normal for spray paint to fill the air with a fine mist from the solvents. That’s not good for your respiratory and nervous systems, so you want to wear an organic vapor respirator that will shield you from the fumes.

How to Spray Paint Rustoleum with Spray Paint?

Below are the steps to effectively restore the color and beauty of your plastic items with Rust-Oleum spray paint. 

Before we start, ensure you have everything you’ll need in one place. Some of the materials include: 

  • Mineral spirits or rubbing alcohol.
  • Fine-grit sanding block.
  • Rags or newspapers.
  • Rust-Oleum spray paint for plastics.
  • Paper towels.

Step 1: Cleaning Comes First 

Starting your spray painting task on a clean surface is always great. For plastic items, you can wash with soapy water and a sponge, or if it’s not too dirty, use mineral spirits or rubbing alcohol and a clean rag to wipe the plastic model you want to paint. 

Wiping helps remove surface dirt or any sealants that may compromise the adhesion of your paint. After wiping, wash the object with clean water and allow it to dry. 

Step 2: Lightly Sand to Boost Adhesion

With plastic surfaces, paint tends to adhere better to a slightly rough texture. Using a fine-grit sanding block to sand the plastic will help the primer and paint stick better, so we recommend this step. After sanding, wipe the dust produced with a clean wet cloth and leave it to dry. 

Step 3: Prime

This step is crucial as a primer helps the paint adhere well to the substrate. However, Rust-Oleum spray paints do not require priming as the paints tend to contain high adhesion properties that perfectly bind the paint and substrate. We only recommend priming when using regular spray paint; otherwise, if you must prime, a single thin coat of primer will be enough. 

Step 4: Apply Paint 

Refer to the instructions on the can for proper paint application process. Always hold the can about eight inches from the plastic model and apply thin coats in even strokes. If you’re planning to paint furniture items subject to heavy use, 3-4 light coats will be enough.

Ensure you leave adequate drying time between coats and before recoating. If you wish to create a unique design or color blocks, use painter’s tape to mask off the areas you want to leave unpainted or painted with different colors. 

With each coat or application, leave the substrate to dry before adding another coat until your design is complete.

Do You Need a Primer to Spray Paint Plastic with Rust-oleum?

When using ordinary spray paint, priming is extremely necessary to ensure the paint sticks firmly to the plastic material. This is because plastics are non-porous, and getting paint to stick on the surface can be tricky. 

Priming with a good quality primer will enhance adhesion and durability. On the other hand, you don’t need to prime the surface if you’re using high-quality plastic-specific spray paint like Rust-Oleum Paint for Plastic. Such paints are designed to bind with the plastic material and maintain stronger adhesion. 

As a matter of fact, Rust-Oleum spray paints do not require any priming at all so if you want to save time preparing the plastic for spraying, go for such specialty paints.  

Best Rustoleum Spray Paint for Plastic 

There are many different types of Rust-Oleum spray paints available in various lines. Most spray paints are multipurpose and can be applied on any surface. 

However, the company also manufactures some specialty paints for unique surfaces. For example, you can get Rust-Oleum specialty paints for fiberglass, wood, wicker, vinyl plastics, ceramics, glass, and plastic. Below are a few of our best Rust-Oleum spray paints for plastic. 

Best for Vinyl and Flexible Plastic Surfaces: Rust-Oleum Specialty Spray Paint for Plastic 

If working on flexible plastic surfaces and vinyl, you will appreciate the superior adhesion qualities of the specialty spray paint for plastic by Rust-Oleum. This oil-based plastic paint spray suits PVC, vinyl plastics, and polypropylene. 

The paint naturally binds with the material without the need for priming. With this paint, you can cover as much as ten square feet, and it’s a perfect choice for outdoor furniture and plastic fences. 

The Rust-Oleum Specialty Spray Paint for Plastic is available in various colors and creates a glossy finish that can revitalize any old plastic model. 

What We Like

  • Provides a high-gloss finish.
  • Protects against chipping and cracking.
  • Does not require a primer.
  • Durable paint.

What Could Improve

  • Toxic fumes.

Best for Superior Coverage and Durability: Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover 2X

The Painters Touch Ultra Cover 2X is the ultimate solution for anyone looking for spray paint that contains a primer and offers double coverage and a smooth topcoat. It’s the one spray paint that will give your plastic model a vibrant look that doesn’t fade easily. 

This oil-based paint produces little odor, which lasts after a short time. It can withstand chipping, dries faster, and has a flat, attractive finish. Use it as an outdoor or indoor paint, and its comfortable spray tip will make you forget finger fatigue issues.  

What We like

  • Dries in under minutes.
  • Resists chipping.
  • Creates a flat long lasting finish.

What Could Change

  • Produces an uncomfortable odor while wet.

Best Fast-drying Gloss Finish: Rust-Oleum American Accents 2X Ultra Cover

The Rust-Oleum American Accents Spray Paint ticks all the right boxes be it adhesion, durability, good quality finish, maximum coverage, and features an in-built primer. 

It’s one of the advanced paints on Rust-Oleum’s double coverage technology paint lines formulated for plastic and similar nonporous materials. 

It’s a great choice of paint if you want to create a vivid glossy finish and cover much surface area with less paint. The cans trigger is built with a comfortable tip to prevent finger fatigue and ensure uninterrupted painting session and create even strokes. 

What We Like

  • Affordable spray paint.
  • Comfortable tip for a better spraying experience.
  • Perfect for plastic.
  • A dual formula containing paint and primer.

What Could Change

  • Not 100% resistant to chipping and weather elements.
  • Toxic safety gear is a must.

FAQS: Using Rust-oleum Spray Paint on Plastic 

Can rustoleum spray paint be used on plastic?

Yes. Rust-Oleum spray paints are compatible with most plastics, including PVCs, PTEs, polyurethane, and vinyl plastics. You can even use Rust-Oleum specialty paints designed primarily for plastic spraying. The good thing with Rust-Oleum spray paints is that they do not require priming. 

Is spray paint OK on plastic?

Yes. Plastic is an affordable and flexible material you can renovate with spray paint. Whether it’s a beautiful bowl, outdoor furniture, vinyl fences, or plant pots, you can safely and quickly give them a new look with spray paint.  

Does Rust-Oleum need a primer on plastic?

No. Most Rust-Oleum spray paints do not require a primer. The company strives to manufacture high-quality paint with the finest ingredients to ensure excellent adhesion and durability. Most Rust-Oleum spray paints also contain primer, giving you double value in a single can.

Which Rust-Oleum is best for plastic?

Rust-Oleum acrylic spray paint and oil-based paints are the best for plastic. The Rust-Oleum Universal Ultra Cover line is also a great choice for plastic. There are also plastic-specific spray paints you can choose from.  

How long does rustoleum spray paint take to dry on plastic?

On average, Rust-Oleum spray paint takes between 20 minutes to one hour to dry to touch before you can recoat. Others take as much as two hours to dry. When using Rust-Oleum, expect your project to dry and cure completely within 24 hours. 

Summary: Does Rust-Oleum Paint Work on Plastic?

You can use Rust-Oleum spray paint on plastic. The company is an industry leader in painting solutions, so there’s spray paint for just about anything you can think of painting. Moreover, Rust-Oleum spray paints are of the highest quality, so you can expect to get value for your money with each purchase. 

You also don’t need to buy separate primers to use with Rust-Oleum. Most of their paints guarantee superior adhesion, while others come with primer in-built. However, a little surface cleaning and preparation is crucial to achieve the best results. 

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