How to Seal Acrylic Paint on Plastic: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you into home improvements or have an interest in creativity in painting? Then, you must have heard about the Acrylic Paint. Some definitions describe it as a fast-drying paint that can work mainly on any surface – wood, paper, fabrics, cement, glass, bricks, and even plastics. The flexibility of this kind of paint gave so much advantage to different applications. Aside from the flexible pigments that consist of acrylic paints, it is also resilient and water-resistant when dried.

The finish of plastic materials can make it hard for paints to be controlled, and the coating might stick poorly. When it comes to this, it could be a tough challenge for acrylic paints.

The acrylic pigments are smooth, making it hard to settle on plastics. However, there are several ways to preserve the colors of the paint on plastic by following a thorough preparation and using formulated primers and sealers explicitly designed for plastics.

Additionally, different acrylic paint sealants work on plastic surfaces, depending on your choice and what application is needed.

If you are eager to learn more about acrylic painting procedures, here’s a detailed step-by-step guide highlighting how to seal your acrylic paints on plastics successfully.

Different Options for Acrylic Paint Sealants

The available formulations for sealing acrylic paint on plastic surfaces vary from the kind of application and finish to achieve. Different sealants are available in the market, so you only have to choose which works perfectly for your project. Take a look at the list we provided below:

Acrylic Polymer Resin

This type of sealant is from emulsified polymer resins that are water-based. It is the popular sealant used when applying acrylic paints. Also, it has a combination of clarity and durability.


It is made of polyacrylate resin that gives the clearest finish than other sealants. You can use this for displayed items indoors as they dry up quickly. The only downside in using this is applying more coats to fight its lack of durability.


This sealant is made of oil-based elastomers, making it insoluble in water. It is the best option if you are planning to seal acrylic paints on plastic surfaces, especially if the painted items are left outdoors without worrying if the color fades or washes away. The only disadvantage is that the finish could not be clearer than water-based sealants.

Decoupage Medium

Lastly, the decoupage medium can work perfectly on application to plastic surfaces as it is in white glue. Aside from that, it is also flexible and can be used on different surfaces.

Materials Needed:

Before starting with the procedure, prepare these materials or supplies needed beforehand to avoid missing out on something and making mistakes:

  • Sponge
  • Fine-Grit Sandpaper
  • Water with Soap
  • Vacuum Cleaner or Blower
  • Plastic Primer Spray
  • Acrylic Paint Spray
  • Plastic Sealant

How to Seal Acrylic Paint on Plastic

You may worry that your acrylic paint might fade on plastic surfaces over time, so here’s a step-by-step guide on how to seal the paint to achieve a preserved color. Dive into these simple procedures and make sure to follow them correctly:

Step 1: Clean the Surface

Of course, you want to avoid your paint peeling quickly or showing unnecessary bumps on the surface. Because of this, start the procedure by cleaning the surface and ensuring no dirt or residues before applying the paint. You don’t need to exert too much effort on this; you can only use a set of soapy water and sponge. Lastly, avoid getting the surface soaked with too much soap by rinsing it off well and waiting to dry up completely before proceeding to the next step.

Step 2: Sand down the Surface for Paint Absorption

Since plastic surfaces are smooth, you can use fine-grit sandpaper to add a slight roughness. Sanding down the plastic in a circle or straight line using the 120 to 220 grit will benefit in leveling the surface for the better application of sealant and acrylic paint. Then, you can start sucking the sanded dust with a blower or a vacuum cleaner, but if the two are unavailable, you can use a cloth to wipe it.

Step 3: Make a Border for Multiple Paint Colors

This step is only optional for those using multiple-color paints. Since the colors might overlap, the challenge is making a border using masking tape. Ensure you put the border correctly and closely check the covered and exposed parts to avoid unnecessary colors coming in different directions.

Step 4: Apply the Paint Primer

Even though you have already added roughness to the plastic surface using sandpaper, you will still get challenged in making the paint stick on the plastic surface. The best option in this next step is to apply a primer coat to help cover the complex details of the surface, giving it a clean result for the following procedure. Spraying the prime smoothly from 1 to 1.5 feet away would be best to achieve an even layer.

Step 5: Paint the Plastic

After applying the primer, the next step that you need to do is start painting. Grab your acrylic paint spray, and remember how you sprayed the primer on the surface since it’s almost the same process. Hold your spray can and keep it moving at a consistent distance for an even layer. Additionally, you can apply a thin layer, wait for it to dry, and follow up with the following coats of light paint. Make sure to allow every coat to get dried up; this technique might give the surface a more consistent color and finish. Also, you have complete control of the thickness and layering evenly.

Step 6: Apply the Plastic Sealant

When the last coat has dried up, the final step is applying the sealant to protect the paint from fading. Different types of sealants are available for a particular finish you want to achieve, like matte, glossy, or regular finish. You can choose to apply it with a brush or spray can. If you painted larger surfaces, the best option is to use a brush, and spray cans work perfectly on small items. Lastly, ensure that each layer of the sealants dried up entirely before applying the consecutive ones. You will preserve the paint colors by using suitable sealants for your project.

Final Thoughts

Every project that involves creativity comes with effort and preparation. Painting is an activity that requires patience since it comes with challenges, especially when done on surfaces that are not ordinary, like plastics. But having this guide to follow thoroughly makes it easier to proceed with your project.

Acrylic paint is a good choice, but it must be partnered with suitable sealants to achieve the finish needed for your project. As the guide above mentioned the advantages and disadvantages of the sealants available, the step-by-step process will be followed smoothly when the materials are ready. Whatever your project is, learning how to seal acrylic paint on plastics is a good starter pack!

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