How To Seal Acrylic Paint On Plastic!

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Due to acrylic paint being such a versatile paint type, its use cases are huge and people use their acrylic paints for a wide range of different types of arts and crafts to great effect. Due to this, we constantly see a massive number of questions about acrylic paints and using them on a wide range of different surfaces to get the best possible performance from them.

One of the more common questions that we have noticed asked is how to seal acrylic paint on plastic to lock the paint in, waterproof it, and prevent it from peeling. Due to a steadily increasing number of questions being asked about this with each passing month, we have decided to publish this dedicated article going over a number of ways that you can prep your plastic for acrylic paint and then seal it with a number of different methods.

This should ensure that our readers are able to get the best possible results from their acrylic paint artwork on plastic without the color fading or the paint peeling. Although the overall process may seen like a hassle when you first read the article, it tends to be much easier than the majority of people initially think it is once you go through it and the results are usually excellent.

Does Acrylic Paint Stay On Plastic?

Although acrylic paint will work with plastic without any other prep or sealing, the quality of the paint will quickly start to deteriorate as the paint starts to peel off the plastic. Thankfully though, this is quickly and easily avoidable and you are able to prevent the peeling of your acrylic paints from your plastic indefinitely if you go through the process correctly.

Due to plastic being a non-porous surface, you will always have problems with acrylic paint unless you use a suitable primer on the plastic prior to applying your acrylic paint. Due to there being seven different types of plastic, even in this day and age, even a speciallist primer still tends to have issues with polystyrene and polyethylene terephthalate plastics but it tends to work well with the other five plastic types.

Once you have primed your plastic, you apply your artwork as required and paint using your acrylic paints as you usually would on any other type of surface. Another area where beginners can sometimes make mistakes is that they will instantly apply their sealing agent to their paints without leaving them to dry correctly. Provided that you leave your paints to dry prior to applying your sealant to them, your acrulic paint artwork should stay on your plastic indefinatley without issue.

How To Prime Plastic For Acrylic Paint!

As soon as people realise that they need to prime plastic for use with acrylic paint, the first thing that they tend to ask is how they actually prime their plastic. Thankfully, the process is extremely simple and straight forward but different priming agents do sometimes have slightly different processes to each other so we always recommend that you read the specific instructions on your primer of choice.

The majority of primers on the market are designed for porous materials so you will need a primer designed for use with non-porous surfaces. With out primer of choice, you simply ensure that your plastic is clean and ready to prime, then you spray the primer over your plastic while holding the canister around 30cm away from the surface of your plastic.

Although the majority of people do only need the matte white color for their primer, it is actually available in 23 colors that you are able to use as a base coat depending on what you are doing. The primer is also fast drying but different conditions in your local temperature can sometimes change the drying time so be sure to wait for the sealant to dry correctly prior to starting to apply your acrylic paint to your plastic.

How To Seal Acrylic Paint On Plastic!

Sealing your acrylic paint onto plastic is much easier than the majority of people think provided that you ensure that your paint is dry! Once you are confident that your paint had dried correctly onto the primer that is on your plastic, you simply use a suitable sealing agent and there really as a bunch of options on the market.

We tend to prefer an aerosol spray sealant as it is usually easier to use than a sealing agent that requires a brush to apply it. Although the majority of aerosol sprays are applied in a similar way to the primer explained earlier in the article, some of them do have their own unique requirements, especially sealing agents for outdoor uses with some of them needing two coats.

Most of them simply need you to hold the canister around 30cm away from the plastic with your acrylic paint on it and then spray an even coat of the sealing agent over the plastic. Be sure not to miss any areas out and try to ensure that you move your hand in a steady motion over all of the artwork to get a smooth, even coat of the sealing agent over your plastic.

Can I Varnish Over Acrylic Paint On Plastic?

Although you are able to varnish over acrylic paint on some types of plastic with it usually acting as a solid sealing agent, the main thing to factor in is that you have used a suitable primer on the plastic prior to actually applying your acrylic paints and then your varnish on top of them. The issue with acrylic paints on plastic tends not to be related to the actual sealing agent, it is due to the non-porous plastic making it a paint for the actual paint to attach correctly.

If you don’t use a decent primer on the plastic to form a decent base that your acrylic paint is able to attach to during the application process, you will always have issues. No sealing agent in the world is able to prevent the base layer bonds of the acrylic paint peeling away from the plastic that then in turn results in the varnish or any other sealant peeling off with their paint too.

There are a ton of different varnish based products on the marker that you are able to use with your acrylic paint and plastic too. Although the ones you apply with a brush can work well, we always prefer a spray based delivery system for sealants as it tends to make the application process considerably easier. Personal preference does come into play though as well as what you are actually drying to do with your arts and crafts so there is no one size fits all answer.

Can You Use Mod Podge To Seal Acrylic Paint On Plastic?

Mod Podge tends to perform well on plastic as well as a sealant for acrylic paint that has been used on plastic too. Although there are a number of different Mod Podge formulas on the market these days, the regular Mod Podge formula with the white tub, yellow label, and red text seems to perform the best while also being the cheapest option helping to keep your costs as low as possible.

Just like any other sealant for acrylic paints on plastic, you do have to be sure that you have primed the plastic prior to applying your paint as the base level bonds between your initial base layer of acrylic paint and the plastic will break and start to peel. Unlike some of our other recommendations that we have covered in the article, Mod Podge needs to be applied to your acrylic paints via a brush rather than a spray system.

Although the specific type of arts and crafts that you are doing will come into play when using Mod Podge to seal your acrylic paint onto your plastic, the majority of our readers will only need a very thin layer over their paints. A common mistake when using Mod Podge to seal acrylic paint is that they will use far too much and this can end up making your artwork look lower quality so use as thin of a layer of Mod Podge as possible.

What Household Items Can I Use To Seal Acrylic Paint On Plastic?

We often see people reaching out to ask if they are able to use common household items such as hair spray to seal their acrylic paints onto plastic. Although we have seen some reports from people saying that they use it, we would never recommend it for a serious project that you want to last for as long as possible.

There are just too many potential downsides when using something like hair spray or any other item from around your house that has not been designed for use with arts and crafts. An actual sealing agent that has been specifically designed to offer your acrylic paint the best possible performance will always offer you better protection while having a much lower chance of yellowing or changing the color of your paints over time.

The sealing agents that we have mentioned throughout our article can usually be picked up for less than $10 per product so the majority of our readers should be able to add them to their collection without issue. On top of this, a single $10 sealant is usually able to last you well over a year and help you seal a bunch of different acrylic paint art pieces too.


That brings our article going over how you can seal acrylic paint on plastic to an end. We hope that you have found the article helpful and that we have been able to help you correctly prime your plastic and then seal your acrylic paints in place once your artwork is complete. Provided you use a suitable sealing product, your artwork should be fine both indoors and outdoors for many years to come without you having any problems too.