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Can You Use Chalk Paint on Plastic? – Add a Vintage Touch to Your Plastic Objects

can you use chalk paint on plastic

Using chalk paint can be a great option if you’re looking to give a new life to an old plastic item or add a personalized touch to a plastic object.

While chalk paint is typically used for furniture and other home decor items, it can be used on plastic surfaces with the right preparation and techniques.

The matte, chalky finish of chalk paint can give plastic surfaces a vintage, shabby-chic look, and the variety of colors available can help you achieve the desired effect.

This expert guide features step-by-step instructions on prepping the surface and selecting your desired finishes. Plus, discover all of the pros and cons that come along with using chalk paints for plastics so you can enjoy lasting results without any hiccups down the road.

Whether you’re a seasoned DIYer or a beginner, this guide will help you achieve a beautiful and long-lasting result with chalk paint on plastic.

Does Chalk Paint Adhere To Plastic?

Chalk paint can adhere to plastic surfaces, but it requires proper surface preparation and the use of a specialized formula of chalk paint designed for use on plastics.

Does Chalk Paint Adhere To Plastic?

Plastic surfaces are often smooth and nonporous, which can make it difficult for paint to adhere. Chalk paint is designed to adhere to a variety of surfaces, but plastic is not typically one of them.

However, some specially formulated types of chalk paint can adhere to plastic surfaces, such as Fusion Mineral Paint and Rust-Oleum Chalked Paint. 

Benefits of Using Chalk Paint on Plastic

Benefits of Using Chalk Paint on Plastic

There are several important benefits of using chalk paint on plastic surfaces. Some of these benefits include:

Improve Aesthetics

Using chalk paint on plastic can have various benefits, both aesthetically and functionally. Aesthetically, it can add color and texture to plain plastic surfaces. It can also help create a unique look by allowing you to mix different colors and apply multiple layers of paint, giving the plastic a more finished appearance.


Chalk paint is formulated to adhere well to a variety of surfaces, including plastic. When properly applied, chalk paint can provide excellent adhesion to plastic surfaces, resulting in a long-lasting finish.


Chalk paint is versatile and can be used on a wide range of surfaces, including plastic. It is available in various colors, allowing you to create various looks and finishes on your plastic surfaces.

Easy to use

When compared to other types of paint, chalk paint requires less preparation. It can be applied directly onto the surface with little to no sanding or priming required.


Chalk paint is known for its durability and resistance to chipping and flaking. When properly applied, it can provide a long-lasting finish on plastic surfaces that can withstand everyday wear and tear.

Easy to distress

Chalk paint can be easily distressed, creating a vintage or shabby chic look on plastic surfaces. This is achieved by sanding the surface lightly after the paint has dried to create a worn, aged appearance.

Preparation Before Painting over Plastic with Chalk Paint 

Chalk paint is a highly pigmented, matte finish paint formulated to adhere to various surfaces. However, without proper surface preparation, the paint will not bond to the plastic surface and may peel, flake or chip off.

Proper surface preparation involves a few steps that create a surface for the chalk paint to grip onto, improving the paint’s adhesion to the plastic surface. 

Clean the Plastic Surface

First, the plastic surface should be thoroughly cleaned with warm, soapy water to remove any dirt, grease, or debris that may be present. This step is essential as it ensures that the paint adheres to the plastic and not to any dirt or grime on the surface.

Sand the Surface

Then you’ll need to sand the plastic surface with fine-grit sandpaper so the paint sticks. Sanding the plastic surface creates microscopic ridges and valleys that help the paint adhere better to the surface. The surface should then be wiped clean of any sanding dust with a clean, dry cloth.

Apply Primer

If you are painting a smooth plastic surface, it is recommended to apply a primer to help the chalk paint adhere better. A primer is essential for chalk paint on plastic as it creates a bond between the plastic and the paint, improving the paint’s adhesion to the surface.

Use a plastic primer, such as Rust-Oleum Adhesion Primer, and apply a thin, even layer over the plastic surface. Allow the primer to dry completely before painting.

Applying Chalk Paint on Plastic

Chalk painting on plastic can be a great option for updating and transforming plastic items, whether it’s a piece of furniture, a decor item, or a household object. With the right techniques and materials, chalk paint can provide a durable and stylish finish that can elevate the look of any space.

Applying Chalk Paint on Plastic

By following these steps, you can successfully use chalk paint on plastic and create a beautiful finish that will last for years to come.

Choosing the Right Type of Chalk Paint for Plastic

When using chalk paint on plastic surfaces, choosing the right type of chalk paint formulated specifically for plastic is essential. While traditional chalk paint is ideal for porous surfaces like wood, plaster, or masonry, it may not adhere well to plastic surfaces.

Therefore, specialized formulas of chalk paint, such as Rust-Oleum Chalked Paint or Fusion Mineral Paint, are recommended for plastic surfaces. These paints are designed to adhere to smooth, non-porous surfaces like plastic, providing excellent coverage and durability.

Applying Thin Coats of Chalk Paint

When applying chalk paint to plastic, it is essential to apply thin and even coats to achieve a smooth and consistent finish. Using a brush or roller, apply the paint in one direction, working from top to bottom or side to side. 

It’s essential to avoid overloading the brush with paint, which can result in drips, uneven coverage, or a rough finish. To achieve more even coverage, applying two or three thin coats of paint may be necessary instead of one thick coat.

Allowing Each Coat to Dry Completely Before Applying the Next

After applying each coat of chalk paint, it’s important to allow it to dry completely before applying the next. Depending on the humidity and temperature of the environment, the paint may take anywhere from 1-4 hours to dry completely.

It’s essential to avoid touching or handling the surface until the paint is fully dry, as this can cause smudging or damage to the finish. Waiting for each coat to dry completely ensures that each layer of paint adheres well to the surface and helps to prevent any cracking or peeling.

Evaluating if Additional Coats are Needed for Desired Coverage

Once the first coat of chalk paint is dry, evaluate the surface to determine if additional coats are necessary to achieve the desired coverage. Depending on the color of the paint and the plastic surface, it may be necessary to apply two or three coats to achieve complete coverage.

To ensure the best results, use a light source to inspect the surface from different angles, looking for any areas that may need additional coverage. Be sure to apply each coat thinly and allow it to dry completely before applying the next.

Applying a Sealer

Applying a sealer to chalk paint on plastic is an important step in protecting the finish and extending the lifespan of the paint job. Several types of sealers can be used with chalk paint on plastic, including wax, polyurethane, or varnish.

Wax or Sealant 

Wax is a popular choice because it adds a soft sheen to the surface while also providing a protective layer. To apply wax, use a clean, lint-free cloth to rub a thin layer onto the surface. Buff the wax with another clean cloth to remove any excess and create a smooth finish.

Polyurethane or Varnish

Polyurethane or varnish can also be used as a sealer for chalk paint on plastic. These products provide a more durable finish and can be applied with a brush or roller. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper application and curing times.

After applying a sealer, allow the surface to cure before using the plastic. This can take anywhere from a few hours to several days, depending on the type of sealer used and the environmental conditions. It is important to avoid using the surface or exposing it to moisture until the sealer has fully cured.

Why is a Sealer Important for Chalk Paint on Plastic?

While chalk paint is a durable and versatile paint that can adhere well to plastic surfaces, it is still important to apply a sealer to protect the finish and extend the lifespan of the paint job.

A sealer acts as a protective layer that can prevent scratches, scuffs, and chips on the painted surface. It also makes the surface easier to clean and maintain.

Some Drawbacks of Using Chalk Paint 

Using chalk paint on plastic surfaces has many benefits, but there are also a few disadvantages. Some of these disadvantages include the following:

Limited color range

While chalk paint is available in various colors, the color range for plastic-specific chalk paint may be more limited than traditional chalk paint, limiting the design options for certain projects.

Surface Preparation

While chalk paint requires less preparation than other types of paint, proper surface preparation is still necessary for optimal adhesion and durability. This may require some sanding or priming, which can be time-consuming.


Compared to other types of paint, chalk paint can be more expensive, which may be a consideration for those working on larger projects or with a tight budget.


While chalk paint can be durable, it may scratch or chip on plastic surfaces with heavy use. This may be more of a concern for items that will see a lot of wear and tear, such as furniture or outdoor items.

Can you use Rustoleum chalkboard paint on plastic?

Rust-Oleum Chalkboard Paint is typically formulated for use on porous surfaces such as wood, metal, plaster, and ceramic.

It’s important to note that even with proper preparation, the adhesion of Rust-Oleum Chalkboard Paint on plastic may not be as strong as on other surfaces, and the finish may be more prone to chipping or flaking over time.

Therefore, testing the paint on a small, inconspicuous area first is recommended to ensure the finish is satisfactory.

Do chalk markers erase from plastic?

Some plastic surfaces are more porous than others, which can make it difficult to erase chalk markers completely. Additionally, if the plastic surface is textured or has a pattern, the chalk marker may get trapped in the grooves and be difficult to remove.

To maximize the chances of erasing chalk markers from plastic, it’s recommended to use a high-quality chalk marker and ensure that the plastic surface is clean and dry before applying the marker.

If erasing the chalk marker proves difficult, a damp cloth or a cleaning solution specifically designed for removing chalk marker residue can be used to clean the surface. Also, it’s important to note that excessive rubbing or harsh cleaning solutions can potentially damage the plastic surface.

What type of plastic can I use chalk paint on?

Chalk paint can typically be used on most types of plastic, including rigid plastics like PVC, polycarbonate, and ABS, as well as more flexible plastics like polypropylene and polyethylene. However, the adhesion of chalk paint to plastic can vary depending on the type of plastic and the specific formulation of the paint.

To ensure the best adhesion and longevity of the paint on plastic, it’s recommended to thoroughly clean the plastic surface to remove any dirt, oils, or other contaminants that may interfere with adhesion.

Additionally, sanding the plastic surface with fine-grit sandpaper or using a plastic primer can help improve adhesion.

How long does chalk paint take to dry on plastic surfaces?

The drying time for chalk paint on plastic surfaces can vary depending on various factors, such as the type and thickness of the paint, the surface texture and temperature, and the humidity in the environment.

Generally, chalk paint dries to the touch within 30 minutes to an hour, but it may take up to 24 hours or more to cure fully. It is important to wait until the paint is completely dry before applying a second coat, sealant, or wax to ensure proper adhesion and durability.

Transform Plastic Items with Style Using Chalk Paint

Overall, using chalk paint on plastic can be a great way to transform and update the look of plastic items, but it is important to keep in mind that proper preparation and materials are necessary for optimal results. 

It is also important to note that while chalk paint can adhere well to plastic surfaces, there are some limitations and potential disadvantages to using chalk paint on plastic. 

In spite of this, chalk paint can add a stylish and durable finish to any plastic item, whether it be a piece of furniture, decor item, or household item, with the appropriate techniques and materials.

Can You Use Chalk Paint on Plastic? – Add a Vintage Touch to Your Plastic Objects

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