Plastic bins have seemingly endless purposes, so the fact that they are inexpensive and can be found in so many styles and sizes is spectacular. However, plastic bins aren’t always very attractive. As such, you might wonder if you can spray paint plastic bins to turn them into something that looks much more expensive than it is.
While plastic isn’t always the easiest material to paint, you can successfully spray paint plastic bins and have the paint stay intact. Not all spray paints are ideal for plastic bins, so you’ll have to be a little bit selective. The texture of your plastic is also a key component for picking the right type of spray paint to get the job done.
Part of the reason plastic products can be so difficult to paint is because some plastic has a flat, glossy finish. This means that some types of paint can’t find material to grip onto well enough to stay in place.
Understanding Plastic Bins
Plastic bins make for an easy and affordable way to store and organize just about everything. The plastic may have a matte or glossy finish or it could have patterns cut into the plastic to make weaves or patterns. You can certainly find high quality plastic bins, but sometimes, they might look cheap, they might fade, or they may not match your decor.
Spray paint is definitely an easier way to paint plastic bins especially if they have cutouts. It allows you to get an even coat over the entire surface of the bin. It’s also a much faster way to paint bins, especially when you don’t want the finished paint job to look as though it’s been painted.
Finding spray paint suitable for plastic is also fairly easy. That said, your choice in spray paint is important in order to make sure the paint lasts. Since plastic is such a smooth surface, you’ll need to utilize some kind of primer or sealant, or you’ll have to at least prep your plastic beforehand.
Preparing Plastic Bins for Spray Painting
The first step to preparing your plastic bins is to clean them. You should start this by washing your bin with some mild dish soap and warm water. Once the plastic bin has had enough time to dry, it’s recommended that you clean the bin with some rubbing alcohol, though this isn’t mandatory. Once again, you want to let the bin dry thoroughly.
You may want to consider a primer, like a gesso or something with some grip, if you’re looking to spray paint some glossy plastic. You can also prep a glossy plastic bin with some fine, gritty sandpaper instead of using primer. This helps the surface become rougher, making it easier for spray paint to stick to the surface.
It’s important to remember safety precautions like gloves and a mask, and you’ll want to lay down a sheet or something to protect the surrounding area. Some painters tape can also be handy if you want to create your own pattern or use multiple colors, or if there are parts of your plastic bin you don’t want to paint over.
Spray Painting Plastic Bins
Be sure to read the spray paint label or look it up to determine if it works on plastic. If you opt for a primer, you also want to make sure that primer is compatible with the spray paint you’ve chosen. Once your plastic bins are prepared, hold the spray paint about one foot from the bin and spray in swiping motions from one side to the other.
While you want to add a couple of layers to each swipe, you don’t want to oversaturate the plastic bin in spray paint or it’s not going to dry very well. Instead, wait about 30 minutes to an hour so your spray paint has time to dry and add another layer. You can also opt to seal the paint with a spray sealant to ensure paint stays put.
Spray paint is a lot messier than it seems and those cans release fumes. Spraying in a well ventilated area is highly recommended, as is wearing a face mask. Wearing goggles is an option as well to protect your eyes. Gloves can be handy when handling your plastic bin, especially when flipping it over to make sure all sides are covered.
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Caring for Spray Painted Plastic Bins
A coat of spray paint doesn’t take long to dry if done properly. Two or three swipes from one side to the next at an even speed is enough to give you one coat of spray paint. If one coat doesn’t give you the coverage you want, giving the coat ample time to dry ensures you don’t ruin your paint job by adding another coat too early.
After your final coat of spray paint or sealant, give your plastic bin a few hours to dry thoroughly. Using a sealant is recommended if your plastic bins are for outdoor use. At this point, your bins should be ready to use. Making it a point to dust your bins during your regular cleaning regimen will help keep the paint intact.
Regular wear and tear could cause paint to fade over time, but overall, spray painted plastic bins are very easy to maintain. Should you ever find that your paint job looks less than ideal, you can always spray paint it again.
While painting plastic can be tricky, spray painting plastic bins is one of the easiest ways to spruce up your plastic bin collection and give them new life. You can turn an ordinary, cheap plastic bin into something that looks much more expensive. This simple craft is an excellent way to update your home and become more organized in the meantime.
The key to making sure this craft goes well is buying the right spray paint for plastic. Taking the time to prime the plastic, no matter how you choose to do it, is going to help determine how well your spray paint adheres to the bin.