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Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Toys?

Making custom toys gives you a lot of room to be creative. If you’re looking to paint toys, you’ll probably wonder what type of paint suits this project the best. Many artists already have acrylic paint at home, making it popular.

So, can you use acrylic paint on toys? Yes, you can as long as you make sure to coat the toy with a primer that the paint will stick to. Acrylic paint won’t stay on plastic, but using a quality primer makes it possible. It’s also good to sand and clean the plastic toy first. You can apply acrylic directly to wooden toys without problems.

Overall, you can use acrylic paint on toys! You can add decorations, make your toys, or customize them. There’s a lot of possibilities, so make sure to keep reading to learn the best methods.

How To Paint Toys With Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint works with plastic miniatures and figures, toys, and other models. You’ll want to start by coating the toy’s surface in a primer and allowing it a full day to dry.

I recommend using Liquitex Gesso Primer. It’s an amazing brand and offers great coverage!

Give the toy a very thorough cleaning. You don’t want to paint over the debris and trap it there forever! With plastic and very smooth toys, you will want to sand the surface you plan to paint. Doing so gives the paint something to “grip” onto.

Next, you’ll need to prepare your workspace. Set up a palette with the acrylic colors you plan on using. When you’re ready, apply the paint in thin layers. You’ll want to let the paint dry between each step. 

My favorite and top pick is always Arteza Acrylic Paints. They have so many different colors, and the quality is amazing! I usually use Arteza Paints for all my projects.

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For special offers and discounts, with my link you can also go to the Arteza website and shop their amazing products.

After getting all of the colors on, give it another full 24 hours to finish drying through all layers. To complete the toy, you’ll apply a seal. The seal traps the color and protects it from chipping or peeling off. 

An acrylic sealer will work well to ensure your toy’s new coat of paint lasts a very long time! You can also use Mod Podge to seal the paint.

Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Plastic Toys?

Acrylic paint works better on wooden toys- you won’t need to prepare the surface as smooch before painting on it. However, acrylic paint still works on plastic toys using proper primers and sealers.

If you don’t seal the toy, the paint will rub off over time. It can happen much faster with toys that are touched and handled often.

Abstract Painting

Acrylic paint won’t stick to plastic naturally. You’ll need to start by cleaning the toy. You can wash it with soap and warm water, then dry it well with a towel. The you can let it air-dry the rest of the way.

You’ll want to buffer the toy with fine sandpaper lightly. You don’t want to scratch off any areas but sand it just enough to give it texture. The paint will stick well after this step.

Now, you’re ready for the primer! There are acrylic primers that you can use, making it possible for the acrylic to stick to plastic. Spray-on primers are convenient and offer enough texture without being visible.

As I mentioned above, Liquitex is one of my top recommended primers. It can be used with a variety off mediums, and offers great coverage.

Once the primer dries, you can paint the toy to your heart’s content! Using appropriately sized brushes will help you get the best results.

After painting, give the toy ample time to dry, then apply a sealant to trap the color and provide it with protection. If you follow these steps, the paint will last a very long time!

Is Acrylic Paint Safe on Toys?

If you’re going to paint the toy for a young child, you’ll need to make sure that it’s non-toxic. Some types of acrylic are, while others aren’t. You shouldn’t use paint on toys for kids that may put them in their mouth!

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Overall, acrylic paint won’t ruin the toys. You’ll need to be careful if you paint over any joints or moving parts. Turning the part could cause the paint to flake off in those areas. 

Can I Use Acrylic Paint on Baby Toys?

No, you shouldn’t paint baby toys! Unless you have no intentions of giving them to a baby, and will only be used as decor.

Babies have a habit of putting everything in their mouths. High amounts of acrylic paint aren’t suitable for children. Plus, they’re likely to handle the toy a lot, causing the color to rub or flake off.

You should save your acrylic paint for other projects instead of using them on baby toys. If a child does eat paint, you’ll want to call a poison center immediately. Give them water and a small snack to prevent them from feeling sick.

The Poison Control Center hotline is open 24/7. You can reach out to them at (800) 222-1222.

Is Acrylic Paint Safe for Wooden Toys?

Acrylic paint won’t damage wooden toys. It works very well on wood and will stick to this surface better than plastic. You won’t need to prepare it as much unless you want to.

You should always seal the toy when you finish painting it. Kids can be rough on toys, making it easy for the paint to come off without a strong seal. 

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All forms of acrylic paint should work well on wooden toys! You’ll want to apply the paint coat by coat, with time to dry in-between them. It’s best to give each layer at least 20 minutes to dry. The acrylic may soak into the wood, causing you to need more layers of paint.

Like plastic toys, the paint can chip off with joints as the wood rubs together. You’ll need to take extra care in those areas while you work. Sealing with shellac is another option with wood toys, and it can protect the joints.

How To Seal Acrylic Painted Toys

You’ll also need to know the best method to seal your acrylic painted toys. You’ll want to use a sealant that provides plenty of protection while drying fully clear. Water-based formulas should work the best on toys, and it’s easy to clean up with just soap and water.

You can use the sealant in a spray can for the best results. Spraying the toy makes it easier to reach into all the joints and grooves without painting on the seal. There are also foam options available, which get into all the toy parts.

Krylon is a great choice for a spray on sealer. It offers protections against chipping, flaking and even UV rays.

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Ensure that you hold the spray container far from the toy and don’t breathe it in! You’ll want to wear a mask to ensure you don’t accidentally breathe in the sealing spray. It can be toxic and make you feel light-headed.

Then, give the seal plenty of time to dry. You’ll need to provide the new paint with at least two coats of the finisher for the longest-lasting results. Remember not to handle or move the painted item for at least 24 hours, to ensure it has fully dried.

Final Thoughts

To summarize, you can use acrylic paint on toys! If you’re painting on wooden toys, you won’t need to worry as much about prepping the toy. With plastic toys, you need to clean, sand, and prime the surface before adding color to it.

Overall, painting toys is a lot of fun and lets you be creative! You can come up with many different ideas to customize all of your toys at home. If you’re painting kids’ toys, make sure they are old enough to understand they shouldn’t put the toy in their mouths.

Make sure to follow all my tips and recommended products to ensure your acrylic painted toy project turns out great! Also, don’t forget to check out my other articles for all your painting Q&A’s. Happy painting! 

To view my personal artwork collection click here.  All of my artwork is one of a kind and comes ready to hang. You can also find my work at The Gallery SOHO, in the Pomona Valley Art Association.

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