Painting plastic

Painting plastic is a simple job, but you need to know what to do and what not to do. What is the best way to prepare your sheet for painting? And for example, which materials are suitable for a particular type of paint! Below you will discover everything you need to know about painting plastic.


Most plastics need to be degreased, sanded and cleaned before painting. Because every material is different, it is important to have a few things clear. For example, what do you need and what steps do you need to take before you can start painting your specific material? ACP already has a coating that needs to be roughened by sanding it first. In doing so, make sure the panel is clean and grease-free both before and after sanding.

Be careful which plastic you choose to paint, as not all plastics are suitable for this. In our range the ethylenes, HDPE, HMPE500 and HMPE1000 are difficult to paint. The rest are suitable for painting.

Painting plastics

First of all, it is useful to look at a good primer. Primer allows the paint to adhere well to your sheet. The type of primer depends on the material you want to paint. You can then apply the paint with a roller, brush or by spraying. Depending on the painting method, substrate and the desired effect, several layers may need to be applied.

It is possible to put certain sheets including acrylic in an oven for a while to dry. Set the oven to a very low temperature (40 degrees). Did you use tape? Then remove it when the paint has not yet fully cured to prevent the edges from breaking.

Which paint you can use varies a lot depending on the material. Do not use paint containing acetone or solvents on acrylic or polycarbonate. Even ACP cannot withstand solvents. If you are going to paint an aluminium panel, powder coating is not possible. So always check carefully whether the paint you want to use is suitable for your specific material.

Painting acrylic

Acrylic is suitable for painting. Just make sure there are no solvents in your paint, and do not use agents containing acetone. When you start preparing your acrylic for painting, you need to take a number of steps. First, sand your sheet with a fine sandpaper grit. Next, degrease the acrylic with lukewarm soapy water and an anti-static cleaner. Just dry with a soft cloth, and you can start priming. You can find more information on painting acrylic in our blog in the link below.

Check out our blog on painting acrylic here!

Painting foamed PVC

Foamed PVC can be painted well. With PVC, prepare for the paint job by cleaning it, and applying a primer. There are many common paint types you can paint foamed PVC with. Solvent based spray paint, acrylic paint and two component polyurethane paint. For detailed information on painting foamed PVC, read the blog via the link below.

Painting solid PVC

For solid PVC, the same rules for foamed PVC apply. First clean the sheet well, and apply a primer. Always allow the primer to dry thoroughly. If you still have tape on your board after painting, remove it when the paint is dry. For more information about painting solid PVC, go to our blog article on painting solid PVC via the link below.

Painting polycarbonate

Polycarbonate is also a suitable material for painting. Be careful though, as solvents or acetone can soften polycarbonate. So avoid these agents in all products you use when painting polycarbonate. We recommend acrylic paint. Once you have all your solvent free and acetone free products and materials ready, first degrease your sheet. Then sand it down with a fine sandpaper grit. Now you can apply your primer, and when it has dried, you can start painting!

Check out our blog on painting polycarbonate here!

Painting HPL/Trespa®

If you are going to paint HPL/Trespa®, it is important to first treat the melamine top layer properly. First, it is important to sand the top layer well, and to make it dust-free once it has been sanded well. Next, use a primer to make the paint adhere well. Finally, it is time to paint. For best results, use a foam roller with two rounded sides to avoid streaks.

Check out our blog on painting HPL/Trespa® here!

Painting ACP/Dibond®

To make ACP/Dibond® boards ready for painting, good preparation is very important. First of all, the top layer must be thoroughly cleaned and made grease-free. Then the top layer must be sanded. For Dibond® sheets with an aluminium surface, sanding should be done in two steps. This prevents the structure of the sheet from shining through the coating. The top layer of ACP/Dibond® is not very thick, so do not sand too hard. Wipe the board with alcohol, and it’s ready to paint!

Check out our blog on painting ACP/Dibond® here!