How to paint plastic parts

Updated July 20, 2017

Painting plastic vehicle parts yourself is not difficult, but you need to have a basic knowledge of the vehicle you're working on and a basic knowledge of paint. If you use the wrong type of paint on the vehicle's parts you can damage the part or the paint job may turn out bad. Painting is basically a universal process no matter what you are painting and there are only a few thing that you'll need to do in terms of preparation.

Remove all of the plastic parts you want to paint and place them on a clean dry surface.

Clean all of the plastic parts thoroughly with warm soap and water. Clean both sides of the plastic part and allow the plastic parts to completely dry.

Spray acrylic spray paint primer on both sides of the plastic parts. Allow the primer to dry and repeat two more times. The plastic parts need at least three coats of primer on them. Let the plastic parts dry completely for about four hours in a clean concealed container.

Paint the plastic part using acrylic spray paint. Use clamps and wire to hang to plastic part in the air and spray paint the plastic part about 6 to 8 inches away from the plastic part. Repeat this step three more times to give the plastic part four coats of paint.

Allow the plastic parts to dry for 24 hours in a clean concealed container.


If you are painting plastic part near high heat components you will need to use heat resistant paint on the plastic parts.

Things You'll Need

  • Soap and warm water
  • Spray paint primer
  • Spray paint
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About the Author

Living in Tucson, Ariz., Robert Good has been writing from 2003 on a wide variety of subjects ranging from sports, gardening and cooking to auto repair, home maintenance and travel. Good holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of the State of New York.