Asked on Nov 27, 2017

What kind of paint for inside of plastic ornaments?

by Wendy
I bought some plastic (acrylic?) see-through ornaments and wanted to drop and decorate with paint on the inside. I used acrylic paints and it is NOT working! It isn’t sticking completely and not drying! So, what kind of paint SHOULD I be using?
q what kind of paint for inside of plastic ornaments
Using acrylic paint... streaking, not drying, pooling at bottom.
  13 answers
  • Acrylic paint should work. To prevent the pooling at the bottom, turn them upside down to dry allowing the extra paint to drip out. Another option is nail polish.

  • Bob C Bob C on Dec 03, 2017
    Spray plastic with hairspray (I've used White Rain) first and let dry then paint on the acrylic paint. I've used this technique a couple of times and it seems to work well! The hairspray sticks to the plastic and the paint sticks to the hairspray.

  • Penny Penny on Nov 12, 2019

    Try pre-treating the inside of the ornament with a dose of rubbing alcohol, cover the hole and shake real well to cover all the surfaces, then just pour into the next ornament. Let dry overnight and you should be fine regardless of whether you use enamel or acrylic paint!

  • Bobbi Corbin Bobbi Corbin on Nov 17, 2019

    Having the same issue. Paint does not stick to the inside and when turned upside down it rolls on out. These are plastic bulbs and spraying hairspray inside is impossible

    • Wendy Wendy on Nov 18, 2019

      I hope we can find a way! I didn’t try the hairspray trick but was about to until I saw your reply. Thx for letting us know.

  • Jessica Jessica on Nov 19, 2019

    Try mixing with mod Podge. I am going to try it right now. I’ll update with the results.

  • Patty Patty on Nov 21, 2019

    I just read that glass and plastic ornaments react differently if using vinegar. She used glass ornaments,sprayed vinegar in it,then sprayed 2 times with a bronze spray paint,and once with a gold,rolled it around to cover,set upside down to dry. They were beautiful. Hope this helps some.

  • Elizabeth Elizabeth on Nov 19, 2020

    I had the same problem. I used acrylic paint on plastic ornaments and it took forever to dry like literally a week I had them sitting upside down and everything. Once they dried and I put them on the paint melted off and pooled at the bottom when my tree lights were on..... Any new tips on how I can get this to work?

    • See 1 previous
    • Alex Alex on Nov 28, 2021

      Has anyone had success with any tips or tricks? Tried this with acrylic paint and had the same issue with melting once it was on the tree

  • Erin Tilley Erin Tilley on Dec 09, 2020

    I've tried making both (glass & plastic) and experienced similar issues with both materials but seems somewhat random. Faster, even paint drying is key vs days.

    Would be interested to try the rubbing alcohol rinse prior to paint as I've read that suggestion in several places.

    So far another method that seems to have had some success is to add more paint into the ball after first round paint has melted down the sides. Of course will somewhat alter effect created so you have to be open to a changing canvas so-to-speak. Have had some really cool effects this way though.

    Have also tried a hair-dryer on low to help dry the paint a bit to set. Have read people will bake painted glass and was just concerned how thin glass ball ornaments are so hair-dryer seems to have helped a couple I was having issues with.

    I also purchased pouring medium to mix with acrylics - supposed to limit the amount of cracking/shrinkage that can occur showing up as black specs or slivers. Might assist but would recommend only a few drops at a time. It will suspend dry-time and can cause paint to roll & pool more so some kinks to work out there.

  • Paula Paula on Dec 19, 2020

    I made faux rae dunn ornaments and used floetrol as a paint medium and for my acrylic paint I used artists loft and literally dried my ornaments for 5 days and they were perfect but after hanging on My tree the paint is pooling at the bottom. Tomorrow I will repaid and add modge podge and post update to try and help someone else should they attempt to paint inside a plastic bulb. Hopefully this helps someone else. Wish I would have pre treated my bulbs because I'm so disappointed and it's literally 5 days til Christmas!

  • Janet Janet on Oct 05, 2021

    Well this is more of a question. Used white acrylic paint in my ornaments it evaporated. Why?

  • Deb K Deb K on Dec 13, 2022

    Hi Wendy, hope this helps you out. Acrylic paint is perfect for this craft!