With the right technique, painting Plexiglas, or plastic glass, is as easy as painting any other material. The most important step in painting this material is correctly preparing the surface. Once you know how to prepare the plastic-glass surface, you can paint it quickly.
Step 1 – Cleaning
After cutting your Plexiglas into sheet sizes of your choosing, you should clean the plastic glass to remove any dirt or grease. Clean the Plexiglas with soap and warm water. Use a coarse sponge for best results, and then dry the material with a clean towel.
Step 2 – Sanding
Next, place the Plexiglas sheets on drop cloths that cover the floor. Using 220-grit sandpaper, sand the entire surface you want to paint. Do this carefully, so that you don’t create any coarse scratches on the material. Wear a respirator mask and safety glasses to keep any plastic particles out of your lungs or eyes.
Cleaning up the Dust
Once you’re done, clean up the dust you’ve made with a tack cloth. Then, wipe the Plexiglas sheets with a damp cloth, and allow them to dry. In addition, clean up any dust on the drop cloths.
Step 3 – Priming
Warning: Use the appropriate safety precautions as provided by the product's manufacturer when working with primer or paint. Wear gloves and long sleeves to avoid skin contact, and wear a paint-fume approved respirator.
Purchase a spray-type primer. Hold the can or spray gun approximately 8 inches from the glass surface, and cover it with a thin coat of primer. In most instances, a single coat of primer will be adequate. However, if it seems too thin, you can apply a second coat after the first has dried. Allow the primer to dry for four hours before painting the sheets.
Step 4 – Painting
Avoid oil-based paints, which can melt the Plexiglas. Instead, opt for acrylic-based paints. Using an acrylic spray paint, spray the sheets. Again, hold the spray or nozzle about 8 inches from the Plexiglas. Try to make the coating as thin as possible, while still covering the entire surface.
Applying a Second Coat
Let the paint dry for at least two hours before applying a second coat. Apply the second coat generously to ensure good coverage. Make sure the paint is fully dry before handling the glass sheets or cleaning up your work area.