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Refresh Plastic with Spray Paint

05/27/14, by Megan Steenson

While they look fine at first, over time plastic outdoor products often fade, develop stains, get scratched and scuffed, and generally look worse for wear. But there’s an easy way to revitalize those tired plastic products — just grab a can of spray paint! That’s right, you can buy spray paints that bond with plastic, PVC, resin, and hard vinyl instead of just peeling and flaking like traditional paints would.

Krylong Paint

We love Krylon's Fusion brand but other manufacturers also make easy-to-apply spray paints for plastic in a wide array of colors.

To prove just how well this paint works, we tackled an old plastic table and chairs. When redoing the table, we wanted more than just color. We decided to create an oversize game table with a checkerboard top.

First, gather your materials. You’ll need painter’s tape, a utility knife, a yardstick, a marking pen, paper for masking, and two colors of paint. Then you can start by cleaning the table. For weathered plastic, wipe down the surface with an ammonia-based cleaner, and let it dry. (If the plastic is new, wipe it down with paint thinner for best results.)

Prep & Paint

Plastic Table Prep

Apply a light coat of paint to the tabletop (photo 1). For a smooth surface apply multiple thin coats, and let it dry 30 seconds between coats. After allowing the paint to dry overnight, apply painter’s tape to the entire area where you want the checkerboard (photo 2).

Keeping in mind that a checker-board is eight rows by eight rows, figure out the size of squares that work for your table. After that, cut a template from hardboard or heavy cardboard that’s the width of one row and use it to lay out the rest of the squares (photo 3).

Plastic Table Checker-board

With all 64 squares marked, cut through the masking tape on top of the lines (photo 4). Remove alternating pieces of tape to create the checker-board squares (photo 5). With all of the tape removed, apply tape around the perimeter to create a 1/4" wide border. Finally, mask off the remaining tabletop with paper and spray paint across the entire game surface (photo 6). When dry, peel up the remaining tape.

To complete the whimsical look, we alternated the colors of the table legs and chairs. We cut 1⁄2" thick slices of a tree branch to make the 24 checkers, staining half of them dark.

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