Can plastic be painted?

I am planning to get a plastic Kayak used and a little bit scratched up, plus it is red and I dislike red. Has anyone ever successfully painted a plastic kayak? If so then what paint and prep was done?

It would be a fun weekend project, putting on a custom paint job.


This guy did it.
With 50-60 hours of work:

That’s crazy
That dude must have killed a lot of brain cells with all that spray painting.

I’ve had pretty good luck using Plasti Dip on a composite surf kayak, but I bet it would work well on plastic as well. Best thing about the Plasti Dip is you can peel it off and start over again.

Good Lord !!!
It’s your first boat…boats get scratched…you are pole-vaulting over mouse turds. Get a boat and go paddle already…

not worth it
Painting never looks good unless you put a ridiculous amount of work into it, particularly something as scratched up as the relatively soft polyethylene of a kayak. Surface paints like the sprays formulated for plastic toys and yard furniture will not hold up to the flexing and exposure that a kayak is subjected to. In no time it would be a peeling, scratched mess.

Meanwhile, red is one of the best colors for kayaks since it is highly visible on the water and does not attract insects as much as other bright colors like yellow, lime green and orange. Besides, you as the paddler can’t see most of the boat when it is in the water. My second kayak was a ghastly “tie dye” mix of swirled bright blue, purple and white – I just named it “jimi” (after Hendrix) and went ahead and had fun with it.

Get over the color and just go paddling. If the color really bugs you, cover it with stickers.

Yes, plastic can be painted
jack L

yeah, kinda
You can paint it but every where it gets scratched it will show. The paint will tend to scrape off easily. If the original color was tan or something earthy, it probably wouldn’t matter but red will show and look pretty bad. Besides, red is visible. That’s a good thing.

You don’t like red? Are you crazy?

Paint is cheap, have fun. Change colors annually. Again, have fun.

Might be interesting to hand-paint it to look like a gator in the water.

here you go
This company makes “kayak wraps”, adhesive sheets with designs on them to cover your boat. Go Full Monty camo or make it look like a rainbow trout or as if it was constructed of steel plate or wood strips.

Not yet
I don’t plan on painting just yet and don’t care that it is red, even though red isn’t my first choice. I just thought after paddling season is over it would be fun to do a custom paint job over the off season. Right now I just want to be in the boat on the water, lol.

Thanks for the links.