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Can You Spray Paint Rubber? [And How To Do This]

Figuring out the best way to finish surfaces throughout your home can sometimes be challenging. For example, do you have a rubber surface you need to cover but don't know if paint is okay? More specifically, is it okay to spray paint over rubber? Do you need a primer?

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Luckily, we've researched this topic extensively and have the answers below.

Most times, you should be able to spray paint rubber surfaces without an issue. Of course, that's assuming you correctly prime and clean your rubber before painting.

Some experts also recommend using a removable coating for rubber, so there are various ways to cover it. In addition, your rubber should have an exterior paint formula if it's outdoors, while indoor rubber will be fine with interior spray paint.

As we dive into this post, we will discover how and if you can spray paint rubber. If you're trying to cover a noticeable rubber surface, think it's time for a fresh paint coat, or have additional questions, we're here to assist. With that said, let's get right into this topic and figure things out!

Can You Spray Paint Rubber?

Anti slip rubber mat

Yes! As long as you prime your rubber surface and use the right paint, you should be able to spray paint it. Surprisingly enough, spray painting rubber can be better than painting with a brush or roller.

Especially for harder-to-reach spots, spray paint can offer an even coating for your rubber. According to experts, you can generally paint rubber with a brush or roller: although this could be tricky depending on the location.

On top of that, you might even want to apply your rubber primer with a spray gun too. Since you need to get a full coverage effect with primer, spraying it might be the easiest choice.

One reason people choose to spray paint is that it usually makes things a bit easier. Without a spray gun, you could have to recoat your rubber multiple times and still have an uneven result.

What Kind Of Spray Paint Will Stick To Rubber?

spry bottles, street art

If you have an exterior rubber surface you want to spray paint: always go with marine paint. One of the reasons this paint type works best for rubber is that it won't peel, chip, or fade.

Rubber surfaces can be tricky to manage as they age, hence why high-quality paint is crucial. The stronger and more resilient your paint product, the better it will age on rubber surfaces.

For interior rubber surfaces, you can also use marine paints. However, as it adheres well, you can also spray rubber with acrylic paint formulas.

That said, according to Repaint Now, you only want to use acrylic paint on rubber you won't touch often. If the rubber is in a high-traffic area of your home or outside, marine paint is the best choice.

The last thing you want to do is spray the wrong formula on your rubber, ultimately leading to you having to repaint it.

Samurai 2-Part Polyurethane Marine Spray Paint

This marine spray paint works for outdoor rubber, is UV-resistant, protects surfaces, dries hard, combines two chemical components in one aerosol, and should cover between 10-15 square feet.

Follow this link to view it on Amazon.

How Do You Spray Paint Rubber?

Rubber floor mats with color polyester.

Now that you know you can spray paint rubber: how should you do it? Luckily spraying your rubber shouldn't take much prep or time, making this a pretty easy process.

According to pros, you want to start by:

  1. Cleaning your rubber surface
  2. Choose a paint that will adhere to the rubber
  3. Apply a primer (essential for outdoor rubber)
  4. Spray your paint evenly onto the entire rubber surface
  5. Let your first coat dry and apply a second if needed
  6. Once the spray paint fully cures, apply a sealer

So, you can see that this entire process should be pretty quick. As we mentioned, the most important aspect of spray painting rubber is cleaning it beforehand.

One mistake people make when painting rubber surfaces is forgetting to wipe them down. If you spray over a dirty rubber surface, your paint product will dry unevenly.

Furthermore, if you spray paint dirty rubber, you could run into further issues with aging down the road. The cleaner and more even the rubber surface, the better your spray paint will adhere.

And, of course, make sure to use the correct paint formula for rubber, so it sticks.

How Long Does It Take For Paint To Dry On Rubber?

You can usually expect the paint to dry on rubber within a day. Since rubber is slightly different from wood or metal, the dry time for spray paint/paint can be tricky.

For example, if you use a can of spray paint on rubber, expect the dry time to be around 24 hours. You need to allow the formula to adhere and cure on the rubber before adding more paint or using the material.

On top of that, the place where you let your rubber dry will affect its timeline. Ideally, you want to let rubber sit out in the sunshine while it cures. Doing this will ensure the paint settles and dries faster.

If you leave rubber in the shade or if it rains, that's when dry times will take longer. Luckily, most marine paints waterproof themselves within an hour post-application.

The key is spraying your rubber surface evenly, allowing it to cure fully, and then applying a second coating if necessary. Again, your rubber may only need one spray!

How Many Coats Of Paint Should I Spray On Rubber?

Man using an aerosol spray

You shouldn't need to use more than two coats of spray paint on rubber. Remember, most marine or acrylic paints are full-coverage, meaning they won't need many coats to work.

Furthermore, as long as you prime rubber before spray painting, you shouldn't worry about streaking or poor coverage. Your primer essentially coats the rubber with an even surface for the paint to adhere to.

Experts claim that if you use removable spray paint on rubber, that's when only one coat is needed. Many people choose removable paint for rubber as it sticks pretty well, so that's another consideration.

Again, every rubber surface will respond differently to spray paint, so we recommend checking the coverage and doing another coat if needed.

If you have to apply a second coat, try and wait 24 hours before doing so. It's always best to let the first coating of spray paint dry before using a second or third.

What Happens If I Don't Prime Rubber Before Painting?

If you choose not to prime rubber before painting, expect a few things to happen. First, if you have rubber outside that you don't prime, the chances of your paint aging well decrease significantly.

In addition, if you don't prime the rubber before paint, you can expect it to go on unevenly. Splotchy paint (especially when spraying) is very common for un-primed rubber.

You have to remember that primer sets the stage for your paint. It essentially creates a protective, smooth layer over your rubber for the new paint to cure to.

Without it, you don't get complete coverage or as good of an end result. This also applies to indoor rubber, with many professionally suggesting an exterior primer anyways.

So, to ensure great coverage on your rubber surface: remember to use exterior primer! Rubber can be especially tricky to paint over, so the more prep you do, the better it will turn out.

Your rubber's paint job will also age better and last longer with primer, so it serves many roles.

How Often Do You Have To Repaint Rubber?

Tire stack background. Selective focus., Can You Spray Paint Rubber? [And How To Do This]

Although this can be tricky, paint should stay on rubber for around 5-10 years. In general, exterior rubber surfaces will age faster and worse than that inside.

That goes for just about every material, so expect a shorter lifespan for exterior rubber. On top of that, you want to recall how priming rubber before painting will extend its lifetime.

Therefore, we recommend applying a high-quality primer to rubber before spraying it to keep it looking fresh for longer. Moreover, you want to seal exterior and interior rubber to prolong its lifespan, so that's a good final step for your project.

Your climate can also cause rubber paint to peel or crack faster, especially in salty regions. Typically, beachside rubber surfaces will start to deteriorate faster than someone away from the water.

The same goes for people in the desert, as the extreme weather can also cause rubber paint to age faster than usual. Again, you can't control these things, so try and focus more on preventing them with primer and sealant.

Using these products will help long-term and save you time repainting every year or two.

Is It Worth It To Paint Over Rubber?

If you want to make rubber look better, painting is a good method. Generally, you want to spray exterior and interior rubber with a more muted color to help it blend in.

Since most rubber is black to start, painting can sometimes be the only choice. However, you don't need to paint rubber, so this is purely for aesthetics.

It's your home, so do what makes it look best and what makes you feel most comfortable!

To Finish Things Up

Whether you want to repaint rubber or have to do this for the first time, you've likely thought of spraying it versus using a brush or roller. We found that you can spray paint rubber surfaces if you clean and prime them beforehand.

You want to stick to marine paint for exterior rubber, while interior low-traffic rubber can handle acrylic. Regardless, try and prime and seal to ensure your paint ages gracefully and stays vibrant longer.

Made it to the end? Check out these helpful related home articles below:

How Long Does Rubber Cement Take To Dry?

Why Is My Paint Peeling Like Rubber?

Can You Spray Paint Over Powder Coat?