Summer is finally here, which means that it’s time to start using your outdoor furniture! Many home owners attempt to paint their outdoor plastic furniture, however we all know that plastic is not the easiest surface to paint. Recently, we heard a rumor while strolling around ReStore that if you spray Windex on the plastic before applying the paint, the paint will adhere better to the surface. This method is used for painting with all-purpose paint/spray paint, if you do not have plastic-specific paint on hand.
Cleaning the surface well is the key to paint any adhesion, but it is said that the Windex does more than just clean the plastic well and get rid of all oils, waxes, dirt, etc. The ammonium in the Windex is believed to enhance the paints ability to stick to the surface of the plastic, and consequently will withstand to wear and tear.
To determine if this is a myth or a fact, we decided to perform a “Mythbuster” challenge.
- First, I wiped down the entire chair with a wet towel to clean the surface. Next, I sprayed the left half of the white plastic chair with Windex and waited for it to dry so that no water would get trapped underneath the paint. Where the right side of the chair was not sprayed with Windex.
- Then, I spray painted the entire chair with chocolate brown spray paint and waited about 5 days for the paint to cure (not dry.)
- Lastly, I performed the Mythbuster challenge by scraping both the right and left side of the painted plastic chair with a sharp edge.
To my dismay, the paint on both sides of the chair peeled off, thus disproving the myth. The paint did not adhere to the left side of the chair (sprayed by Windex) any better than the right side. Therefore, as Adam Savage from Mythbusters would say, “I reject your reality and substitute my own!!” Moral of the story is that plastic is extremely hard to paint, and you are just going to have to accept that you will probably have to repaint the surface again next summer, or try to use plastic-specific paint whenever possible.