How to Paint a Plastic Bottle

    by Drea Christopher

    About the Author

    Drea Christopher is a freelance writer with a bachelor's degree in English. She has more than 10 years of experience producing features and SEO articles for national consumer publications, trade magazines and industry leading Web content providers. She has a particular interest in craft, entertaining, education, home and garden and health-related topics.


    Recycle plastic water and soda bottles into functional creations using acrylic paint and sealer. Coordinate the colorful containers to match the colors in your space and repurpose them as paperweights, door stops or receptacles for small objects. Use the proper type of paint, sealer and technique to coat the bottles and ensure the painted designs won’t flake or peel.

    Things You'll Need

    • Scissors
    • Adhesive remover
    • Dishwashing soap
    • Newspaper
    • Acrylic paint, various colors
    • Paper plates
    • Medium-sized paint brush
    • 3 to 4 small paintbrushes
    • Decoupage glaze or acrylic paint sealer

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    Prepare the bottle for painting by using scissors to remove the label. Apply adhesive remover to remove glue residue if needed. Wash the plastic bottle in warm water using dishwashing soap. Let the bottle dry overnight.

    Protect your table from paint spills by covering the work surface with old newspaper.

    Pour the acrylic paint colors onto paper plates to make them easy to access. Provide a paintbrush for each shade so you won’t have to repeatedly wash and dry a single brush throughout the painting process.

    Use a medium-sized paintbrush to apply two to three coats of acrylic paint to the entire bottle, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly between applications.

    Use various colors to add details such as stripes, polka dots, flowers or geometric shapes to the bottle with a small paintbrush. Allow the designs in one color to dry for at least 20 minutes before overlapping them with designs in another shade so the colors don’t bleed. Allow the finished bottle to dry overnight.

    Seal the designs by painting the bottle with a layer of clear decoupage glaze or an acrylic paint sealer. Let the bottle dry overnight before using it.

    • Pour marbles, small rocks or glass pebbles into the bottle to turn it into a paperweight or door stop.
    • Discard the cap of the plastic bottle if younger children are helping you paint the craft projects. If a child is still in the habit of putting small objects into his or her mouth, the small plastic shape can pose a choking hazard.