How to Paint Styrofoam Balls

    by Kathryn Hatter

    About the Author

    Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.


    Although Styrofoam lends itself to many craft projects, it can sometimes be difficult to work with this porous material. Whether you are painting, cutting or gluing Styrofoam, handle the Styrofoam carefully so you do not damage its surface. When your project requires painting Styrofoam balls, select the right kind of paint and apply it properly to ensure it adheres to the Styrofoam surface so you don't have to worry about the paint flaking off before you've had a chance to show off your new creation.

    Things You'll Need

    • Newspaper
    • Toothpicks
    • Acrylic paint
    • Palette
    • Stiff stenciling brush
    • Sponge (optional)

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    Spread the newspaper over a flat work area to protect its surface.

    Insert one toothpick approximately 1-inch into the Styrofoam ball and a second toothpick on the opposite side of the ball. You will use these toothpicks to hold the Styrofoam ball while you paint it.

    Squeeze a small amount of acrylic paint onto the palette.

    Dip the stenciling brush into the paint so the top 1/4-inch of the brush is covered in paint.

    Hold the Styrofoam ball by one of the toothpicks and apply the paint to the Styrofoam ball with the stenciling brush. You can pounce the brush lightly against the Styrofoam surface or rub the bristles of the brush back and forth to coat the Styrofoam. Add more paint to the stenciling brush as necessary and continue working until you coat the Styrofoam ball completely.

    Allow the paint on the Styrofoam ball to dry completely. Prop the ball up on several toothpicks to enable it to dry without contacting any surfaces.

    • Instead of a paintbrush, you can dip a small sponge in the acrylic paint and pat it onto the Styrofoam.


    • Mixed-Media Master Class with Sherrill Kahn: 50+ Surface-Design Techniques for Fabric & Paper; Sherrill Kahn