For personalizing your phone, acrylic paint is one of the best ways to add a unique touch. Whether adding a simple design or painting some intricate artwork, acrylic paint can make a phone case your own.
However, once you’ve finished painting your masterpiece, you’ll need to seal the paint to ensure it doesn’t chip or fade away. Sealing acrylic paint on a phone case is a relatively simple process, but it should be done carefully to provide the best results. To begin, ensure that the acrylic paint is completely dry. This can take anywhere from a few hours to overnight, depending on the thickness of the paint.
Once the paint has dried, lightly sand the phone case with fine-grade sandpaper. This will help the sealer adhere better to the surface. Next, apply a thin layer of sealer to the phone case. Several sealers are available, including acrylic sealer, polyurethane sealer, and clear coat sealer. Each one will give your phone case a unique finish. Once you’ve applied the sealer, allow it to dry completely before continuing.
Finally, you’ll need to place a protective film or sheet over the phone case to protect the sealer and paint. This will help to ensure the paint won’t come off or fade over time. In our guide, you can learn more about how to seal acrylic paint on plastic. By the end, you’ll better understand how to make an acrylic paint sealer for plastic and how to paint different phone cases made from other materials. (Learn How Long Does Primer Last)
Does Acrylic Paint Stick To Silicone Phone Case?
Acrylic paint is the most accessible paint on the market right now, which leads many people to wonder if they can use it on a simple project like painting a clear phone case. You can use acrylic paint on a phone case if you prep the case first and seal the paint with a water-resistant sealer to prevent smearing.
Because water-based acrylic paint is so adaptable, you can paint a phone case with minimal effort like you would decorate any surface, which is excellent because phone cases can be created from various materials, including wood, plastic, silicone, and leather.
How to Prep Phone Case for Acrylic Painting
1. Prep the Phone Case.
Preparing your phone case before you begin the painting process is vital. The acrylic paint will attach better if the phone cover is ready, preventing peeling and chipping.
What you need:
- phone case
- warm water
- fine grit Sandpaper
- rubbing alcohol
- A good primer
- Clean the Case Surface
- Use a cloth and warm, soapy water to clean the surface of your clear plastic phone case.
- Depending on the material, wiping the case with rubbing alcohol (or isopropyl alcohol) can help.
2. Sand the case surface
Let the case dry.
Lightly roughen the surface of any plastic phone cases to be painted with 140 to 180 grit sandpaper.
For varnished cases, like leather and wood, this is required.
For silicone, rubbing alcohol may be enough.
Silicone is a non-porous material, so properly sanding and using denatured alcohol makes it suitable for an acrylic paint phone case.
3. Add primer
It’s time to apply a primer. Because there are several types of primer, you must be careful and pick the acrylic primer appropriate for acrylic paint on phone case.
For instance, if your phone case is silicone, purchase an oil-based acrylic primer; if it’s plastic, use a plastic acrylic primer. Leather requires a leather deglazer and not a primer. (Read Enamel Paint Over Acrylic)
4. Paint the phone case
Painting your case means you can cover it with abstract designs, floral patterns, or more. Acrylic paint is the most accessible to paint on phone.
Here are all the materials you need:
- acrylic paints
- phone case
- Tape for painting
- Soft brush
- Paper Towels
- Coat the phone case with primer.
- Draw the desired design.
- Mix your acrylic paint with water until it has a thin consistency. This helps stop acrylic paint from peeling or chipping.
- Before you start painting, let the primer dry completely for around 20 to 25 minutes—mask areas using painter’s tape for protection or the design.
- Apply light, even coats of acrylic paint, on phone case.
- Apply a second coat after letting the first coat dry for a few hours.
- If you’re painting, a leather phone case may absorb most of the first coat of paint. Leather phone cases need more coats than others.
- Allow the acrylic paint on the phone case to dry after you finish painting. This may take up to 24 hours.
5. Seal your painted phone case.
Acrylic paints can make attractive designs, yet you need to seal them, as putting phones in your pocket or bag will remove acrylic paints over time.
Using a topcoat, there are a few ways how to seal acrylic paint on phone case. Just choose a water-resistant sealant.
What you need:
- Acrylic sealant (or polyurethane in an aerosol can)
Paper towels and a paintbrush (or rags)
- Apply the first coat after thoroughly drying your acrylic artwork using a large soft brush. Apply sealant in one direction for each coat.
- Sealing acrylic paint on plastic is also possible using a polyurethane aerosol for the topcoat. a couple of coats help the paint adhere and stop chipping.
- In the opposite direction from the previous coat, apply the second layer.
- Before using your phone case, wait until the second coat is dry completely after coating.
How To Prep and Paint Silicone Phone Cases
The most challenging surface is silicone, as they are made not to have anything stick to them. Since acrylic paint is water-based, it easily chips and flakes. (Read Weight Of A Gallon Of Paint)
- Use denatured or isopropyl alcohol to roughen the surface before you use acrylic paint.
- To ensure a strong adhesion, apply an oil-based primer.
- The key to painting silicone surfaces is to roughen them with denatured alcohol.
- Wipe the outside of the phone case after drizzling some denatured alcohol over a cloth or cotton ball.
- Next, sand carefully with fine-grit sandpaper.
- To clean the silicone phone case, you can wash it in soap and warm water.
- Any traces of the denatured alcohol and loose silicone particles from sanding will be eliminated by washing.
- Before continuing, wipe the case off with a damp cloth and then dry it with paper towels.
- Let it dry completely, and then apply an oil-based primer.
- One coat should suffice, so that you can use acrylic paint. However, you can apply two coats if they are thin, and you sand them for a smooth surface to paint on your phone cover.
How to Paint Plastic Phone Case With Acrylic Paint
Plastic is a non-porous material; acrylic paint simply flakes off the surface after application.
- Use some warm water and ordinary soap to clean the plastic case.
- Before moving forward, let the case dry.
- To give the paint something to hold onto, roughen the plastic’s smooth surface with fine grit paper.
- After sanding, wipe the case with a damp towel.
- Ensure loose particles are removed because they will make the paint dry with an orange-peel look.
- Prime the phone cover.
- Use a brush or sprayable acrylic paint to paint your plastic phone case.
- You can use painter’s tape to cover small areas you don’t want to paint or make straight-lined drawings on the case.
- Let each paint coat dry for one hour or the time specified on the product label.
- You’ll need a topcoat suited to the material to seal acrylic paint.
How to Paint a Wooden Phone Case with Acrylic Paint
The key to painting any wooden object is to prepare the surface. To give the surface some bite, lightly sand with 180 and 220-grit sandpaper.
Before continuing, wipe your wooden cases with a damp towel to remove sanding dust.
Apply Primer. Note most of your paint will be absorbed by the porous wood, so a primer is essential.
Let your wooden phone cases dry thoroughly.
Apply thin acrylic paint layers all over the phone case using a flat brush in the direction of the grain. Let the previous coats dry for about an hour.
Before putting the phone case on your device, let it dry for 4 hours after the topcoat of the sealer.
How to Paint a Leather Phone Case With Acrylic Paint
Leather phone cases have a slick sheen that stops acrylic paint from sticking.
As a result, always prepare the cases before you start painting by washing and deglazing using rubbing alcohol.
- Mix one tablespoon of dish soap and three cups of warm water.
- Wipe the leather with the solution to get rid of the grease.
- Next, wipe the phone case using a clean towel damp with clean water to remove soapy residue.
- There are two ways to apply acrylic paint to leather. You can either create a “primer” and use it before applying the acrylic paint on the leather or paint straight on it.
- If you paint directly, you will need multiple coats.
- Apply a thin, even layer of paint over the phone case.
- Before applying more layers, let the coat dry for two hours.
- Before applying the second coat, flex the phone case a few times after the two coats.
- Flexing prevents the paint from cracking later; therefore, ensure that you do it before each coat for the best results.
- Dry the phone case for 24 hours after the final coat. Avoid touching or moving the phone case to prevent smudging the paint during this time.
- Add a sealer suitable for leather.
How To Seal Your Phone Case With Different Materials
Mod Podge is a popular sealant with a slightly opaque color. Use a Mod Podge with a strong coat, especially for plastic on your phone case.
Mod Podge can be used as a foundation coat and sealer to keep your paint job on the surface.
Acrylic alone is prone to peeling away from non-porous surfaces like plastic, so it is recommended to use a base coat.
- Add two Mod Podge layers to your plastic phone case for your base coat.
- Apply acrylic paint after that.
- Once you’ve painted over the mod podge layers, you still need to seal it. Dip a sponge into the white liquid and spread it evenly around your phone case to seal it with a mod podge.
- To reduce the roughness of your acrylic brush strokes, apply at least four to five coats.
- You can use your phone case without worrying about the acrylic paint flaking once the last coat is dry.
How To Remove Acrylic Paint?
If you make mistakes or need to remove old paint before painting again, you can do this quickly using nail polish remover. (Read Door Sticking After Painting)
Apply the nail polish remover to paper towels or a cotton ball, and carefully wipe the paint you don’t want.