How to Paint on Vinyl Records

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Things You'll Need

  • Cotton rags

  • Hot water

  • Dish soap

  • Primer made for plastics

  • Spray paint made for plastics


If you find that the primer is not sticking, you may need to lightly sand the records with a 400-grit sandpaper to create a better surface for paint to stick to. This is not always necessary.

Remember that multiple thinner coats of paint are better than a single thick, heavy coat.


Apply all paints and primers outdoors or in a space with a lot of ventilation.

Add some color to your records with paint.

Vinyl can initially seem hard to paint, but that is often because we treat vinyl like a wall. Acrylic paint cannot stick to plastics like vinyl unless they are appropriately primed with a primer that is made to adhere to plastics, which are widely available at national home improvement stores and even online. After the application of this material, painting a vinyl record is as easy as painting anything else in your home. Just put on a smock and get ready to paint.

Step 1

Remove all dust and dirt from the records with a rag soaked in soapy hot water. Let the records dry or wipe them down with a separate clean rag.

Step 2

Prime the records with a spray primer for plastics. Apply a single, thin coat, following the direction listed on your chosen product. Let the records dry for at least an hour, and apply a second coat.

Step 3

Apply a spray paint made for plastics. Apply in long, even strokes across the surface of the records. Let it dry for about an hour and apply a second coat if necessary.


Darren White

Darren White is a third-year student studying photography and art history at Haverford College. Raised in the Philadelphia area, he has followed its art scene for some time, which has influenced his column, The Fashion File, that he writes for the "Bi-Co News." He also writes, edits and photographs for Haverford's fashion magazine, "Feathers & Fur."