Acrylic paint on styrofoam


Acrylic paint can generally be used quite well for plastic surfaces. This also includes Styrofoam. However, as with other plastic workpieces, the special properties of the plastic foam must be taken into account. How to use acrylic paint on styrofoam is summarized below.

Expanded polystyrene is Styrofoam or Styrodur

First, for information: Styrofoam is actually foamed, expanded polystyrene or short EPS. The term Styrofoam is a brand name, which has become colloquially synonymous with EPS prevailed. Therefore, the following guide, of course, also applies when using EPS or expanded polystyrene in general.

Not every color is well suited for Styrofoam

Basically, you can paint or paint Styrofoam or Styrodur (another brand name) very well. However, you must make sure that the paints and varnishes used are solvent-free. Solvents such as ethyl acetate or acetone dissolve the propellants from the EPS, which literally dissolves.

Already when degreasing pay attention to suitable means

Already during degreasing, you must make sure that you only use products that do not attack the Styrofoam. That would be, for example, alcohol. Under no circumstances may you use conventional solvent-based grease cleaners.

Apply acrylic paint on styrofoam

Therefore, acrylic paint is also excellent. Acrylic paints are mixed with either water or organic dilutions that do not attack the EPS. However, Styrofoam can be very absorbent. Therefore, bear in mind that you may need to paint or polish your Styrofoam workpiece in several steps.

The composition of the selected acrylic paint

At the same time, this can be at the expense of the color intensity of the acrylic paint. To avoid this, you can also prime the styrofoam before coloring with acrylic paint. Similar to acrylic paint on wood or other materials, the primer makes the later acrylic paint more homogeneous.

Composition of acrylic paints and varnishes

Also keep in mind that there are also large differences in the quality of acrylic paints. For this it is important to know the function and the composition of acrylic paints and acrylic paints. For example, acrylic paints consist of the following components:

  • color pigments
  • Binders (acrylic or acrylic binder)
  • Dilution (water or organic dilution)
  • possibly additives for slow drying or other properties

Effect of acrylic paints

During drying, the dilution evaporates. As a result, the acrylic resin particles store up so close to each other that they formally stick together. The result is a waterproof film. The acrylic paint is no longer washable after drying.

Use suitable acrylic paints for Styrofoam

However, there are the acrylic binder depending on the color in different consistency. In this way thin or rather thick acrylic layers can be applied. This has nothing to do with a quality defect. Rather, the consistency of the acrylic paint depends on the later requirements.

Tips & Tricks

Acrylic paints are really versatile. So acrylic paint can be applied to the skin. Likewise, acrylic paint is suitable for glass and other materials.


Video Board: Painting on Styrofoam | Michaels