How to use Vinyl Dye on Plastic

How to use Vinyl Dye on Plastic?

  1. Clean with a cleaner that destroys grease
  2. Spray very fine 'dust' layers of Vinyl Dye on the plastic
  3. Let each layer dry, approximately 15 minutes
  4. Repeat 3 or 4 times.
  5. Optionally choose a finish topper such as Matt or Gloss. 
  6. Read on to discover our Money Back Guarantee

Simply spray a very fine dusting of the colour onto the item after masking off areas you don’t want re-colouring. The dusting should be so fine that your first coat only produces speckles, continue building up the speckles to completely cover the area with colour, this usually takes 3-5 separate sprays with around 15 minutes drying time between sprays.

Always spot test an inconspicuous area of each material first, allow that to dry completely to a final finish. This checks you're happy with the results, and lets your practice before completing the full project. 

Step 1: Remove Shiny Layer on 'new' Plastics

For plastic items, you may need to gently sand the surface, let me explain. Many plastics have a 'sheen' or 'layer' on the top. Many new TV's have this and call it 'piano black' for example. New garden furniture has it, even your wheely bin has it! It is is actually part of the moulding process and helps the item to be removed from its mould, this needs removing as the dye can not penetrate it. 


Many car plastics have this also, even on the 'textured' plastics, e.g. as those found in a Mazda MX 5. 


You can use simple 'wet and dry' to remove this sheen, or the finest sandpaper you can buy, you're not really 'sanding' the item, just give it a wipe to allow the dye onto the actual plastic, rather than the releasing agent layer.


Many older plastics, say garden furniture, usually weathered items, have this layer removed by the elements over the years, so you won't need this step. 

Do a spot test, if the dye after it's been applied just 'peels off', then the plastic needed sanding gently first, otherwise you're OK to proceed.

Step 2: Clean

The item(s) must be very clean to allow the dye to bond at the molecular level.


I recommend two quick cleans rather than working too hard with just one product; use a standard kitchen de-greaser such as Cilit Bang or Flash Kitchen; then use our TRG Universal Cleaner to remove the residues left behind by those.  TRG Universal Cleaner  will remove the other cleaner and not leave any residue and is very strong, while gentle enough to be used on anything, including real leather.

I recommend two quick cleans rather than working too hard with just one product.

You may use acetone (Acrylic Nail Polish Remover), available from Superdrug or similar if the item is very soiled; be careful that the acetone doesn't damage your item though, so spot test this.


Do not use white spirit it will leave a residue and prevent the dye from bonding with the item. Do not use decorators soap crystals.

Step 3: Spraying. The fun part.

Shake the can. Then Shake the can some more. If your arm isn't aching, you've not shaken it enough. Well maybe. Shake the can for at least 4 minutes solid the first time you use it.

Continue mixing the paint in the can between sprays occasionally by swirling the bottom of the can, keeping the top as stationary as possible. Yes really, it is that important you shake the can to really mix up all the chemicals. So even between layers (see image below) you must swirl the can. Why swirl and not shake? If you get some of the dye on the ridge of the can, you don't want it flying off onto your item and leaving it with drips. 

Shake the can MORE than you think is necessary at first before spraying.
OK, I think you know to shake the can now, moving on...

Spray only VERY FINE 'dust' layers, to build up a single coat. This allows the dye maximum opportunity to penetrate the material, rather than sitting on top of itself.

Apply around 3-5 layers of spray. That is, the first spray is only like putting spots on a Leopard, allow to fully dry, this could take up to 20 mins but if outside usually 15. Then  the 2nd spray is adding more spots, but you can still see the original material colour, until you get to the 4th or 5th layer, where you won't be able to see the original material or colour at all.

Take a look at the diagram below, hopefully you can see how we build up a single colour, from the item being white to blue over at least 40 minutes.

Spraying guide for vinyl spray dyes




It can Get HOT HOT HOT outside. Do not spray in extreme temperatures. That is you should ideally be applying your spray at room temperature or there about (15 - 24 degree Celsius). It has been known for high temperatures to affect the dyes, do not use at over 26 degrees Celsius, if you do, as always, spot test.

Ideally you would never spray in direct bright sunlight; put the item in the shade to get the job done, or wait until evening.

Don't forget, a simple spot test could save you hours.

Ensure you are completely happy with the finish prior to undergoing a complete job or project.
less than a half of one percent of our customers report back the dye didn't work, but it could be you, so please do spot test.
It is extremely rare that the dyes don't work, less than a half of one percent of our customers report back the dye didn't work for them, to which we're happy to refund for one can, and will accept the other's back no problem if they ordered more than one. But if they miss this tip, and just head off into 'full project mode', it can cause some real heartache, yes it's unlikely it will go wrong, but when it does, it's sad times all round. Doing a spot test save you money and many hours removing the colour (since it didn't work there is always a way to remove it), so please. just spot test.

Step 4: Choosing The Finish

Choose the finish you'd like to keep. From High Gloss to a deep Matt.

Vinyl Dyes dry to a satin finish without any extra toppers or finishers
Usually the Vinyl Dyes dry to a satin finish, sometimes closer to Matt, sometimes closer to Gloss. This does depend on the item and the colour chosen and how you perceive it.

Finishing is simple, just a single layer of spray is usually enough, use two or more if you know it's under high wear.

We have tested both of our recommended finishers. 

You can spray our Vinyl Dye sprays over the Gloss and the Matt sprays again. So if you change your mind about colour, that's still an option even when a finishing spray has been used.

Want a Matt Finish? Use our Matt Clear Varnish 'Topper', we've tested it and it's fantastic, but like always, please spot test.

Want a Gloss Finish? Use our High Gloss Varnish 'Topper', we've tested it and it's fantastic, but like always, please spot test.

Wanted Satin? Most items dry to a satin naturally, so no need for a topper.

Money Back Guarantee... Yes really. 

Before completing a project, you should patch test a small area, and wait at least 24 hours until you are completely happy with the finish.If you're not happy with the finish/colour or whatever for any reason after the patch test, it's unlikely that completing the whole project is going to change your opinion.
Our money back guarantee refunds you for one can no problem
Our money back guarantee counts for 1 of each type of product, e.g. 1 vinyl dye can. So make the most of it and get the project done just how you want with no risk to you. 

So if you spot test right, you'll have 100% confidence in ordering from us, we know 1000's of customers who just LOVE how their project turns out, please join them risk free.

View all the colours now

Click here to view all the Vinyl Dye Spray colours right now.

Get a Colour Match Now

View our how to get the colour you want info graphic and just click the option you want.