Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Silicone? How To Do It?

What is silicone? It is a polymer composed of repeated units of siloxane and available in resin, oil, and rubber forms. It has several uses ranging from construction materials to electrical batteries. 

When it comes to decoration and painting, can you use acrylic paint on silicone material? We’ll go deep into the answer.  Moreover, Silicone painting on different surfaces like phone cases, molds, rubber, and more will be described. In addition, I’ll present a detailed procedure on how to paint any silicone surface with acrylics. So please read the post below. 

Well, I like silicone for its usage in acrylic pour painting to create cells. It is an exciting technique that will be covered in the post, along with valuable tips to create the cells (holes-like appearance on the painting) of your choice. 

I’ve to say that combining the art ideas of Robert Motherwell (a famous abstract artist) with the pour painting technique has helped me a lot to discover new painting skills. 

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Silicone?
Yes, you can use acrylic paint on silicone, but there are some factors you need to care about to make the paint stick to the surface. These factors include sanding, priming, drying, sealing, and the proper painting technique. 

Why Is Acrylic Paint Good For Silicone?

Although you can use a variety of other paint types like oil-based, latex, enamel, and watercolors on silicone, using acrylic paint is ideal for many reasons:

  • It is water-based and dries quickly on silicone.
  • Acrylic has vibrant pigments and good coverage.
  • It is non-toxic and safe to use.
  • The paint doesn’t contain harmful agents that can damage the silicone.
  • Acrylic is long-lasting and sticks better.
  • It can be sealed and varnished to produce a protected and glossy finish. 

How To Paint Silicon Surface With Acrylic Paint?

Some painters believe that acrylic paint doesn’t stick well to silicone, but I disagree. If you employ the correct way to paint the surface and follow the instructions given below, you’ll get long-lasting painting on your silicone material. 

Supplies Needed

  • Silicone material 
  • Acrylic paints
  • Fine grit sandpaper 
  • Paint Brush
  • Bowl
  • Mask
  • Goggles
  • Gloves

Step By Step Procedure To Paint Silicone Material

Step 1: Wear a Mask, Goggles, and gloves

Personal protection is necessary, so wear a mask to protect yourself from dust and vapors. Gloves are optional if you want to protect your hands from stains. Goggles are essential while sanding the surface.

Step 2: Sand The Silicone Surface

The next step is sanding the silicone material surface with fine-grit sandpaper. It will create a micro-rough texture which is ideal for acrylic paint sticking. Moreover, if the surface is irregular and uneven, sanding can make it smooth. 

Step 3: Clean the Silicone Surface 

Once you’re done with sanding, clean the silicone surface to eliminate the dust particles. Use a vacuum or air cleaner. Moreover, you can wash the surface with soap and warm water to get a clear base for painting. 

Step 4: Prime Silicone Surface

Now you need to prime the silicone surface. Primer provides a base coating that is crucial for better adherence and protection against harsh environmental conditions. I usually use Gesso Primer for plastic, rubber, and silicone materials because they are highly compatible. 

Step 5: Paint The Surface

Once the primer is dried thoroughly, the surface is ready for acrylic paint. Pour the paint into a bowl, dip your brush into it, and begin applying it over the silicone surface. Use even, horizontal, and then vertical strokes. Cover the surface well. You can draw designs as well using appropriate paintbrushes. 

Step 6: Let The Paint Dry

Once you’re done with painting or designing, leave the surface for drying. But how long will it take for acrylic paint to dry on silicone surfaces? It will take up to 3 hours for the paint to dry to touch on the silicone and 24-72 hours for curing, depending on the brand and conditions provided. 

Step 7: Seal The Paint

How do you make acrylic paint stay on silicone longer? Well, seal the surface with a sealant to make the paint stay for years on the surface. Moreover, it helps the colour resist water, heat, scraping, and fading on the silicone surface. I recommend Krylon spray sealer for this purpose. It is easy to use and very effective on plastic and rubber materials like silicone. 

Acrylic Pour Painting Technique

It is a way of painting with liquid acrylic paint. Different colours are poured onto each other in a single glass, funnel, or open cup and then spilled the mixture over the canvas to create different effects. 

When the pouring technique is combined with silicone oil, holes are produced in the painting. The appearance of these holes looks like the cells of living organisms, which is why they are called “Cells.” 

Get Cells On Acrylic Pour Using Silicone

As mentioned above, silicone oil produces cells when mixed with acrylic paint and poured over the canvas. But how are these cells formed? Silicone oil is lighter in density compared to acrylic paint. When the oil is mixed in the paint, it tries to come to the top of the paint due to its lighter weight.

It is similar to oil floating on top of the water. So when the silicone oil travels from the base of the paint to the top, it displaces the paint molecules resulting in creating empty spaces or cells. 

Get Cells On Acrylic Pour Using Silicone
Get Cells On Acrylic Pour Using Silicone

So how to perform the procedure and get cells? Let’s go into the details. 

Supplies Needed 

  • Acrylic paints 
  • Paint thinner
  • Disposable cups
  • Canvas
  • Sealer
  • Heat Source (Heat Gun)
  • Gloves
  • Primer
  • Silicone Oil


Step 1: Arrange Setup

Arrange all the tools and chemicals required. Take 4 cups, depending on the number of colours you want to mix. Take a separate larger cup where you’ll pour all colors onto each other. Wear gloves to protect your hands from stains. 

Step 2: Pre Paint And Prime Canvas

Clean the surface of your canvas and apply a good-quality primer like Gesso. Now paint the surface to create a background. If you want a simple white background, primer is enough. However, for a coloured background, pre-painting a canvas is necessary.

I usually love medium-light backgrounds; in this case, I paint the canvas with rust, grey, and light blue acrylic paints and let it dry well. 

Step 3: Take Colours In Separate Cups

Now take the cups and add acrylic paint into each cup. You can select any colour depending on your skills, style, and demand. I usually use four colours which include dark and light ones.  Arteza Acrylic Paint set never disappoints me in selecting the colours of my choice. 

As the paint is quite thick and not eligible for pouring, you must thin it to make it fluid. For this purpose, add simple water or acrylic paint thinner. It dilutes the paint but maintains its consistency. Add the medium and stir well. Keep adding drop by drop until you get the density you want. 

However, the viscosity or thickness of the fluid paint can affect the sizing and number of cells formed ( Read the tips below for getting cells of your choice). 

Step 4: Add Silicone Oil

The next step is adding Silicone Oil to each cup containing acrylic paint. But how to mix silicone in the acrylic pouring mix? I recommend adding 1 drop of silicone oil per 2 ounces of the paint. It is enough amount to get several cells. 

Add the oil to each paint cup and mix well with the stirrer or stick. I suggest Artist’s Loft Level 1 Silicone Oil. It works well and is specially designed for water-based colors. 

Step 5: Pour All Colours Into a Single Cup

Now pour the fluid paints into a single cup. The cup should be large enough to hold all the colors. If you’re not willing to use the cups, you can pour these colours into a funnel or open cup. 

However, in this case, put the open cup or hold the funnel over the canvas and pour the paints from the top one by one. You have to move the funnel over the canvas and pour paints from the top simultaneously. 

Step 6: Pour The Mixture Onto the Canvas

Put the canvas in a horizontal position and pour the mix over it. Here in this step, your skills and style of painting matter more. Because the way you move your hand over the canvas during pouring decides what type of expression will be formed.

However, it is not a big deal, even if you pour the mix randomly. You’ll get a good pattern. So if any beginner is reading the post, please don’t worry; go for it. 

Step 7: Tilt The Canvas

Now begin tilting the canvas from different angles to spread the paint over the surface. Tilting also requires skills if you want a specific design according to your choice. However, random tilting will too not disappoint you. So again, don’t worry if you’re a beginner; go for it and try once. 

Spread the paint thoroughly. Some paint may fall out of the canvas, so ensure good preparation beneath the painting area to protect the floor from spills and stains. You can put a newspaper or rough cloth beneath the canvas.  

Step 8: Heat The Surface

Once you’re done covering the canvas with the paint, the next step is applying a heat source like a heat gun or torch for a few seconds. Why do we need to use this heat? 

Because tension (hindering force) creates between the paint molecules on the top, which impedes the silicone oil from reaching the surface, to eliminate this tension heat is necessary. So we apply the heat gun and help the silicone oil come to the top and create cells. 

Please note that applying too much heat can spoil your artwork. Move the heat source over the surface, and be careful not to exceed a few seconds. You’ll see cell formation, which expands gradually. 

Step 9: Let it Dry

Now let the painting get dry. It may take a few hours, depending on the quality, brand, and provided conditions. Put the canvas near a ventilated location to dry it quickly. You may choose to bake the paint, too, to save you time. 

Step 10: Seal The Paint

Seal the paint for a glossy look and smooth finish. Sealing is optional, but doing so protects the paint against harsh external conditions and provides long-lasting. I recommend Krylon spray sealant. It is used commonly and works well on water-based colours. 

Congrats, you’re done!

Tips To Get Cells On Acrylic Pour

Getting the required size and number of cells on the acrylic pour is tricky. The following tips will help you get them according to your choice. 

  • Thicker acrylic fluid paint creates bigger-sized cells.
  • Thinner paint gives you small-sized cells.
  • Mixing silicone oil thoroughly creates a higher number of cells.
  • Heating the poured mix too much makes the cells miss shaped. 
  • Applying no heat reduces the number of cells. 

Acrylic Paint On Silicone Phone Case

Decorating and drawing designs on phone cases is fun and demanding. But can you use acrylic paint on a Silicone phone case? Of course, you can do that. It is pretty simple, easy, and fun. The paint can stick to the surface by following the steps below. 

Sand the phone case with ultrafine grit sandpaper, followed by priming. Apply the paint using a small and delicate-haired brush. Let it dry well before going for sealing the paint over the phone case. 

Acrylic Paint On Silicone Molds

Silicone Moulds are structures having empty cavities of specific shapes. They can be used for shaping or molding when liquid material is poured into the cavities and hardened. 

Can you use acrylic paint on Silicone moulds? Yes, they can be painted with acrylics, but it’s not a good idea as it may contaminate the cavities, which results in spoiling the materials you pour into these cavities for molding. 

However, pouring acrylic fluid directly into the cavities of the moulds will produce hardened acrylic shapes. You can combine the paint with liquid silicone rubber for colored structures.

Acrylic Paint On Silicone Rubber

Silicone rubber is used to produce a variety of materials ranging from key covers to phone cases. These rubber products are flexible and adaptable.

Can you use acrylic paint on Silicone rubber? Yes, you can paint silicone rubber with acrylics, but the dye will crack and peel soon due to the flexible nature of the rubber material.

You can also read: Can you use acrylic paint on shrinky dinks?


Does acrylic paint wash off silicone?

Acrylic paint adheres firmly to the silicone if primed and sealed and is difficult to wash off. But using warm water along with soap may remove the paint. 

Does acrylic paint stick to silicone?

Yes, acrylic paint sticks to silicone. But you have to sand the surface and use a good-quality primer for promising results. Moreover, baking the paint for drying or applying a sealant is a plus point.

Can you use silicone as a base for acrylic colors?

Yes, you can use silicone as a base to paint it with acrylic colours. The dye will adhere to the surface as long as you’re on the right way, like using a base coat before painting and a top coat after applying the paint. 

Can you acrylic paint over silicone caulk?

You can apply acrylic paint over silicone caulk, but it will flake and doesn’t stay on the surface as the caulk has a resistant or sealant nature, repelling stains and other spills. 

Can I Use Acrylic Paint on Silicone Kitchenware or Utensils?

While acrylic paint is generally safe for surfaces that do not come into direct contact with food, it’s essential to ensure that the paint is fully cured and sealed before using painted silicone kitchenware or utensils.


So can you use acrylic paint on silicone? I think we have talked enough about the topic, and I hope you got a satisfactory answer. Silicone is a slick surface to paint on, but the right strategies and skills promise fruitful results. 

Thank you for reading!

Jose Scott

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