How to paint Rubber surface

Applying paint to surfaces to upgrade their appearance is one of the most common DIY activities. One of the more common DIY projects these days involves upcycling old rubber tires.

Reusing old tires that have been discarded in landfills or on the side of the road is very good for the environment.

painting rubber surface

If you search the Internet you will find many different DIY projects that involve upcycling old tires that you may have laying in the garage or that you may find on the side of the road.

For this article, we are going to be discussing how to go about painting rubber surfaces such as old rubber tires.

This can be used in conjunction with the DIY projects that call for painting the tires.

Before we can talk about how to paint rubber surfaces, we need to talk about what are the best kinds of paint to use when painting rubber surfaces like old rubber tires.

Rubber is one of those unique surfaces that requires a certain type of paint and specialized techniques to get the best results.

What types of paints are the best to use when covering rubber surfaces?

If you are wanting to get the best possible result from your DIY project that uses old rubber tires, you need to be sure that you select the right type of paint to do the job.

We have found four of the best types of paint that have been successfully used by many DIYers.

  • Acrylic Paint
  • Commercial Marine Paint
  • Exterior Paint
  • Removal Rubber Coating

5 Simple to follow steps to apply paint on rubber surfaces

Step #1 – Be sure the surface is clean

You must prepare the surfaces that you will be applying the paint on. Thoroughly clean the surface to get up all of the debris that might be still on the surface.

Step #2 – Choose the paint for your project

It is time to select the paint that you are going to be using for this project. Be sure that you choose one of the four types of paint that we have on the list that we came up with.

Step #3 Apply a primer coat

It is very important that if you plan to keep the project outside once you are finished you will want to apply a primer coat all over the external surfaces of the tire.

This will help the paint better adhere to the surface of the rubber tire.

painting rubber

Step #4 – Apply the paint

After you allow time for the primer coat that you applied in Step #3 to thoroughly dry. You can begin applying the paint to the surface of the tire.

You will need to apply a second coat of paint after waiting until the first coat was completely dry.

Step #5 Apply a sealer coat

You must wait until the paint is completely dried. Once it is dry you should apply a coat of sealer on the surface to seal it from anything getting causing peeling.

Final Thoughts on How to paint Rubber surface

There are many different ways to apply the paint to rubber surfaces, however, when it comes to applying paint evenly, you cannot beat spray painting.

Be sure to completely read all of the instructions on the paint and primer to be sure that you use it properly.

Sometimes it is necessary to scuff up the surface of the rubber to help the primer coat adhere better to the surface of the rubber.

If you have selected a paint that combines a primer with the paint then you don’t have to apply a specific primer coat before you can begin painting.


I would use an acryllic-based primer sealer, allowing about an hour of drying time. Then apply a coat of exterior latex paint. Depending on the surface of the rubber, I would sand it with fine-grade sandpaper. Let the paint dry thoroughly and apply a coat of high gloss exterior house paint. Be patient… wear gloves… do not get any paint on your hands. Unless you get some on your hands and it dries, you will have to sand it off…

You can use enamel paint on the rubber surface, but you will have to prime the surface first, and then paint the surface. However, the surface will be damaged if you scratch it with paint.

Yes, it is possible to dye rubber, but you should be aware of some important things before starting. If you are using commercial paint to dye rubber, you need to make sure that it was specially made for rubber.

Yes, you can use fabric paint on rubber. If you’re not sure you can use it on rubber, try a snap test. Paint a small piece of your rubber material with the fabric paint. If the piece stays on, you can use the fabric paint on the rubber. If it comes off, you can’t. Be sure to use rubber gloves to protect your hands when working with rubber. If you get the fabric paint on your hands, it can be hard to get off.

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