Ever have any old pool noodles you keep in storage because all your kids have grown out of them?
Want to know what you can do with these pool noodles besides leaving them in the pool for kids to play?
In this article, you’ll learn about how to transform your lifeless swimming pool noodles into a fancy creation that you can utilize at home, parties, and even on your plants.
Can you spray paint swimming pool noodles?
You can spray paint swimming pool noodles but there are a few things to keep in mind. Since these swimming pool noodles are made from styrofoam, they are susceptible to melting or decomposing if you do not use the right type of paint. Aside from being used in the pool for kids to play around with, pool noodles can also be used for a variety of other things spending on your creativity. From making home decorations, a stand for your baked items, using them to build a small playhouse for the kids, the boundaries are endless.
Will spray paint melt pool noodles?
The short answer is yes if you do not pay attention to the contents of what is inside the spray paint canister. Anything that is not water-based or latex-based spray paint will melt the pool noodles. I even recommend paint brushing the pool noodles rather than expediting with spraying so you can test whether the paint is safe or not versus spraying the whole thing only to find out that the paint is not compatible with the pool noodle. If you can choose to avoid painting the pool noodles altogether, that would be perfect. Even with the right paint, unless you plan to keep the pool noodle for less than half a decade, the paint will naturally begin chipping away due to natural aging.
If you plan on keeping the pool noodles for an extended period of time then I would suggest vinyl wrapping the pool noodles as the vinyl will protect the noodle from drying out from the sun and chlorine if you regularly throw them into the pool. Vinyl does a really good job of keeping sunlight and water out, all you have to do is wrap it as if you’re wrapping Christmas gifts to someone and then apply some heat to make sure it shrinks down mold around the pool noodle.
How to spray paint a pool noodle
There are actually two different techniques that I will be covering this round. The first technique does not require anything else but just the paint itself. The second method will require buying some Polyfilla which is basically painting filler. The second method will require more work but you are guaranteed to get way better results than method one. You can debate with yourself whether you want a quick paint job or you want to take your time to achieve a higher quality finish, the choice is yours. I would take my time and go with the second method as I care about the quality but for those that are too lazy, I’ll show you how to get a good finish without the filler.
For the first technique, you’re going to grab your water or latex-based spray paint. The key of both methods is that you want the propellant to evaporate before the pint sticks onto the foam as that is what causes the foam to melt. You always want to spray horizontally and never face down towards the foam otherwise the propellant will automatically fall onto the foam. You also never want to spray too close either, a minimum of 1ft between the spray paint and foam must be attained in order to prevent melting.
With that in mind, as you spray paint, make sure to spray in streaks starting horizontally and then vertically. You always want to switch up the direction once in a while so you don’t make any hot spots on the foam and cause that area to slowly begin melting. Once you are finished with spraying your light coat, give it about 10-20 mins to dry and reapply. After that, its rinse and repeat until you are done!
The second method is rubbing Polyfilla onto the pool noodle before you start the painting process. You can use your hands or a paintbrush but what you want to do is grab a small amount of Polyfilla (like a small ball that you can hold with your pointer finger and thumb) and dip it in a small amount of water. This should allow you to spread the Polyfilla on the pool noodle. Make sure that everywhere is coated with an adequate amount of filler before you paint otherwise it defeats the purpose of having filler as protection from melting.
When you have filler on the foam, you are allowed to spray at a closer distance but you must continue to paint in streaks otherwise there is a slight chance that the concentrated paint will break through the filler. Once you are finished with spraying your light coat, give it about 10-20 mins to dry and reapply. After that, its rinse and repeat until you are done! The finished product will look as if you hand-painted the pool noodle because of the filler.
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What kind of spray paint is best for pool noodles
As mentioned before in this article, water-based spray paints or latex-based spray paints are the safest spray paints for painting pool noodles. Other spray paints that are oil-based like lacquer and enamel have chemicals in them that naturally decay the pool noodles on contact. I won’t say that just because you have a water-based or latex-based spray that your pool noodle is invincible to melting, you’re just minimizing your chances of that happening. Even if you spray very close with these spray paints, melting will occur but when you pair these types of spray paints with the techniques I mentioned above, you ensure that no melting happens and you walk out with beautiful looking pool noodles. I personally used the Krylon H2O Latex-based spray paint when dealing with foam in general.
How well does spray paint stick to the pool noodles
Pretty darn well if you were to ask me. If you’re afraid once you pour some water on the pool noodles, do not worry as once you give the paint at least 24 hours to fully dry it will hold up against the sun and chlorine water for awhile. Fortunately, you can add a protection layer like clearcoat as that will prevent the paint from aging too fast. If you do plan on using clearcoat, I would recommend the Minwax Polycrylic spray to get the job done. However, if you do not prep the pool noodle prior to spraying, the clear coat will crinkle up and fall right off. You can accomplish this by wiping down the entire pool noodle with a little bit of isopropyl alcohol before you begin spraying. Remember to always spray at least a few inches away to prevent clumping.
Also Read: How To Get Spray Paint Off Shoes
Can you mix colors when you spray paint on the pool noodle
Of course! Just remember to allow the coat that you sprayed onto the pool noodle to dry for a few mins before your spray again. If you are planning on creating patterns when you spray then I would recommend you stencil the shapes in or using masking tape so you can get that precise clean finish. However, if you plan on creating a swirl effect then I recommend that you brush the paint on instead as spray painting two colors simultaneously is bound to cause a disaster that you were not intending to create.