How To Paint Headphones and Earbuds?

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How To Paint Headphones and Earbuds

Looking to give your headphones and earbuds a makeover? Haven’t painted headphones before? We’ll tell you how to paint headphones and earbuds the right way. Whether you want to paint polka dots or spray primer, the good news is that you can safely paint earphones and headphones without damaging them. Nevertheless, painting headphones and earbuds is not as simple as using a paintbrush or pencil eraser.

We bet the time-lapse videos of amazing artists painting DIY headphones can be tempting. Therefore, we’ll tell you exactly what to do to modify the look of your headphones and earbuds. Read further for more information.

What Kind of Paint Do You Use on Headphones?

clDon’t worry if you haven’t painted any before; this guide is suitable for beginners too. Therefore, before we jump-start, it is very important to know which type of paint you should use to paint your headphones, earphones and earbuds. Using the wrong type of paint can eat through certain materials and ruin the finish of your device. So you need to be careful. 

First Things First, Get an Adhesion Promoter

Get an Adhesion Promoter

To start with, you will need an adhesion promoter. This will help your paint stay on the device, giving it a flawless finish. Though this substance is already present in paints made for metals and plastic, we recommend using it for better results. 

Get the Right Paint for a Great Paint Job

Select the right paint

Then you need to buy a paint that is safe for use on plastics and metals. Usually, most types of paints are safe for headphones and earbuds. Nevertheless, we advise not to use acrylic paint as it is likely that the paint will crack after few hours. Also, avoid latex house paints and watercolors. 

How to Pick the Right Paint Based on the Headphones’/Earbuds’ Material?

For Metal Devices

If your device is made of metal, you can use an exterior-grade primer for the first coat, followed by paints for metal. The most famous option is Rust-Oleum Protective Enamel professionals swear by it.

You can also use:

  • Krylon ColorMaster Paint and Primer to achieve matte and flat finishes.
  • Seymour High Solids Spray Paint to get ultimate protection from heat and high humidity.
  • Dupli-Color Metalcast Coating to turn your device into a jazzy piece. 
For Plastic Devices

If your device is made of plastic, then you can use any spray paint made for plastic or even exterior-grade acrylic enamel. The best option for painting headphones and earbuds made of plastic is the Krylon Fusion for Plastic. This will help you paint without much effort to achieve a seamless result. 

Other than it, you can use: 

  • Rust-Oleum’s Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover, a budget-friendly option that will give you an even finish quickly.
  • Rust-Oleum Paint for Plastic Spray will provide a layer of protection and is guaranteed to not chip within a year of application. 
  • Krylon Dual Superbond Paint and Primer is a high-quality acrylic latex paint that you can use without the need to sand or without using a primer.

How to Paint Headphones and Earbuds?

How to Paint Headphones

Follow the steps below to paint headphones, earphones and earbuds the right way:

  1. Disassemble the device as much as you can. Ensure you’re not wearing your headphones on your head and ear while painting them.
  2. Next, sand the plastic to ensure a clear coat. We recommend light sanding. Once the surface is rough and ready for painting, use a towel to clean it using alcohol or acetone. 
  3. After cleaning the rough surface, use a can of air duster for the final cleaning.
  4. If you are painting on a plastic surface, do not touch your device with bare hands after sanding it. This might leave oils or marks on the surface. 
  5. Now it is time for the primer. It is extremely important to use a primer on the painting site so that your paint can adhere better to the surface. Primers will make your paint more durable and will also give it an even finish. Primers are great for preventing flake formation.
  6. Apply few layers of thin primer as the base coat with a gap of 20-30 minutes between coats. This standing time is important as it will allow the primer to dry properly. Not giving proper gaps between each coat will mess things up and the paint can start to peel. So it’s better not to rush.
  7. After you are done applying the primer, you should leave it overnight for it to dry. You can speed up the process by using a blow dryer for 10-15 minutes. By giving the primer enough time to dry, you are trying to get rid of the solvent. Once the solvent has got evaporated, you will be left with a solid and even layer of paint. 
  8. Now you can finally start painting your headphones or earbuds. Apply the paint in the same method as the primer on the painting site. Keep applying thin coats of paint with gaps in between until you have achieved your desired color.
  9. If you want to create multiple tones, stripes, or patterns, you can use masking tape and/or a razor blade. If you want to make polka dots, you can use a dotting tool, straight pin, or other tools with round ends.
  10. Once you are done painting, leave it to dry overnight. You can speed up the process by using a blow dryer. 
  11. If you are looking for a shiny finish, you can now use an acrylic sealant. This will give you a smooth finish. All you need to do is apply several layers of sealant just like the paint and primer. The only exception here is that you will have to lightly sand in between each coat. Use very fine grit sandpaper for a gentle rub and remember not to sand the last coat. 
  12. Once you follow all these steps, you are done painting your headphones or earbuds. You now have a pair of headphones that is unique and looks almost like a new one. 

Can I Spray Paint Headphones and Earbuds?

Can I Spray Paint Headphones and Earbuds

By using spray paints, you can bring a lot of headphones and earbuds painting personalized ideas to life. Spray painting is popular among gaming earbuds. They are completely safe to use, especially if you are painting on a plastic surface. They help in controlling your speed and make the painting job a lot easier. Though most spray paints are safe for headphones and earbuds, try to use spray paints for plastic materials.

You should also note that if you are planning to paint on a metal surface, you should always use metal-adhering paint. So spray painting your metal headphones won’t be a great idea. 

Can I Use Acrylic Paint on Headphones and Earbuds?

Can I Use Acrylic Paint on Headphones and Earbuds

This one’s debatable. Using acrylic paint on headphones and earbuds is safe in all sense but the result might vary.

Acrylic paints are good as they are durable and quick-drying, but is it worth it? Acrylic paints when recently done will look nice but after a certain time which may vary, it can start cracking up.

It is not the same case always but we like to stick to spray paints as they don’t come with such consequences. 

Why You Should Only Use Decent Quality Spray Paint for Your Headphones and Earbuds

Let us ask you a question. Would you like to spend on a particular thing time and again? Or would you rather spend on it once and enjoy the results for a long time? The latter for sure, right? You should never compromise the quality to crack a cheap deal. It will only make you spend more. 

Buying cheap quality spray paints for your headphones and earbuds is a really bad idea. It’s similar to buy a cheap nail polish. The nail polish will look good initially; however, it’ll start chipping off in a few days. Some of these spray paints may even have harmful substances that can damage your headphones and earbuds.

If not that, the cheap paints tend to chip and get cracked in a few days after application, or the worse case even immediately after it’s dry.

By asking you to buy decent quality paint for your headphones and earbuds, we are not asking you to spend a fortune. Some famous brands like “Rust-Oleum” have decent-quality paints. Moreover, they’re affordable.

5 Personalized Idea for Painting Headphones and Earbuds

Polka dots on earbuds

Now that you know everything about painting your headphones, you must be too excited to start painting already. But are you wondering what to paint? You surely do not want to mess up at your first attempt, so here are some ideas for you. Do

  • Marble Print: Single tone colors can look boring at times. Therefore, if you want a classy look and feel to your headphones and earbuds, nothing can be better than a marble print. It can provide your headphones and earbuds with a luxurious look.
  • Customized Logo: If you are a designer, it is a good method to check how your customized logo will look on real headphones. It is also fun as you can change things midway if you are freestyling. 
  • Patterns: To give your headphones a “cool” vibe, patterns are your way. You can always experiment with different colors and ways to find which pattern will best suit your headphones. Also, you can dip a foam pad in different paints and tap it on the headphones or earbuds to create different patterns. Neon patterns will look great on a dark surface.
  • Abstract Images: Another great way to give your device a unique look is abstract art. It has also been on the trend for quite a while now so you will find enough inspiration and ideas online. You can either base your art on a particular thing or can just have fun with different colors. 
  • Movie/ Anime Characters: If you are ready to dig deep, you can actually paint a full-blown character on your headphones. Customizing your headphones with your favorite characters on them can cost you a good few bucks. So, if you have the zeal and a thing for painting then you should do it yourself. 

Once you decide to paint your headphones, we bet there will never be a lack of inspiration around you. Just pick a theme that will keep you interested for a long time and start customizing!

Final Words 

The feel of wearing a personalized headphone on your head or a personalized pair of earbuds in your ear is different. We are always on the lookout for the best. Maybe you have got your favorite pair but you don’t really like how it looks, so customizing it is the only way left. Evoke the artist within you and set out on the venture. 

Painting headphones might sound like a scary job as you might think that you are going to mess up. But once you get started you will love the process. The trick is always to choose the right type of paint as it is what matters. In this article, we have talked about customizing your headphones and everything you need to know about it. Hope you found this article helpful. We look forward to interesting pictures of your painted headphones and earbuds.