Customizing your standard iPhone cover is an inexpensive way to spruce up your style without breaking the bank – all you will need is a little paint and some creativity.
But to get things right without wasting lots of time and effort on your clear silicone phone case, you must have the right paint and tools along with a bit of time to prepare and prime the cover before painting
Further in this article, I will go into detail about what you need to paint silicone phone cases, how to complete the project from start to finish, and some tips and tricks to get the best outcome for your project in a fraction of the time and money than it would take to buy one.
Preparing and Painting a Silicone Phone Cover
While painting and getting a customized look for your phone cover isn’t very tough and time-consuming, it’s recommended that you use good quality oil-based primer and artist’s oil paint that sticks best to silicone.
Acrylic paints also work with silicone cases, but it’s best to test on a small area first for color and adherence. Some silicone covers can even be heat-stamped with ink to create a unique design. If you choose this option, use only non-toxic inks.
To get started, first gather your supplies…
- Silicone phone case
- Oil-based paint for artists
- Oil-based primer
- Water and Soap (for cleanup)
- Paper towels or rags (for cleanup)
Once you have collected all the materials, start with these steps…
Step 1- Prepare the work area
Cover your bench with some old newspapers or plastic sheets to protect the surface from paint spills that can be challenging to clean up later.
Step 2- Clean and sand the silicone phone case nicely
Dip a cotton ball in denatured alcohol and rub it over the back and sides of the silicone phone cover. If there are any leather decorations or accessories on the cover, clean them with isopropyl alcohol.
Next, sand the cover with fine-grit sandpaper from the outer sides, where you will put the primer and paint. This is to roughen up the surface and increase the adhesion of primer paint.
Step 3- Wash and dry the phone case completely
Wash the phone case with soap and warm water to remove the sanded dust and lose silicone particles that could prevent the paint from adhering properly.
Once you have cleaned the phone case nicely, dry it thoroughly with a soft cloth or a paper towel.
Step 4- Prime the phone case
Apply a thin layer of oil-based primer to the back side of the silicone phone case using a paintbrush. Allow it to dry for a few minutes, and then primer the sides of the phone case as well.
Then let the cover air dry for 2-3 hours. Priming and drying the cover nicely will help the paint adhere better and make the colors look more vibrant.
Step 5- Paint the silicone phone case
Add a blob of oil-based artist’s paint on the silicone phone case’s back surface and spread it with a brush to the outside edges. Depending on the pattern or design you want, use other colors as well and work creatively.
You can apply a second coat of paint to the phone case if you want a nicer finish with stronger colors.
Once you have finished painting, set the phone case aside to allow the paint to dry completely. This could take several hours, but it’s good to leave the painted phone cover overnight for drying.
Do You Need to Seal a Painted Phone Case?
If you have used oil-based artists’ paint on your silicone iPhone case, it’s not necessary to seal the paint.
However, if you used acrylic or enamel paint, it is best to apply a clear water-resistant sealant over the painted surface to prevent smudging, fading, and yellowing over time.
Also, if your iPhone cover is made of wood, applying two coats of permanent acrylic sealer or varnish is important to protect your decorative acrylic paint designs.
Decorating a Phone Cover With Nail Polish and Glitter
Nail polish is usually made from plastic resin or oil solvents that can be used to draw and color cute easy things on your phone case.
Using nail polish and a small paintbrush you can add creative stripes, polka dots, flowers, animes, animals, cartoon characters, or other designs of your choice.
Drawings like a simple heart, smiley face, or initials (with a black permanent marker, sharpie, or a whiteboard marker) would also look pretty and stylish while giving your silicone phone cover a more customized look.
If you want to achieve a glossy look, you can also use glitter to decorate your silicone phone case.
- Apply some glue to the areas where you want to add glitter
- Then sprinkle the glitter over the glue and let it dry (use stencils if you want)
- Once it is dry, shake off the excess glitter, and your phone case is ready
You can even add stickers, rhinestones, Patina, or Pearl Ex powders to get a more sophisticated look and a one-of-a-kind design.
How Do You Get Paint off Your Phone Case if You are Unsatisfied?
Let’s say you took time and painted your OtterBox iPhone case with great difficulty, but after completing the project, you are slightly unhappy with the results. The color is not as you expected, or maybe you simply do not like how it turned out.
Luckily, you can easily remove the paint from the silicone case to get it back to its clear state. Here are a few different methods you can try…
Fill a bowl with denatured alcohol and let the silicone phone case soak in it for a few minutes.
The paint should start to peel off easily. But if it does not come off completely, you can use a toothbrush to scrub it off. Once the paint is removed, rinse the phone case with water and let it dry.
If you do not have denatured alcohol available, you can try the same technique using rubbing alcohol or even vegetable or olive oil. If the paint hasn’t been cured yet, it should work fine.
Nail Polish Remover or Hairspray
Another method to remove the paint from your phone case is using acetone-based nail polish remover or hairspray from your dressing.
Simply soak a cotton ball in nail polish remover or hairspray and rub it over the painted area. Let it sit for a few minutes and you will see that the paint should come right off. Once done rinse the phone case with water and let it dry completely.
Warning: Do not use knives, sharp objects, or harsh chemical-based paint removers to scrape the paint or sticky residue off your silicone phone cases. These will easily damage the surfaces like silicone, rubber, or plastic, and you will end up with a ruined phone case.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for over a decade serving customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, and Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.