Flex Seal is typically a liquid rubber sealant that’s ideal for any DIY project inside or outside your home.
The key reason why the range of products from Flex Seal is so popular among consumers is that it can be used on a wide variety of porous as well as non-porous surfaces such as wood, concrete, masonry, fabric, porcelain, tile, drywall, rubber, cement, vinyl, plastic, glass, metal, aluminum, etc.
When it comes to painting over, it’s important to know that not all Flex Seal family of products can be painted over.
For example, Flex Seal Spray and Flex Glue can be successfully painted over. But, Flex Seal Liquid and Flex Shot cannot be painted over due to their different composition.
In the article below, let’s plunge into a few more details regarding all these products, the different versions available, what they can be used for, and how well they can be painted if the need arises.
What is Flex Seal? (Different Types)
Flex Seal is a thick rubberized coating that’s sprayed in liquid form. Once applied, it seeps into cracks and holes to form a watertight, weatherproof, flexible seal which works great as a sealant and a protective coating.
It can be used indoors and outdoors on various surfaces such as gutters, roofs, windows, doors, pipes, hoses, ductwork, foundations, basements, concrete walls or floors, boats, RVs, autos, etc.
Although it comes in many colors, Flex Seal is different from regular spray paint because it sprays out thick to cover cracks and holes quickly. Regular spray paint is thin, runny, and doesn’t cover the cracks sufficiently; you need a primer and fillers to prepare the surface.
It’s, therefore, definitely a better choice than regular spray paint when it comes to getting the job done quickly and efficiently.
Flex Seal is available in three different versions, and you can buy them easily at stores nearby or online. These products include:
It’s an original version of Flex Seal, which comes in a liquid form and can be applied directly even on a surface with an existing Flex Seal Liquid layer.
You can add multiple coats of this liquid, but before adding a new one, ensure that the previous layer is completely dry.
This is an aerosol version that comes pre-mixed and is ready to use. Before using the spray, make sure to shake it well. Then spray the product directly onto the area that needs to be sealed or repaired.
It’s a super strong adhesive that can be used on various surfaces to fix, fill, bond, seal, and repair. You can also use it as a sealer for sealing the cracks or holes in the doors and windows.
Besides the above-mentioned most common Flex Seal products, there are also Flex Tape and Flex Shot.
Flex Tape is a super-strong taping that can be used on various surfaces instantly to fix, patch, seal, and repair. It can also be used to stop pressure leaks in hoses and pipes. On the other hand, Flex Shot is an all-purpose adhesive caulk (in a tube) that can be used to fill cracks and holes.
Both these products are also water and weatherproof. They come in colors like white, black, clear, black, and gray, so you can choose the one that best suits your project.
Well, if you want to paint Flex Seal to change its color and make it look better, it will depend on which specific product you’re using.
So, let’s take a closer look at which one you can paint over and which you can’t.
|Flex Glue:||This can be painted over with any commercially available paint, and the paint will adhere to the surface.|
|Flex Seal Spray:||This can be painted over after the coating is dried thoroughly. Use any polyurethane-based paint and finishes for the best results.|
|Flex Seal Liquid:||This cannot be painted over or mixed with other liquid formulas.|
|Flex Tape:||Paint cannot be applied over it. But if you want to, apply some Flex Glue over it and apply the preferred paint.|
|Flex Shot:||This also cannot be painted over, as the paint or stain will not adhere to the surface well.|
Keep in mind that Flex Seal Spray takes about 24 to 48 hours to dry and cure completely.
So, before you proceed with the painting, ensure that you allow the required time for the product to dry and cure. Once the surface is dry, you are ready to paint.
To begin painting over the Flex Seal area, you need to follow some important tips and best practices so that the paint adheres well without showing signs of chipping or flaking:
1- Surface Preparation:
The first step is to make sure that the surface you’re going to paint is clean and free of any dirt, grease, or oil.
You can use a cleaner or degreaser for this purpose by following the instructions provided on the can. After cleaning the surface, let it dry thoroughly.
2- Sanding the Surface:
If the surface is smooth and shiny, use 220-grit sandpaper or a scouring pad to roughen the surface slightly. This will help the paint to adhere better.
After sanding, clean up the sanded dust by wiping it off or using a vacuum. Then, wipe the surface with warm soapy water.
2- Applying the Primer:
After the surface is clean and dry, applying a water-based primer is an important step, as it will help the paint adhere to the surface better.
Any water or oil-based primer can be used, but be sure to follow the instructions on the primer can and use a quality brush or roller for even application.
3- Painting over Flex Seal:
To paint over Flex Seal, clean the paintbrush (or roller) and use good-quality acrylic latex or urethane paint. Acrylic latex paint is water-based, whereas urethane creates a protective layer similar to plastic, which helps shield whatever is underneath it once it has dried.
When painting, start with the edges and fill in the center until the coat is smooth and consistent.
Use light, even brush strokes for the best results. And wait for each coat to dry completely before adding another one for better coverage.
4- Applying a Topcoat as a Finishing Touch:
Once you finish painting, allow the paint to dry completely, which generally takes around 24 hours. Once the paint is dry, apply a topcoat to safeguard and extend its lifespan.
For a wood surface, you can use a polyurethane-based topcoat or a clear sealer. But for metal or masonry surfaces, use water-based or acrylic-based sealers, respectively.
Tips and Warnings
- If you do not want the hassle of coating the surface with primer, use a 2-in-1 primer and paint combo, making your project easy and fast.
- If you are working on an outdoor project, ensure a clear day with low humidity and the right temperature conditions.
- Before you apply the paint over the Flex Seal coating, ensure that it is completely dry and free from any dust or grime.
- Apply several thin coats of paint rather than one thick coat to avoid any paint drips or sagging. This will also help with drying times.
Is it Safe to Paint Over Non-Paintable Flex Seal?
Applying paint over a non-paintable Flex seal is not recommended because it can cause the coating to become sticky and greasy (and not dry properly).
This is generally due to the silicone compounds in the seals that make the coating waterproof. If applied, the coating may remain tacky for several days before falling off or becoming semi-solid.
If you still need to paint over non-paintable Flex Seal products, you can manually scrape the layer off with a scraper or sharp object.
Another option is to roughen up the seal with medium-grit sandpaper and then use fine-grit sandpaper to smooth it out, making the surface easier to paint.
Also, remember that applying stain over Flex Seal products is not recommended because they are non-porous and do not allow for penetration. If you apply a wood stain (that soaks up deeply in the material), it will not adhere properly and will peel off the surface.
The Bottom Line
Flex seal products can be a great addition to any home project, as they are versatile and relatively affordable.
When it comes to painting over them, however, keep in mind that Flex Glue and Flex Seal Spray can easily be painted over with commercially available paints. But painting over Flex Seal Liquid or Flex Shot can be tricky and requires more skill and special materials.
Ultimately, whether you opt for painting over flex seal or decide not will depend on the specific project you are undertaking and your aesthetic preferences.
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.