Are you looking for an affordable choice to do some crafts?

Styrofoam can be the best choice. They are lightweight. Plus, making different shapes is quite effortless using them.

To make crafts with it, you will require to paint this material properly. But you can’t use any paint on Styrofoam. To get the best result, you should use the best paint for Styrofoam.

Water-based is the best paint for styrofoam. Acrylic paints are ideal, such as Apple Barrel. High-quality choices provide a top paint job, while there are many acrylic brands available.  However, you could use poster paints for projects with younger kids.

In this article, you will get to learn the best paints that you can use on styrofoam and explain the qualities that make the paints so great. Use this guide to find reviews on the best paint and learn how to paint styrofoam so that it lasts for years.

What Kind Of Paint Can You Use On Styrofoam?

 Acrylic PaintTempera PaintSpray Paint
AdherenceBrilliant and water-resistant once dryBrilliant but is not water-resistant  Brilliant
ApplicationEasy to brush onBrush on with a paintbrushSpray can
AvailabilityWidely available in a large color paletteFound in most craft stores with a smaller color rangeMost craft stores, only in specific brands
Drying20-30 minutes5-10 minutes15 minutes
DurabilityCan corrode polystyrene in timeContact with water does damage the paintLasts well

The best option for painting styrofoam is water-based paints. Although acrylic craft paints are the top choice, you can use tempera or spray paint for projects with young children. There are other types of paints you can use on styrofoam. They are latex and poster paints.

Particularly, The foamed polystyrene in styrofoam doesn’t handle solvents well. Therefore, it’s good to avoid any paint or varnish that is not water-based. You can also use the type of latex paint that you use for interior walls or spray paints that are made for use on styrofoam.

Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint is an ideal paint for Styrofoam when applied directly. You can apply it easily, although it may take several coats of acrylic paint to achieve your desired color. Because it will easily seep into the crevices of the foam.

Acrylic paints are water-based. They are common for arts and crafts. They can be a good choice for painting styrofoam. You can use them directly to the surface, and they’re easy to use.

Over an extended period, acrylic paint – like many paints – may deteriorate the Styrofoam. So avoid it if you’re looking for longtime color. Acrylic paint is available at many craft stores and comes in numerous colors.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says that the skin absorbs paint chemicals, and even small exposure may cause harm over time.

CALIART Acrylic Paint Set

One of the popular brands of acrylic Styrofoam paints is Caliart. This set of 24 bold colors is great for people of all ages, from children and adults to budding artists and professional painters.

Using this brand of acrylic paint on Styrofoam will yield a truly wonderful final product. They are non-staining and non-toxic, making them an ideal paint for all ages.


  • Premium paints glide on smoothly, dry quickly, and stay beautiful
  • High-quality, vivid paints offer a creamy consistency and will not fade
  • Water-based and non-toxic, so it dries quickly and is easy to clean
  • Extensive variety of colors to choose from

  • Long-lasting bold pigments

  • Dries quickly

  • Excellent coverage with easy, smooth application

  • Great value at this price

  • Quick drying time means you have to work quickly (although you can use a fine mist sprayer to lightly wet the paint surface, keeping the paints wet for longer).

Apple Barrel Essential Paint Set

Apple Barrel is a popular paint brand. They’re famous for their versatility. The paints are excellent for various projects, from foam and canvas to ceramics and terracotta. The Apple Barrel Essential Paint Set contains 12 unique shades of acrylic paints.

The paints are also good for children. They’re easy to clean while they’re wet. All you need is soapy water.

A unique aspect of Apple Barrel paints is that the formula is dishwasher safe after it cures fully. For example, you can wash your painted dishes on the top shelf without worrying about damage.

However, the Apple Barrel paint set may not last long. Regular hobbyists may go through the paint quickly. There is a limitation in how you use this brand of acrylic paint. You may thin many acrylics for a sprayable application, but Apple Barrel paints are not ideal for that process.


  • FUN FINISH – This brilliant acrylic paint dries to a satin finish – perfect for all your arts and crafts!
  • USE ON MULTIPLE SURFACES – This handy set can be used on a variety of surfaces including terracotta, paper mache, canvas, wood, plaster, rigid plastic, fabric, concrete, glass, and so much more. This formula is top-shelf dishwasher safe when cured
  • EASY CLEAN-UP – Clean-up is easy with this multipurpose acrylic paint! Simply clean up while wet with soap and water
  • MANUFACTURING – We proudly manufacture Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint and Acrylic Paint Sets in the USA
  • FORMULA – Apple Barrel is a non-toxic and water-based formula great for crafting with all ages. Expand your art supplies with this fun brand!
  • For indoor or outdoor use

  • Unique colors

  • Affordable

  • Classic style

  • Not sprayable

  • Smaller quantity than other brands

Magicfly Acrylic Paint Set

The Magicfly Acrylic Paint Set is ideal for painting styrofoam and any other surface. The kit comes with 14 various colors in large, 280 ml bottles. Compared to other paint kits on the market, this Magicfly kit offers many paint shades for an affordable price. Regardless of how many coats of paint your styrofoam project requires, these paints will cover your needs.

The paints themselves are of artist quality. They contain a creamy texture that is easy to apply to most surfaces, including styrofoam. Each shade offers a rich pigment that will not fade over time. Plus, the paint is non-toxic and safe for kids. Every bottle has a tag that’s marked for kids to read, but it also displays information about the transparency and light resistance of the paint.

When using acrylic paints, they glide on a porous surface effortlessly and dry quickly. You can produce vibrant results with fewer layers. Remember to shake the bottle before you open the paint, and you’re ready to get started.

Most people like Magicfly because the large-volume bottle lasts for a long time. If you often perform painting projects or arts and crafts, the paint is highly cost-effective. The kit’s packaging is also attractive.


  • Wonderful Pigment Set: The rich acrylic paint set contains 14 vibrant colors (classic, gold, and silver colors) in large volume-280ml/9.47 fl oz. Each totally satisfies different needs of painting and coloring.
  • Premium Artist Quality: All colors are vibrant, thick, and creamy. Conforms to ASTM D-4236, they glide smoothly, easily blend and dry quickly, safe and non-toxic for humans and the environment.
  • Wide Application: The non-fade acrylic paints can be brushed, stamped, or stenciled, applicable for different surfaces e.g, canvas, paper, wood, stone, ceramic, and canvas. Display your creativity anytime.
  • Convenient Use: Each is labeled with colors, light resistance, transparency, and number, which is easy to recognize. The exquisite colored box package makes it an ideal gift choice for art enthusiasts, children, and professionals.
  • Ideal Gift: Magicfly Bulk Acrylic Paint set is suitable for many surfaces like canvas, paper, wood, and ceramic, which is perfect for painting all sorts of Easter crafts. Whether you are an artist, beginner, or hobby painter, you can DIY your Easter eggs with this set! An ideal gift for a birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving, graduation, or any other special event
  • Non-toxic

  • Non-fade paints

  • Decent quantity

  • Attractive packaging

  • More expensive than other acrylic paint sets

  • Fewer color options are available

Crafts 4 All Acrylic Paint Set

The Crafts 4 All Acrylic Paint Set consists of 24 shades. If you want to paint smaller foam pieces, like models, this is the paint set for you. It’s versatile to cover the styrofoam with ease. You may use it for all your other arts and crafts projects, including mediums like fabric or wood. Crafts 4 All has one mission: to produce the most versatile paints.

These paints are artist-quality and perfect for any skill level. They’re entirely non-toxic and fast-drying. The paints offer stunning color clarity and brilliance. Each vibrant color is easy to blend to create new shades as well.

The essential part of this kit is the colors. You get wide different colors that have a top-ranked consistency. They’re perfect for blending or layering. You can even create watercolor techniques. Crafts 4 All even includes three paintbrushes, making the set an excellent gift for any artist. Only, you don’t need any cleaning chemicals after using these paints.

The only disadvantage is the size of the paint tubes. The small quantities are not good for painting a large surface area or including multiple layers of paint on styrofoam.


  • VIVID COLOR CHOICES – Even the most abstract of artists will find their preferred color in this 24-pack of craft paint. Mix and match to find the vibrant color of your dreams!
  • MULTI-SURFACE PAINTING – Need some wood paint? Rock paint? Ceramic paint? How about some paints for painting on glass? Take all of those kits out of your cart because our acrylic paint kit works on all these surfaces (and more).
  • PROFESSIONAL BRUSHES – Our glass paint comes with 3 different brushes that are perfect for completing your artistic vision. From Da Vinci to Dali, these brushes cover every kind of stroke.
  • FUN FOR EVERYONE – This liquid acrylic paint set is ideal for every creative, from ace artists to starting students. Give someone you love the freedom of artistic expression with the touch of a button!
  • CUSTOMER SERVICE – Have any pressing painter questions about these painting supplies? Our team is always around to help you reach your full, artistic potential.
  • Affordable

  • Perfect for all ages

  • A large variety of colors

  • Includes paintbrushes

  • Small quantities

  • No sprayable

Sargent Art Acrylic Paint Set

The Sargent Art Acrylic Paint Set is economical. With this, you get 12 large, 16-oz bottles of acrylic paint. They’re perfect for painting large pieces of styrofoam since they can cover the surface. But you may use Sargent Art paint for a variety of applications or painting techniques. The set is also affordable, making it a go-to for teachers or students.

The origin of this paint is the USA. They’re non-toxic and water-resistant after they dry. You can expect the rich paint job to look great for years to come. The top cap flips open easily to dispense the paint, and kids like the colors. The opaque shades supply permanent coverage on any surface. With 12 high-quality colors, you can tackle large projects with ease.

Compared to other acrylic paints, the water-resistance factor makes this paint more durable than most choices. You get a lot for your money, and the paint produces stellar results on many surfaces.

The only bad side is that the paint set may result in cracks forming as the paint dries. It’s not as bad when painting styrofoam, but you may notice a problem with canvas paintings. The bottles also present a choking hazard for younger children.


  • 16oz bottles; Artist Quality acrylics
  • Water-resistant after drying
  • Flip-top cap for easy dispensing
  • Non-toxic and Made in the USA
  • Ap certified
  • Large bottles

  • Easy to dispense

  • Non-toxic

  • USA made

  • Choking hazard

  • Paint may crack

Tempera Paint

Tempera paint is a water-based paint. It adheres well to foam objects. You can use this paint on foam projects that will never have any exposure to water.

If you paint with younger children, consider using tempera or poster paints. Children are highly susceptible to toxins, and they typically have sensitive skin. Therefore, tempera paint is a safe paint for kids.

Tempera paint remains water-soluble even after it has fully dried. This paint comes in a variety of finishes, giving the painter options for various looks.

Tempera paint is highly susceptible to water. It may not be ideal for painting styrofoam that may come in contact with liquids or elements. And also, tempera paint is only available in a limited number of colors. It also can’t blend well.

COLORATIONS Simply Washable Tempera Paints

This washable kids’ paint is a good Styro paint choice to consider since it works on many surfaces. Colorations paint is that you can craft with the kids. Moreover, you do not have to worry about ruined clothes, as it is completely washable. This is a set of 6 vibrant colors that are quick-drying with a matte result.

You may use Colorations tempera paints for a variety of crafts or hobbies. They apply smoothly to absorbent surfaces, and dry to form a matte finish. Other brands could offer more colors, but Colorations is excellent for empowering kids to express themselves artistically. The paints are AP Seal-approved and avoid common allergic ingredients like gluten, peanuts, soy, and dairy.

Tempera paints are not sprayable either, which means they are not a great option if you’re painting models. By nature, the paint also breaks down quickly when it gets wet. Water allows you to clean up the paint easily, but it could hinder the longevity of your paint job as well.


  • Includes red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and white shades
  • The paint has a smooth, rich consistency that dries matte
  • Washes from skin, fabric, and surfaces with soap and water
  • Fast –drying

  • Safe to use

  • Value for money

  • Easy to wash

  • Free of any allergens

  • May stain harder work surfaces

  • May tend to crack depending on the surface

  • Not an artist level product

U.S. Art Supply 18 Color Bottles for Arts, Crafts, and Posters

You can wash this type of paint easily. Use soapy water to clean the equipment and working area after applying. Moreover, having non-toxic ingredients, you may use your hands while washing. It is safe to use and doesn’t leave any allergic reaction on the skin.

Like all other standard colors, it has high-quality ingredients to leave a matte finish. Hence, to get a beautiful coat, you don’t need to apply several coats of Styrofoam. Furthermore, its drying time is less than other acrylic paints. It offers a glossy finish.


  • 18 Colors Multi-purpose tempera paint (matte finish)
  • Have a Creamy consistency and excellent coverage
  • Ideal for Creating Crafts and Arts on almost any surface
  • Multi-purpose tempera paint

  • Ideal for creating crafts and arts on almost any surface

  • Safe for kids

  • Cleans up easy with soap and water

  • Less thick

Latex Paint

Latex paint comes in a good range of colors. You can purchase it in fairly large tins which, last well for up to two years.

The application is much like acrylic paint. Cleaning is very simple with water and a little soap. Latex paint is also good when it comes to how to paint Styrofoam.

Latex paint is also a water-based option that works for styrofoam. You may use the type of latex paint that’s made for interior walls. However, this choice is common for painting home improvement projects, such as foam insulation.

Spray Paints

Traditional spray paint isn’t common for using on Styrofoam. It quickly deteriorates the foam material, quicker than other paints. Always make sure that the paint is safe for using on foam materials when asking, if can you paint on Styrofoam.

However, you may apply a number of spray paints with Styrofoam. Model spray paints made for model toys, latex or a combination of both are commonly safe for Styrofoam use. Floral spray paints used for coloring fake floral arrangements are also common.

KRYLON Short Cuts Aerosol Paint

The most common and popular spray paint brand is KRYLON. They are famous for their versatility, quality, and vibrancy. This spray paint is fast drying and produces a very high-gloss finish. Not only it is perfect for styrofoam, but it is also suitable for other materials including metal, wood, wicker, and plastic. Even though it is acid-free and safe to use, prolonged exposure to the fumes can damage your eyes and lungs. So make sure to use it in well-ventilated areas.


  • This high-quality spray paint dries quickly to a glossy finish
  • Suitable for wood, metal, wicker, Styrofoam, and more
  • The paint is acid-free and archival-safe for use
  • Hard-wearing finish

  • A good surface covering ability

  • Dries quickly

  • Large color range

  • Easy to apply

  • Available only in smaller cans

  • More expensive

  • Less vibrant chrome colors

MONTANA Gold Tech Universal Primer Spray

This spray has an impressive adhesion quality, which makes it perfect for easy reapplication and sanding.


  • Enables excellent adhesion and coating of synthetic or acrylic paints
  • Use on tough surfaces that need pretreating
  • Use for more efficient and permanent results
  • Prepares surface for easy, smooth Styro painting

  • Results in a lustrous gloss finish

  • Dries quickly and sand immediately after

  • Very thin, so you may require a few coats

My verdict

The best paint for styrofoam is a water-based acrylic, Apple Barrel’s paint set. The popular brand is versatile and inexpensive. They offer unique colors.

You can use them for many types of projects. Although the bottles are not as large as some other options on the market, it’s an excellent paint set for all ages.


How do you get paint to stick to styrofoam?

To make the paint sticky on the surface of the styrofoam, it is necessary to prime it first. When it comes to choosing the best primer though, you can’t go wrong with Krylon. But you can also choose any other primer that is likely to stick to plastic surfaces. Although styro is not plastic, the primer that is meant for plastic are more sticky and will likely stick to styrofoam as well.

What paint will not melt styrofoam?

Acrylic paint would be the best choice. Because they are more sticky and stick to styro better than other types of paints.

Does styrofoam need to be primed before painting?

Although it is not quite necessary, priming is the best practice. Thus, don’t skimp on primer, and prime your styro surfaces before painting.