Artificial turf has become a popular alternative to natural grass for backyards, sports fields, playgrounds, and more. The vibrant green synthetic blades provide a lush looking lawn without any of the maintenance.
But sometimes you may want to spice up your artificial grass with some color. Painting synthetic turf is a great way to add customized designs, lines, logos, and vibrant colors.
With the right turf paint and proper technique, you can turn your basic green artificial lawn into a colorful work of art. This guide will cover everything you need to know about painting fake grass.
Can You Paint Artificial Turf?
The first question many people have is simply – can you paint artificial grass? The answer is yes, you can paint fake grass using specially formulated acrylic latex paints designed for artificial athletic fields and turf.
Regular house and deck paints are not formulated to properly adhere to the polyethylene and nylon fibers that synthetic grass blades are made of. But there are specialty acrylic latex paints on the market that are designed specifically for use on artificial turf and fields.
These “turf paints” allow you to paint durable, vibrant designs that last up to a few years on synthetic grass. There are also removable options that can be used for temporary markings and washed off after 1-2 weeks.
So unlike natural grass which would likely die if painted, artificial lawns provide the perfect canvas for customized paint jobs.
Types of Turf Paint
There are a few varieties of paint made specifically for use on synthetic turf and grass:
Removable Field Marking Paint
- Temporarily marks lines and logos
- Lasts 1-2 weeks before wearing off
- Won’t permanently stain or discolor
- Easier clean up
Permanent Acrylic Latex Turf Paint
- Long lasting 1-2 year durability
- Won’t fade as quickly
- More difficult to remove
- Use for permanent designs
End Zone & Field Colorant
- Tints the synthetic blades
- Changes grass color
- Popular for end zones or logos
- Won’t wash out in rain
Most major athletic field and turf paint brands like Pioneer, Seymour, Aervoe, and more offer their own versions of removable, permanent, and colorant paints.
They are specially formulated for adhering to and lasting on synthetic turf fibers. Prices range from $30 per gallon up to $200 per gallon.
Painting Technique for Synthetic Grass
Proper technique is important when painting fake grass for the paint to adhere correctly. Here are some tips:
1. Clean the Turf Surface
Remove any dirt, debris, and dust. Sweeping or using a blower helps prepare the synthetic blades.
2. Use Painter’s Tape
Tape off any edges and lines with painters tape to keep the paint only where you want it.
3. Apply in Thin Coats
Thin, even coats work better than one thick coat which may pool and run.
4. Use a Roller or Sprayer
An airless sprayer or applicator with roller cover allows fast, efficient coverage.
5. Allow Proper Dry Time
Let the turf paint dry 2-4 hours between coats according to manufacturer directions.
6. Start with a Base Coat
For color changes, apply a base coat in the new color first before adding designs.
7. Re-coat Every 1-2 Years
Plan to reapply permanent paints as needed when fading occurs to keep the designs looking fresh.
Proper prep work, using the right tools, and patience lead to great looking painted turf. Taking shortcuts often leads to poor adhesion or messy results.
Painting Football Fields
Painting markings and lines on artificial turf football fields is one of the most common reasons people paint synthetic grass.
Football field paint color combinations are usually:
- White yard line markings
- Team logo and end zone lettering
- Optionally painted sidelines and hashes
Having crisp bright lines really makes the field pop for the fans and teams. Special turf paint allows the markings to stay vibrant and durable through entire seasons of wear and weathering.
Most football leagues from pee-wee to professional now use artificial turf for its low maintenance and reliable playability. Paint transforms a plain green mat into an exciting field full of team spirit.
Many schools and teams will repaint their designs every 1-2 years as needed when fading occurs to keep the field looking fresh.
Painting Synthetic Grass Lawns
Beyond athletic fields, painting your artificial backyard lawn opens up creative possibilities. You can use turf paint to:
- Add fun designs, shapes, and patterns
- Paint vibrant colors like pink, blue, purple
- Stencil names, slogans, or logos
- Cover discolored spots and stains
- Change the color from standard green
- Match team colors for game day
Solid color changes are also popular to match team spirit, school colors, or just for something different from basic green. Turf tints and colorants actually change the blade color for months versus just coating the blades.
Painting fake grass takes a little more patience and prep work than spraying on the driveway or wall. But with some creativity and the right materials, you can take your drab synthetic lawn to the next level.
How Long Does Turf Paint Last?
For permanent synthetic turf paints, durability is usually 1-2 years on average. Removable paints last about 1-2 weeks before wearing off.
There are a few factors that determine turf paint longevity:
High volume foot traffic will fade paint faster through abrasion. Midfield logos on sports fields often need yearly touch ups while end zones may last longer. Backyard designs see far less wear.
Exposure to sun, rain, snow, and temperature swings break down the paint over time. Fields in sunny Arizona may need reapplied sooner than ones in Alaska.
Proper prep work, light even coats with good coverage, and compatible paint lead to maximum durability.
So while most permanent turf paints are formulated to last 1-2 seasons, field location, weather, and foot traffic volume impacts actual longevity. Preparation also plays a key role.
Plan on refreshing high wear areas about once per year. Less trafficked designs may last up to 2 years before needing reapplied.
How to Remove Paint from Synthetic Grass
For permanent acrylic latex field paint, removing it entirely is difficult once dried but it will slowly fade over several months.
Removable paints can be cleaned off with:
- Power washing
- Cleaning agents like Simple Green/Krud Kutter
- Mr Clean Magic Eraser sponges
It takes some scrubbing but removable paint will wash out within 2-3 weeks. Test small areas first before cleaning entire fields.
If using permanent paint on a backyard lawn, either commit to keeping the designs for 1-2 years or be prepared to paint over it. Removing acrylic latex paint completely from fake grass backing and blades is challenging once dried.
Can You Use Spray Paint on Synthetic Turf?
Yes, airless sprayers are a popular tool for efficiently applying turf paint to large areas of artificial grass. Electric or gas powered sprayers allow the paint to be evenly distributed.
Follow the same tips – clean surface, use light coats, allow proper dry time between passes. Practice your technique first before tackling a big project.
Spraying paint on synthetic turf is essentially the same process as using a roller. Just be sure to use acrylic latex paint designed specifically for adhering to the synthetic fibers.
How to Paint Plastic Grass
The process for painting fake plastic grass is the same as painting nylon or polyethylene artificial turf:
- Sweep debris from blades.
- Tape off edges with painters tape.
- Apply 2-3 thin coats of acrylic latex turf paint.
- Allow 2-4 hours of drying time between coats.
- Use an applicator or airless sprayer for best coverage.
- Start with a base color coat before adding designs.
Any grass made from synthetic nylon, polyethylene, or plastic fibers can be painted using turf paint. Just remember regular house paint won’t bond correctly. Invest in quality materials so your designs last.
What Kind of Paint Do You Use on Artificial Grass?
Look for “turf paint” or “field paint” from brands like Pioneer, Aervoe, Krylon, and Seymour specifically made for synthetic grass.
The proper synthetic turf paints will be:
- Acrylic latex based
- Formulated for plastic/nylon fibers
- Offer removable or permanent options
- Provide UV resistance
- Work with rollers/sprayers
- Available in gallons or cases
These aren’t the cheap craft acrylics or house paints. Expect to invest $50 to $200 per gallon for high performing turf paint.
Painting Synthetic Golf Greens
Golf courses were one of the first major adopters of artificial putting greens and fairways. Painting markings on synthetic golf turf is very common.
Some popular golf course paint jobs include:
- Hole locations
- Yardage markings
- Club logos
- Course layout lines
- Hazard/OB boundaries
- Sponsor logos
Due to the high volume of play each hole location sees, paint may need reapplied every 4-8 weeks on putting greens. The turf on fairways lasts much longer between touch ups.
Course superintendents have painting the greens down to a science to rotate hole locations and keep things looking sharp. Precise yardage markings painted in the fairways guide golfers on their approach shots.
High quality permanent paint ensures the professional logos and designs maintain a consistent appearance season after season.
Next time you play a course with synthetic elements, look closely and you’ll see paint at work marking the turf.
Painting Landscaping and Concrete Around Synthetic Turf
When painting artificial grass, you’ll also need to take care when working around landscaping and concrete. Acrylic latex paint can adhere to and stain rocks, patios, and wood borders if splashed or spilled.
Here are some tips for minimizing mess:
- Use painters tape around area edges.
- Cut along any tight borders with brush.
- Mix paint over a drop cloth.
- Wipe up spills immediately.
- Cover plants/hardscapes with plastic.
Switching to a small trim roller rather than sprayer near landscaping helps control overspray.
If paint does get on your patio or deck, it can be removed with enough scrubbing, solvents, and pressure washing. But it’s best to take precautions and keep overspray limited.
Repainting any wood or natural stone borders is really the only remedy if stained. So exercise caution when painting fake grass in snug landscaping.
Painting Logos and Large Lettering on Synthetic Turf
Painting large logos, names, and lettering is a great way to customize a synthetic lawn or sports field.
Use these tips when taking on large format designs:
- Sketch out design first with chalk or tape
- Use grid system for proportions
- Tape off straight edges
- Start painting verticals first
- Use stencils for replicating letters
- Touch up edges with brush
Having an overhead grid drawn to scale on your field helps recreate even lettering. Use chalk lines to sketch out the design first before painting.
Taking it slowly and using stencils for lettering when possible ensures your jumbo size designs come out looking professional.
With the right planning and execution, you can paint super crisp oversized logos and names on your turf.
Adding Visual Interest to All Green Synthetic Grass
For many, the vibrant flawless green of artificial lawns and fields is the goal. But some want to break up all that monotone green with extra color and visual interest.
Paint allows you to easily inject color, shapes, boundaries, and designs into a synthetic grass area.
Some ideas include:
- Painting white boundary lines
- Adding school color logos
- Creating multi-color geometric shapes
- Making colored end zones or cutouts
- Adding color-coded game grids
Paint opens up a basic green turf canvas to all kinds of colorful enhancements. kids enjoy playing foursquare, hopscotch, mazes, and more when painted on a lawn.
Add personality and customize your synthetic grass area with acrylic latex turf paint.
Things to Avoid When Painting Synthetic Grass
Painting artificial turf requires some specific techniques for success. Here are some things to avoid:
- Using regular house or craft paint
- Applying too thick of coat
- Not prepping surface
- Not allowing proper dry time
- Stepping on freshly painted areas
- Tracking paint off colored areas
Rushing through the process leads to peeling, flaking, and poor adhesion. Be patient and do the prep work for paint that stays vibrant for seasons.
Using the wrong materials and tools is a recipe for disappointment. Invest in quality turf paint and applicators made for synthetic grass painting projects.
Tips for Repainting Faded Synthetic Turf
Over time painted synthetic grass will fade and need refreshing. Here are some repainting tips:
- Use turf paint not house paint
- Lightly sweep or blow before painting
- Apply thin even coats
- Allow paint to fully dry between coats
- Concentrate on high fade spots
- Feather out touch ups into old paint
- Reprime if old paint peels or flakes
Rather than stripping everything and starting fresh, you can often repaint right over faded but intact markings. Just concentrate on the high wear areas.
Feather out any touch ups by tapering the fresh paint into existing coats.
Durability Comparison: Paint vs. Turf Tape
Besides paint, another option for adding markings to synthetic turf is turf tape. How do they compare in durability?
- 1-2 year lifespan
- Eventually fades and needs reapplied
- Can cover large areas
- More prone to scuffing
- Needs dry time between steps
- 3-5 year lifespan
- Doesn’t fade as quickly
- Better for small details
- Vinyl material resists scuffing
- Instant application
For large scale designs, paint is usually more practical and affordable. But for small precise details like numbers or logos, pre-cut vinyl turf tape lasts even longer.
Combining tape and paint is a great option when you need some areas more permanent like center field logos paired with yearly line refreshers.
Pricing of Synthetic Turf Paint
What’s the cost for painting an entire football field or synthetic backyard? Here are some typical price ranges:
- Turf Paint – $50 to $200 per gallon
- Field Painting – $2,000 – $4,000
- Backyard Painting – $500 – $1,500
Obviously field size, amount of designs, brand of paint, and more impact the bottom line.
But those price ranges give a realistic expectation for budgeting your next synthetic grass painting project. It’s an affordable way to customize a lawn or field.
Ideas for Painting Synthetic Grass
Painting artificial lawns allow tons of possibilities for creativity and customization. Some fun ideas include:
- Team logos, names, colors
- Yard games like foursquare or hopscotch
- Shape designs or color blocking
- Animal tracks or footprints
- Holiday themes and decorations
- Custom lawn company logos
- Address and street numbers
The options are endless when combining stencils, grids, masks, and freehand talent. Paint brings decorative personality and flair to any artificial grass installation.
Before picking up a brush, grab some inspiration online or sketch out design concepts. With the right execution, you can create a synthetic masterpiece.
Mistakes to Avoid Painting Synthetic Turf
To wrap up, here are some key mistakes to avoid on your next turf painting project:
- Using house paint instead of acrylic turf paint
- Applying thick coats that pool or run
- Not properly preparing the surface
- Not allowing adequate dry time between coats
- Stepping on freshly painted areas
- Painting in hot direct sun or high winds
Patience and the proper materials, paints, and techniques will ensure your designs adhere properly and look fantastic on your artificial turf.
Painting synthetic turf takes some specific supplies and techniques for success, but the finished results are worth it.
With proper preparation and execution, acrylic latex turf paint allows you to customize any artificial grass area with designs, logos, colors, and more.
Just be sure to use paint formulated for nylon and polyethylene fibers. Take your time applying. And refresh faded markings to keep your field or lawn looking sharp season after season.
Painting synthetic grass is an affordable way to add team spirit, unique artwork, decorations, and visual interest. So pick up some turf paint and brushes today to give your fake grass a splash of color.