Can You Paint a Bowling Pin?

For those looking to pursue a creative and unique arts and crafts project, you may have considered painting a variety of objects. Whether you’re looking to add a new piece of decor to your house or looking for a creative gift idea for a friend, painting bowling pins is definitely a unique way to express yourself. But can you actually paint a bowling pin? 

You can easily paint a bowling pin with either acrylic or plastic paint. You can choose to use a brush, spray can, or paint gun. Proper surface preparation is key to getting the best result when painting a bowling pin.

In this article, I’ll discuss how you can successfully paint a bowling pin as well as all the tools you’ll need to make this happen. If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, keep on reading.

Types of Paint You Can Use 

As I stated above, it’s definitely possible to successfully paint on your bowling pin. Below, I’ll explore the different types of paints you can use on your bowling pin to create a stunning and vibrant design.

Acrylic Paint 

A popular choice amongst those who choose to paint their bowling pins is acrylic paint. There are plenty of pros to using acrylic paint, seeing how it’s a versatile solution, allowing you to paint on any surface you choose.

The type of acrylic paint you choose should rely on where you’ll decide to keep your bowling pin. Many choose to use their painted bowling pins as outdoor decor, so it’s ideal in this case to use an outdoor acrylic paint for the best long term results. 

If you’re likely to keep your painted bowling pin indoors, a regular acrylic paint should suffice. As for how you’ll apply your paint, that’s up to you, but there are numerous ways you can paint your bowling pin with acrylic paint. 

Using a Paint Gun

For one, you could use a paint gun paired with the appropriate kind of acrylic paint. When using a paint gun, it’s important to have your device six inches from the object that you’re looking to paint. Keeping it at this distance will ensure that your paint sticks successfully and doesn’t run.

When using a paint gun, it’s also crucial to be mindful of the bowling pin’s curves and contours. Be mindful of how close you are while painting, as the curves of the bowling pin, do protrude out more on the bottom compared to the top.  

In the video below, you’ll see a visual on how to successfully use a spray gun to paint your bowling pin to ensure the best results:

Acrylic Pouring

You could also do what is known as acrylic pouring, where you simply pour your desired paint directly over your bowling pin to create a stunning visual effect. This is an easy way to paint your bowling pin that doesn’t require any tools or brushes.

Seeing how this is likely one of the messiest options you have in coating your bowling pin, this is best performed outdoor. If not outdoors, reserve a space indoors where you can safely pour your paint onto your pin without damaging any other materials. 

The video below gives you a great look into how you can successfully perform an acrylic pouring that will provide you with the best results:

If neither of these options is for you, you can use a brush or the appropriate kind of spray paint to coat your bowling pin in the paint. No matter what option best suits you and the desired look you’re going for, all of the options we explored above will give you a stunning result.

Plastic Paint 

If you choose not to use acrylic paint, plastic paint will sit just as nicely on your bowling pin if you choose to use this kind of paint instead. There are plenty of pros to using plastic paint, such as it is an ideal solution for using on plastic surfaces and its lack of fading on objects. 

Similar to using acrylic paint, there are plenty of options available to you in terms of how you can apply your plastic paint. This kind of paint is also favorable seeing how it is cost-effective compared to other paints.

If you’re looking to create a smooth matte finish, you may want to consider using plastic paint on your bowling pin. No matter what method you use, or the kind of paint you end up using, it’s clear to see that there are numerous ways to paint a bowling pin successfully. 

Along with the different paints that are available to you, there are also plenty of tools and techniques you can choose from as well. No matter what tools you prefer, there are plenty of options available to those looking to create stunning artwork on their bowling pins. 

What Else You Should Know Before Painting Your Bowling Pin 

I’ve gone over the different kinds of paints you can use, as well as the different tools and techniques you can use to paint your bowling pin. Below, I’ll discuss what else you should know before you begin painting your bowling pin.

Use a Primer Before Painting 

Applying a primer to your bowling pin before painting is essential to adhere well to the surface. Without a quality primer, your paint is likely to chip away and age poorly.

The paint also may not stick very well if you skip out on using a primer, so it’s important to cover the entire base of your bowling pin with a primer beforehand. Give your bowling pin enough time to dry before you begin adding a coat of paint to the surface.

When it comes to the different types of primers available, there are plenty of primers designed to adhere to plastic successfully. Using this kind of primer will give your finished product the pop that you’re looking for.

No matter what kind of paint you end up using, adding a quality base beforehand will ensure that your bowling pin stands the test of time. 

Paint in an Isolated Environment

Painting one or more bowling pins can easily get messy, so it’s ideal for creating an isolated space, preferably outdoors, to paint your bowling pin. Doing this will cut back on any mess that this project may cause.

While you can also do this kind of project indoors, it’s ideal to set up newspapers or sheets to keep everything around you clean and free of damage. Once you have finished painting, it’s crucial to give your bowling pin plenty of time to dry before you begin handling it. 

Letting your painted object sit overnight outdoors is ideal, as it will give your bowling pin enough time, as well as the adequate conditions to fully dry. Remembering all these components is key to creating the proper environment to paint and being satisfied with the result of your project.

You can usually find worn out bowling pins from bowling alleys that sell or give them away.


As you can see, there are different ways to successfully paint a bowling pin. Paints such as acrylic and plastic paints are ideal for this, and there are multiple different tools and techniques you can use to successfully complete the project.

There different ways to apply paint to your bowling pin, including using a spray gun or with acrylic pouring. 


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