Today’s question: can you spray paint cork?
Quick answer: yes.
Is there any problem spray paint doesn’t solve? Not at our house, there isn’t. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration…it’s not going to help with the leaky toilet. But otherwise? It’s my best friend.
I picked up a cheap cork board from a yard sale for my office and painted the black frame a minty green. But the tan/brown color of the cork really wasn’t doing anything for me. The color just didn’t go with the mint, or my office. I Googled “spray painting cork” but there were so many varying opinions on whether it could or should be done, I just decided to go for it and see what happened for myself. If it failed, I was only out a couple dollars anyway.
First, I’ll give you the tutorial on how to spray paint a cork board, then I’ll give my thoughts at the end.
So this was where my cork board started (after painting the frame of course). The cork wasn’t easily removable from this frame, so I just covered the frame with painter’s tape. Here is the cork board before and after one light coat of white spray paint:
I was NOT excited about the pin holes showing everywhere, but thought it might be better after a couple more light coats. It’s important to do light coats. If you spray it on too thick at once, the paint will peel off easily.
After 2 more light coats of white and the tape removed:
Having finished the project, would I recommend painting cork?
Absolutely. Just not in white.
Unless you can manage 2 very light and VERY even coats. The contrast is way to high once a pin is pushed into it and it just looks silly. It looks like a DIY. We don’t want our projects to look like DIYs, we want them to look like things we paid a lot of money for. Am I right? White painted cork board is not going to give you that look.
So what do I recommend for spray painting cork?
A color with much less contrast to the brown, and still, just a couple light, even coats.
Metallic Caramel Latte by Krylon (not available at the moment, see list below!) is what I used, but any color that’s closer to the original cork board than white should be fine. Bonus points for metallic (not just because it’s pretty, but because it will reflect the light in different directions, further hiding the pin holes).
Since painting my first cork board white was a flop, I made a new one.
Starting with a pretty wood frame from the thrift store, I removed the glass and painted the frame the same mint green. Then instead of putting the glass back in, I cut a section of cork (like this) to size and then put the cardboard backing back in the frame to hold it in place.
Spray painting the cork gold (or another color that is low-contrast) allowed for less coats, which left more of the lovely cork texture visible. The brown cork color still comes through in low spots, which helps with pin marks. I stuck it with a few pins and the marks are not visible at all.
Here are products similar to what I used to spray paint a cork board:
You can always pick up frames from a thrift store too! Those always have a lot more character.
See more crafty projects here.