short run vinyl pressing, Can you paint on a vinyl record and still use it?

Can you paint on a vinyl record and still use it?

We get inquiries for short run vinyl pressing a lot and one of the odd questions we get is if it’s possible to paint on vinyl. Our heart break a little because we treat vinyl records like babies here in our plant, we don’t even touch them with bare hands!

The question probably comes from those who want to recycle and repurpose old vinyl recordsWe see people on the internet posting videos and pictures of old vinyl records being beautifully painted with a variety of designs. 

short run vinyl pressing, Can you paint on a vinyl record and still use it?

short run vinyl pressing, Can you paint on a vinyl record and still use it?

Pretty vinyl decors, aren’t they?

So one might indeed wonder, especially those who are into crafts and also loves and respects music a lot, if we can actually paint on a vinyl record and still use it.

If we’re talking about usability as in how vinyl records are mainly used for which is listening to music, it’s a hard NO. Sorry. 

First, a vinyl record’s surface is made up of grooves. In these grooves are the recordings of how the sound waves should move in the air which in turn creates the music we hear when we play them. If the vinyl records are painted even with the thinnest paint it will, in minimum, affect the higher frequencies and mess up the music quality. 

Second, it is played with a record player. As we all know, record players have needles or stylus that rests on the record’s grooves to produce music. We all know that when the paint is on the grooves it will surely affect the quality of music and when these painted vinyl records are played, it becomes much worse.

Worse, because the paint on the grooves will most likely come off. Not only will it ruin the needle of the turntable, but it will also ruin the art you’ve worked hard for.  Don’t even try! Or sure you can. The needle is cheap and you can easily replace it but…why? Seriously, have mercy on vinyl records. If you still love them, don’t do anything to them!

Sadly, folks, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

short run vinyl pressing, Can you paint on a vinyl record and still use it?

Or to be specific, you can’t have your vinyl and paint it too. You can only choose one– the music or the decor you want to make. It’s a tough choice but you can do it! You’re a grown-ass human bean who can make good choices in life.

This is quite easy. Just choose the vinyl records that you don’t care about anymore– the ones you want to throw away but just can’t because it feels criminal– and paint the hell out of them to make decors.

However, if you are a musician and you want to know if you can paint your vinyl to give them a bit of ooomph, the answer is still a hard NO. Why paint on them anyway when you can have really cool ways to make your vinyl record badass?

We here at Unified offer custom vinyl record designs, vinyl sleeves, and vinyl box sets. With the exception of putting paint directly on vinyl, we can execute every design you can think of, every artwork you make you can put them on your vinyl. 

You can have them splattered. We call them splatter vinyl records. They can make your vinyl discs looks really pretty without any risk and with only very minimal added cost. Look at how sexy this vinyl is!

short run vinyl pressing splatter vinyl

You can also opt for gold and silver or metallic vinyl if you’re aiming for a more sturdy and sophisticated look.

short run vinyl pressing, Can you paint on a vinyl record and still use it?

And if you really want something more original, you can opt for picture discs. You can have our short-run vinyl record pressing service where we can press a minimum of 100 records to give these cool 7-inch discs a try. They can come in almost any color and shape that you want.

Take a look at these beauties and tell us why you really want to paint records again.

short run vinyl pressing picture disc

short run vinyl pressing picture disc record

They’re pretty cool, aren’t they?

So if you want to paint on vinyl records to make some crafts? Go ahead do it but say goodbye to the music.

If you’re a musician and you want to make some creative vinyl records, don’t think about painting them because you can make creative vinyl records the right way.

Get a quote on our short run vinyl pressing or email me directly at james@unifiedmanufacturing if there’s anything vinyl related that you want to ask.


James Hill is a veteran of the music industry. He first worked at Warner Reprise Records then later joined Interscope/ Geffen Records where he managed producers and songwriters and got his first platinum record for Keyshia Cole’s The Way It Is. He is now helping indie artists with branding and manufacturing through his company Unified Manufacturing, a CD/DVD/vinyl and merch company in LA.

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