How to Paint an Igloo Dog House

When an Igloo dog house has faded in the sun or if you want to add a personal touch to your dog's house, you can rejuvenate it with a fresh coat of paint. Prepare the surface for painting, then paint the dog house with primer and paint that are designed for plastic.

Choosing the Paint

To successfully complete this project, you need paint that will adhere to the surface of the dog house and that will help the dog house maintain a comfortable temperature for your pet.

Paint for Plastic Surfaces

Igloo dog houses are made of thick plastic, so if you buy primer and paint that are not designed for use on plastic, the paint won't adhere to the plastic surface properly and it might even peel off the Igloo's surface.

Paint and primer in spray cans will be easiest for this project, but you can use traditional paint and a paintbrush if preferred.


  • When shopping for paint and primer, read the can labels carefully to make sure the paint and primer you buy are designed for use on plastic.

Appropriate Paint Colors

Igloo dog houses are white and light gray for a reason, and that reason is that light colors reflect heat away from the inside of the dog house. So, a light colored surface means your dog is less likely to suffer heat stroke while resting in the Igloo.

Dark colors absorb heat, so the only time you would want to paint the dog house a dark color is if you live in a climate that is cold year-round, or if you have a second, light-colored dog house for your pet to use on warmer days.


  • If you want to add any dark colors, consider adding them as embellishments around the dog house base or paint freehand images on the sides, but make sure the bulk of the surface is a light color.

Prepare the Igloo for Painting

To prepare the surface of the Igloo for painting, you need to clean it and then rough up the surface so the paint and primer will stick properly.

Wash the Igloo

Use a scrub brush or sponge to wash the Igloo with mild detergent and warm water.

Rinse Off the Soap

Rinse the dog house thoroughly with clear water and allow it to dry completely.

Rough Up the Surface

Rub the entire surface with medium-grit sandpaper such as a 60-grit or 80-grit. Apply firm pressure while sanding.

Remove Debris

Use a tack cloth to wipe off dust after sanding.

Painting the Igloo

Apply Primer

Shake the spray can, or mix the primer with a stir stick if using traditional paint.

  • Spray can: Hold the primer can about 8 inches from the surface of the Igloo and apply the paint in an even, side-to-side, sweeping motion, coating the surface with primer. 
  • Brush-on primer: Dip the paintbrush into the primer and apply a coat of primer by sweeping the brush from side to side over the surface. 

Let Primer Dry

Allow the primer to dry completely, for at least 15 minutes. It can, however, take longer to dry on a cool or humid day.

Prime the Igloo Again

Apply a second coat of primer and let it dry at least an hour. The second coat can be thicker if needed to cover thin spots in the first layer of primer.

Paint the Igloo

Repeat the steps you followed when applying the primer, following the same directional, side-to-side sweeping motions.

Finish the Paint Job

Allow the paint to dry completely, then apply a second coat if needed. Allow for more drying time, up to a couple hours, as you add each new coat.