Can You Paint a Mini Split?

It’s been a few years since you’ve gotten your mini split system installed, and you’re quite happy with how comfortably heated and cooled your home is. You also love saving money on your energy bills. You’ve been thinking of repainting your living room for a while now, but you keep putting it off. You have an indoor air-handling unit installed in there, and you’re not sure if you can paint over it. Can you?

That depends! If your air-handling unit has a removable plastic cover, then there’s no reason why you couldn’t take the cover off and paint it to match the new color of your walls. However, you will have to shop for separate paint than what you used for the walls. Most paints can leave obvious brush marks on the plastic or smear before they dry, ruining the application.

You’ll need spray paint such as Rust-Oleum Universal Spray Paint or Krylon Paint + Primer. We’d recommend choosing a spray paint first and then picking the color you’ll repaint your living room based on your spray paint color options. This way, you can ensure a perfect color match rather than two colors that only sort of match.

Before you begin, clean the plastic mini split cover using soap and water. If the cover is especially glossy, we’d suggest sanding it so the paint will stick better. Use sandpaper with grit between 180 and 220. Rub gently, as you can always go back and give the cover a second pass if it needs more work, but you can’t replace what you sanded off once it’s gone.

Then rub down the cover with isopropyl alcohol to ensure there are no leftover plastic particles and dust from all the sanding. Take your plastic mini split cover and put it outside or in a ventilated area such as a garage. Stand at least eight inches away from the cover, even 12 inches back, and begin spraying. Hold the can at an angle of 45 degrees.

It’s okay to apply just a bit of paint for the first layer. If you focus on one area for too long, the paint can dribble and ruin the cover. It will take about two hours of drying time per layer, so make sure you keep that in mind. Spray-painting your ductless mini split cover might not be something you can do in one afternoon.

Keep repeating the above steps, adding thin layer after thin layer. Although it can take three or four applications before you’re happy with the results, by the time you’re done, you should have a smooth, finished mini split cover. If your cover does have any dried globs of paint, use your sander and then clean with isopropyl alcohol to remove the residue.

To wrap up, put your air-handling cover back on and then step back and admire your handiwork. Now your mini split will be even harder to detect than ever before since it blends into your walls seamlessly.