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1. To apply paint onto some surface. I brought in a bunch of pieces of cardboard and scrap paper for the kids to paint on. It's really hard to paint on textured, bumpy walls like this one.
2. To use paint to create a particular, picture, pattern, or design on something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "paint" and "on." Can you paint a big dinosaur on Timmy's wall? He loves dinosaurs. I'm going to paint a cool fire design on the side of my car.
paint on something
to apply paint to the surface of something. He painted on the fence a while and then went inside to rest. Please don't paint on the area that is not sanded down.