Most people find that PVC pipe is difficult or impossible to paint because of its smooth surface. But with proper preparation and the right tools, it becomes immeasurably easier to accomplish this task. And while PVC does contain certain compounds that make it waterproof and prevent foreign substances from sticking to it, a little sanding and a coat of primer will allow you to change the color of the PVC pipes to any shade you like.
Method 1 of 2: Spray paint
Step 1. Prepare all required materials
For simple painting of PVC, you will need a large sheet of fine-grained sandpaper, a small bottle of acetone, a clean rag, one or more cans of spray paint of the desired color, and, in fact, the PVC object itself to paint. Before you start painting, make sure you have everything you need.
- Observe workplace safety regulations. Wear gloves, goggles, and a respirator to filter dust and chemicals.
- Choose a spray paint specifically designed for use on plastics, such as Krylon Fusion or Rust-Oleum Plastic.
Step 2. Prepare your workspace
Place a large tablecloth or plastic tarp where you plan to paint. Cover all furniture, appliances, and appliances. Work in an area with adequate air circulation, such as a garage or workshop with open doors and windows.
- Work in a well-ventilated, open area. This will not only speed up the drying of the paint, but also limit the harmful effects of acetone and paint fumes.
- Since spray paint tends to disperse when applied, a tablecloth is needed to protect floors, countertops, and other work surfaces.
- If you do not have a suitable tablecloth, take several sheets of newspaper, laid out in several layers.
Step 3. Measure the required length of PVC pipe and cut it
Before painting, the pipe must already be of a suitable size and shape. Take care of any required measurements, trimming and assembling in advance. Thus, you just have to apply paint and install the system.
For example, if an angle joint is to be installed on a pipe, it must be secured before sanding and painting
Step 4. Sand the outside of the PVC pipe
Run a fine-grained sandpaper over the outside of the pipe. Place a sheet of sandpaper in the palm of your hand and then wrap it around the pipe. For even coverage, use a rotating motion from one end of the pipe to the other.
- Try not to grind the pipe for too long, as this can lead to uneven wall thicknesses and hence rapid wall wear.
- Use a 220 grit or higher grit sandpaper.
Step 5. Treat the PVC pipe with acetone
Place a corner of a clean, dry cloth against the neck of an inverted acetone bottle to wet it. Rub the acetone onto the sanded PVC surface. This does not require a lot of acetone. It should be enough to prepare the PVC surface for painting.
- Wiping the PVC pipe will remove any remaining sandpaper left over from sanding.
- The acetone should expand the plastic and become more porous, which will allow it to better hold the paint.
Step 6. Apply several coats of spray paint
Spray a thin coat of paint in slow, even strokes over the entire length of the PVC pipe. Do not spray too much paint to avoid dripping or spills. Once you've finished painting one end of the PVC pipe, rotate it to paint the other side. Try to ensure that the finish is smooth and even, without bald spots or defects.
- Continue applying additional layers until you achieve the desired color depth.
- Wait 20-30 minutes for the paint to dry before applying the next coat.
Step 7. Let the painted pipe dry
Once you have achieved the desired shade and even coverage, set the pipe aside to allow the paint to dry. The painted pipe will take about 24 hours to dry completely. The pipe must be dry enough to withstand heat, pressure and scratches before being used in domestic or construction work.
If you plan to use PVC pipe in particularly dirty or capital works, it is better to leave it to dry for 2-3 days
Method 2 of 2: Hand painting
Step 1. Sand the PVC pipe to prepare it for painting
Sand the PVC pipe to roughen the smooth surface and thus make it easier to paint the plastic. Press with equal force and use the same stroke length to achieve an even finish.
Do not use an electric sander as it can cut too much material off the pipe surface
Step 2. Wipe the PVC with acetone
Remove as much dust and small chips as you can. Let the acetone dry for 20-30 minutes. During this step, be sure to wear gloves and work in a well-ventilated area.
- Wet the cloth again if necessary to cover the entire sanded area.
- Try not to oversaturate the PVC pipe with acetone. An excess of acetone can corrode the plastic, thereby weakening its structure.
Step 3. Apply a base coat of primer
Apply a thin layer of primer with a brush, moving from one end of the pipe to the other. The primer will allow the paint to adhere better to smooth surfaces. One coat of primer will be sufficient.
Buy a primer in a regular matte white color. It is versatile enough to make any shade of paint clear and vibrant
Step 4. Apply the first coat of paint with a brush
Apply paint in long, smooth strokes, moving from one end of the pipe to the other (as when applying a primer). Rotate the pipe as you paint, overlapping layers until all edges are painted.
- Paint with a small soft bristle brush just a little wider than the tube itself.
- Buy paints that mimic the waterproofing effect of PVC, such as satin semi-gloss, latex, or acrylic.
Step 5. Apply additional layers if necessary
You will most likely need to apply several coats of paint before it takes on the desired shade. With each subsequent layer, the color will darken and thicken. When finished painting, leave the PVC pipe to dry for 24-48 hours. The end result is a bright, durable section of pipe that can be used in absolutely any project!
- Most paint jobs require 2-3 separate coats of paint.
- Try not to apply the paint too thick to avoid visible streaks.
- PVC pipes are produced in different colors these days. Before you start painting, try first looking for a pipe in the color you want.
- Shake the can well before applying spray paint.
- Place the PVC pipe against a covered wall or chair to facilitate painting work and avoid transferring paint to other surfaces.
- Plan your project for a low humidity day, as high humidity will make the paint less adhering to the pipe surface.
- Clean the painted pipe by wiping it gently with a damp cloth.
- Breathing acetone, paint or primer vapors can be hazardous to health. Be sure to work in a well-ventilated open area and wear a respirator whenever possible.
- Acetone may cause mild irritation on contact with skin. Never handle acetone or other corrosive substances without gloves.