The secret to successfully coloring PVC Pipe is surface preparation. Whether you are painting exposed PVC to make it less noticeable in your family room or making a giant blue pipe drum, you will need a durable paint that fuses to the plastic PVC surface without weakening the pipe. Painting is the only reliable way to get a solid even color, and spray painting is the most effective way to apply it.
Correct preparation is essential when working with PVC pipe, joints and fittings. Most paint is a solvent for plastics and may melt or weaken PVC pipe. The first step in preparation of the surface is to clean it free of oil and grease, and then dry it carefully. Then get some fine grit sandpaper and scuff up the outside surface of the pipe. You'll need to do this to insure that the surface is not so slick that the paint can not stick. Use plenty of newspaper or drop cloths to protect surrounding surfaces from overspray during painting.
Applying primer may help you achieve a smother coating, but the rules for paint are the same as the rules for primer. Make sure the product you use is compatible with plastics like PVC pipe. A latex-based product is probably more safe than an oil-based one since the solvents in oil-based products are harmful to plastics.
A new product that is designed to work on plastics is Krylon (TM) Fusion brand paint. It's formulated especially for PVC and plastic surfaces and it comes in colors and clear coat. Fusion can be found at home improvement and hardware stores. There are also other products available at automotive retail stores and paint stores that carry automotive paint. These paints can be brushed or sprayed on fiberglass and plastic and also can be prepared in a wide range of colors and degrees of gloss coats.
Make sure you work in a ventilated area out of the wind where the temperature is between 50 and 85 degrees with low humidity. Keep the spray head 10 inches from the surface you are painting and apply the paint in broad sweeping motions. Apply the paint in several thin coats to keep it from dripping or running.
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