PVC is available in many different sizes and shapes, and it is available in clear or can be painted, so the color choices are almost endless. PVC is strong, durable and easy to cut and glue together. You can make almost anything out of it—furniture, sweater racks, fences and even towel racks.
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Working with PVC
Most PVC has some blue writing on the side that lists the type and size of the pipe. This will have to be removed before painting; otherwise, the writing may bleed through the paint. A light sanding with fine- to medium-grit sandpaper will remove the writing and help prepare the surface for painting.
Before gluing PVC, use a primer. The primer tends to run, so if it gets in places where you don’t want it, use a small piece of 0000 steel wool soaked in acetone and rub the area. Clean the acetone off with a cloth immediately.
Wipe everything down with a clean cloth before painting and make sure the surface is free from dust or oil. Choose a spray paint that will adhere to PVC.
Free-standing Towel Rack
Use a PVC five-way fitting to make a free-standing towel rack. Insert a piece of PVC through the hole on the top of the fitting to serve as the middle or base of the stand. Install other pieces of pipe through the middle piece to make the towel bars. Use the other four holes of the fitting to install PVC pipe pieces that are long enough to balance the towel rack so it will stand up.
Attached Towel Racks
To make a towel rack to install on a bathroom door, use PVC slip-on flanges, which come in several different sizes. Flanges have holes in them that make it possible to attach them to a door or wall. Glue PVC elbows to the flanges and place a PVC pipe between the two elbows, forming a towel rack.
Another type of door or wall rack can be accomplished by using PVC three-way fittings on the end of slip-on flanges. Glue a piece of PVC pipe between two of the holes on the three-way fitting. Form a second rack next to the first one by using two 4-inch pieces of PVC pipe with elbows on each end and a PVC pipe in the middle the same length as the first piece, and glue this into the other two holes of the three-way fitting.