How to Paint PVC Projects

Painting your PVC furniture and other PVC projects will give them a distinct, eye-catching look. It’s easy to do when you follow these tips.

First, thoroughly clean the pipe. Oil and other contaminants that can prevent paint from adhering properly must be removed. What’s more, if you don’t remove the manufacturer’s markings and any other smudges, they’ll likely show through the paint.

Light sanding with a medium/fine grit sanding pad will clean the pipe. It will also scuff it a bit, which will help the paint adhere. After sanding, wipe off the dust. Another method is to scrub the entire pipe with acetone.

But, if you don’t want take the time to remove the manufacturer’s markings, they can be covered by spraying with a primer/sealer prior to painting. The problem is, it’s an extra step that adds to the time and money spent on your project. I prefer spending a few minutes cleaning the pipe.

To make it easier to paint smaller PVC projects, I constructed a Lazy Susan. To make one, simply attach a Lazy Susan mechanism (available at most hardware stores) to two small sheets of plywood. My top board measures 18-inches square and the bottom board slightly larger.

With the Lazy Susan placed inside a large cardboard box you’ll have an easier time painting all sides of your project.

For larger items, I assembled a knock-down spray booth in my shop. It’s a simple rectangular frame made with one-inch PVC pipe, covered with a sheet of clear plastic.

Spray with paint that’s formulated for plastic and PVC. You’ll find spray cans at most paint and hardware stores. Too, you can buy paint blended specifically for plastic and fiberglass – colored or clear and in various lusters – at automotive paint stores.

Caution: be sure to paint in a well-ventilated area.

Follow the directions on the spray can. You should paint in temperatures ranging from 50-degrees to 85-degrees and in low humidity. Spray paint about 10-inches from your project in an even, up and down, back and forth sweeping motion. To avoid drips and runs, apply multiple thin coats.

That’s all there is to it. When done, you’ll be delighted at how finished your PVC project turns out.

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