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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Repairing Automotive Paint Damage Caused by Bird Poop in 5 Minutes

Every time you take your car out of the garage it’s exposed to potential paint damage hazards. Some of the most common issues are acid rain, insects, battery acid and road stones. There is another hazard that’s particularly messy and harmful, and that’s bird poop.

Bird poop is essentially an acid. It can have a pH level between 3.5 and 4.5. That means it will burn delicate surfaces unless it’s removed relatively quickly. On car paint, in particular clear coat finishes, bird droppings burn the surface, causing a permanent etch mark.

It’s not at all uncommon for a large dropping to cause paint damage that’s 2 mils deep, or more. To understand what that means to your car’s clear coat, good laser printer paper is about 2 mils thick. More importantly, a quality clear coat finish is typically 4 to 6 mils. That means a heavy-duty bird bomb won’t leave a lot of clear coat in the area that needs to be repaired. The good news is that paint etching from hard water spots and bird droppings is an easy repair you can make at home. Most repairs like this take less than 5 minutes.

Fixing Bird Poop Paint Damage

The only way to repair the paint damage caused by a bird is to polish the affected area with a fine cut rubbing compound. The basic procedure is to use the compound to cut away the damage and re-polish the surface so it looks new again. This is exactly the step taken by professionals and the factory when they remove painting defects. Your only concern is over-polishing. Be careful that you don’t over do it and polish all the way through the top coat.

The best car polish to use is one that’s formulated for removing paint scratches or restoring oxidized paint. The product I highly recommend is Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound. It’s available in most auto parts stores, and it works great by hand or with an electric car polisher.

If the damage covers an area larger than about 1 square inch, a polishing compound alone might not do the trick. For larger areas of damage you can make the repair faster and easier by first removing the damaged paint with 2000 or 3000 grit wet sanding paper, then re-polish the area with the compound. This may sound severe, but it’s not. It’s a safe procedure used by paint and body shop professionals.

Preventing Bird Damage

Although it’s difficult to avoid being splattered with bird waste, it’s not at all difficult to prevent the damage. The sooner you remove the mess, the less likely it will be that your paint will be damaged. Conversely, the longer the mess remains on your vehicle’s paint the more damage it will create.

If you live in an area where you are prone to getting pooped on, I highly recommend keeping a small bottle of car detailing spray and a microfiber cloth or two in your vehicle. It will come in handy for all kinds of spills and emergency cleanups. The Meguiar’s Quik Detailer product is very inexpensive and easy to find. When you need to clean up a bird mess, simply give the bird droppings a few shots of the spray, allow it to soak for a moment or two, then wipe it away.

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