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Can You Paint Copper Plumbing?

Updated February 21, 2017

You can paint copper plumbing as long as you employ the proper preparation techniques. Copper is a nonporous, durable surface that is ill-suited for adhesion. Combat this problem by conditioning the plumbing with a special primer.

Cleaning

No type of primer or paint will adhere to dirty copper. Wash the plumbing with a water-based degreasing cleanser before you begin the application process, or the finish ultimately will flake.

Priming

Ordinary latex, oil and acrylic primers are not appropriate for copper plumbing. Use a metal self-etching primer, or the plumbing eventually will reject its new finish.

Painting

Once the plumbing is conditioned properly, it will accept a painted finish. Choose a latex or acrylic paint. Use a polyester paintbrush with tight, thin bristles that will promote a smooth finish, free from brushstrokes.

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About the Author

Ryan Lawrence is a freelance writer based in Boulder, Colorado. He has been writing professionally since 1999. He has 10 years of experience as a professional painting contractor. Lawrence writes for High Class Blogs and Yodle. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and public relations with a minor in history from the University of Oklahoma.