How to Paint Plastic Pipe

Written by c.l. rease
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How to Paint Plastic Pipe
Painting plastic pipe will protect the pipe from ultraviolet light. (large plastic pipes image by Yali Shi from

Painting PVC or plastic pipe is done not only for cosmetic reasons. Painting the surface of the plastic pipe nearly doubles the life expectancy of the pipe by protecting the pipe from ultraviolet light. To ensure that the painted plastic pipe has a professional long lasting finish, you need to prepare the surface of the pipe before applying the plastic compatible paint. Preparation includes removing dust from the surface of the pipe, as well as removing the manufacturer markings printed on the pipe's surface.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Safety goggles
  • Rubber gloves
  • Acetone
  • Clean rag
  • Plastic compatible spray paint

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  1. 1

    Put on a pair of safety goggles and rubber gloves.

  2. 2

    Move the length of plastic pipe to an area that has adequate ventilation.

  3. 3

    Pour acetone on a clean rag. Wipe the surface of the plastic pipe with the acetone soaked rag to remove the manufacturer markings from the pipe. Add additional acetone to the rag if the rag becomes dry during the cleaning process.

  4. 4

    Allow the acetone to dry before continuing to Step 5. If any wet acetone remains on the plastic pipe when you begin to paint, the paint will not stick to the pipe's surface, it will simply run down the length of the pipe.

  5. 5

    Shake the can of plastic compatible spray paint for the time recommended by the can's usage instructions.

  6. 6

    Lean the plastic pipe against a suitable surface. You want the majority of the plastic pipe exposed and stable. If the pipe falls when the paint is wet, you will need to remove the paint from the pipe and restart the process.

  7. 7

    Apply a thin coat of paint to the surface of the plastic pipe. Allow the paint to dry for 45 minutes to 1 hour before applying additional coats of paint to the pipe. If you apply a heavy coat of paint, runs will form on the surface of the pipe, ruining the finish of the paint.

  8. 8

    Allow the paint to cure for at least 24 hours before handling and cutting the painted plastic pipe.

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