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How to make PVC pipe look like chrome

Updated February 21, 2017

Polyvinyl chloride is a plastic used to create pipes and sheets. PVC pipes are often a less-expensive option than metal pipes, but the look of the PVC pipe might not be appropriate for your project. Use a chrome spray paint on your PVC pipe to give your pipes a metal appearance.

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  1. Set up a well-ventilated room in which to paint. The vapours from spray paint can be dangerous, and spray paint should not be used in closed off areas. Lay out plastic sheets or a dust sheet over any pieces of furniture or the floor.

  2. Place the PVC pipe on the dust sheet. Tape any areas on the pipe that do not need a chrome finish.

  3. Wash the pipe with soapy water, and remove any residue or debris. Dry the pipe with a towel.

  4. Sand the sides and ends of the PVC pipe to rough it up. This will help the primer or bonder to adhere to the plastic.

  5. Shake up the primer or bonder for about two minutes and spray the entire surface of the PVC pipe with a light coat of primer or bonder. Hold the can 15 to 17.5 cm (6 to 7) inches away from the pipe while spraying. Hold the pipe with one hand with the other. If this is not possible, lay the pipe flat and do one side at a time. Wait for the primer or bonder to dry before turning the pipe and spraying the other side. Allow the primer to dry.

  6. Wipe the pipe gently with a towel to remove any dust.

  7. Test the chrome spray on a piece of plywood or cardboard. Shake the can for two minutes and spray the chrome spray on the board. This will give you an idea of how the can sprays and how hard or lightly you need to press the nozzle.

  8. Coat the pipe with the chrome spray paint. Hold the can 12.5 to 17.5 cm (5 to 7 inches) from the pipe and spray. Coat the entire pipe and allow it to dry completely.

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Things You'll Need

  • Plastic sheet or dust sheet
  • Masking tape
  • Soapy water
  • Towel
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Plastic spray primer or bonder
  • Plastic spray chrome paint
  • Plywood or cardboard

About the Author

Donna Armstrong is a freelance writer who has been writing since 2005. She has provided copy for catalogs, newspapers, newsletters, blogs, informational and e-commerce websites. She has written on a variety of subjects including state-of-the-art electronics and household products. She has worked for such websites as and She attended the University of Texas, where she studied history and education.

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