Painting a Schedule 40 PVC couduit

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by missinginaction, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    missinginaction Senior Member

    Good morning gentlemen!

    My flybridge is progressing nicely and it's now time to prep for the installation of the upper helm. I need a conduit to pass steering, throttle cables and wiring from the lower helm to the upper. 3" schedule 40 PVC pipe will do the job here but I'd like to pretty it up and give it a nice coat of paint and also protect the pipe from UV degradation over time

    Has anyone painted PVC? Any product endorsements? Or alternatives?

    This conduit will be about 4' long and it is not structural. I simply want it to look good over time and do it's job. When I'm at the lower helm I'll be looking at it all the time!

    Thanks in advance for any advice,

    MIA
     
  2. lewisboats
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    lewisboats Obsessed Member

    Go to an automotive store and get some plastic paint. Give that a try. There is also available a primer for plastic that lets you use regular spray paint if the other doesn't work.
     
  3. pauloman
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    pauloman Epoxy Vendor

    I've had PVC pipe - covers over the galvanized pipe on my boat dock - painted with Aluthane (aluminum filled urethane - google it) - looks great years later. For a different color, paint over it with hardware store enamel.

    paul
     
  4. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I'll second the "poor mans chrome" in a can treatment. It' also good for blocking stains that would other wise bleed through regular paints. Top coat as desired.

    Conversely, you could just use epoxy primer and paint. Tooth up the PVC good, then a quick "wash" with a torch, immediately followed with epoxy primer and top coat of choice.

    Lastly the "Fusion" style of plastics paints work quite well, as Steve has mentioned. I painted an American flag motif on a poly tarp sail a few years ago and it's still hanging tough, in spite of being on a sail. Every try to get paint to stick to poly tarp?
     
  5. missinginaction
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    missinginaction Senior Member

    Thanks for the replies guy's.

    Paul, I've got quite a bit of Interlux Epoxy Prime Coat out in the shop. I'll try priming it with that and then giving it a couple of coats of that Perfection I've been using on the rest of the boat. It won't really cost me anything, there's always a bit of that Perfection left in the paint tray to coat something small like this after I've painted something else.

    Could you please explain the "quick wash with a torch" comment. Are you telling me to heat the surface a bit to seal it? I've never heard that expression before.

    MIA
     
  6. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Yep, it's called oxidizing the surface. Simply pass a flame over the surface, at a moderately brisk rate, without melting anything. This will bust up some of the carbon molecules on the surface, making a molecular level "tooth" which will help the epoxy grip the surface. Actually, PVC is pretty good without this treatment, so long as it's well toothed with no finer than 80 grit. So, a good scratch with 80 grit, clean and paint will do pretty darn well, but if the part will receive some abuse, toss some heat at it after sanding.
     
  7. missinginaction
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    missinginaction Senior Member

  8. pauloman
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    pauloman Epoxy Vendor

    sounds like a plan! just wanted to point out the aluthane mentioned is not an epoxy but rather a mcu (moisture cured urethane). It bonds so well that if you get it on you and don't get it off fast, you wear it for a few days. And if you get it in the rim of the can, you will not get the metal paint can lid off again.


    I suspect that the pipe has a 'release agent' on it that unless removed gives the piping a bad reputation when it comes to coating, although that is just speculation on my part.


    paul
     
  9. missinginaction
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    missinginaction Senior Member

    I'll have to look up that Aluthane Paul. thanks for the tip.

    Well I just finished painting some small parts and that PVC pipe. Interesting technique. I ended up hanging a 5' section from a garage door overhead support. Sanded, wiped clean with a damp cloth, passed a propane torch over it and rolled on a coat of Epoxy Prime Coat. Looks great PAR.

    Thanks,

    MIA
     
  10. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    How much did you get on the garage door and the floor below?
     

  11. missinginaction
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    missinginaction Senior Member

    Actually none! One of the things I learned early on with these 2 part paints is that "less is more". Taking some extra time and applying a couple of thin coats (or even three) produces a better result, and no runs.

    MIA
     
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