Painting on PVC: which paint? How to proceed ?

Furniture, garden armchairs, trinkets, gate … you can embellish many objects with paint. All of your PVC items can be personalized, upgraded, refurbished, or saved from the trash with a fresh coat of paint. Change them color! Read on what to consider when painting plastic and see which paint you can use to get the best result. Remember to keep general safety instructions in mind.

Not all plastics are the same. Some are not plastic (deformable). What all plastics have in common is that they are polymers. Simply put, this means that plastic is a single, huge molecule made up of individual blocks, which are the monomers. There are many different types of plastics, and if you are not a chemist, engineer, or anything else, you will only be able to tell them apart by labeling. However, when painting plastic it is important to know what type of plastic it is. This is the only way to be sure of choosing the right paint and to avoid unpleasant surprises when painting. So be sure to make sure that the part you are about to paint is made of PVC. This not only facilitates the choice of paint, but also helps to identify or avoid possible hazardous substances and the health risks that may result. So how do you transform any PVC object in an attractive way with a new coat of paint and without spending too much money?

Safety first

Chemicals can be dangerous. And most of the methods of painting PVC objects involve the use of paints which can be dangerous. These paints can cause you serious concern if you do not use them properly. Make sure you read, understand and follow all the safety rules that come with chemicals and their packaging. Failure to follow these instructions could cause bodily harm.

Always use protection for your hands when working with chemicals. For painting, opt for standard latex gloves that are found in most hardware stores and department stores. Then protect your eyes. Wear safety glasses or other eye protection when working, as spray paint can get in your eyes. Finally protect your lungs. Wear a mask. Some spray paints can cause allergic reactions, breathing problems or the like. Work outdoors, in an open garage, or in a workshop with large open windows. Vapors from spray paints may cause dizziness. If this happens, immediately leave the area and seek fresh air.

Which paint to paint on PVC?

PVC is notoriously difficult to paint with standard commercial paints, such as acrylic for example. Ideally, there is only one method to paint PVC, and that is to use specific paints designed for PVC and plastics. These paints have a special formula that allows them to stick to PVC and other plastic products. Most of the time, they are offered in an aerosol can. You can certainly try painting the PVC with other products, but the result will most likely result in surfaces that chip or scratch easily.

How to paint on PVC?

Plastic furniture, window and door frames, trash cans, vases, PVC parts which are hard and stable plastic parts whose surface is not too smooth, can be painted very well, provided you take the right ones precautions. However, the plastic must be properly prepared before painting, i.e. cleaned, sanded if necessary and / or given a special primer. Damage and irregularities can be leveled. Since you know what material you are coating, you can specifically purchase the right plastic primer and optimal paint. The best thing to do is choose a paint manufacturer and then buy all the products for the paint system in their line. So you can be sure that all the products you use are compatible with each other. There are a number of special paint colors for PVC.

Of course, it is not always necessary to buy the whole range of products. Many PVC surfaces can be painted with paint without necessarily primer. Additionally, not all surfaces need to be perfectly smooth or shiny, and not all PVC coverings need to be weatherproof, scratch, impact, etc. And multiple application is not always necessary or desirable – often it is enough to clean the part to be painted with soapy water, sand it down, and then paint it in the desired color with the spray can. Choose the color you want from the wide range offered and, if necessary, ask the specialist staff in store for advice.

In short, what you absolutely need to remember: As stated before, do not use the following paints to paint PVC products, because they will not adhere:

  • Latex paints
  • Water-based paints
  • Acrylic paints
  • Non-plastic epoxy-based paints
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