How to Paint PVC Pipe
First, clean the pipe by using the methods detailed here. If you don't remove the manufacturer's markings, they'll likely show through. Also, you should clean any dust, dirt and any other contaminants from the pipe in order for paint to adhere properly. After cleaning, let the pipe dry thoroughly before painting.
To make it easier to paint small PVC projects, I made a Lazy Susan that fits inside a small appliance-size cardboard box. For larger projects, I have a make-shift spray booth that I set up.
I generally prefer the Krylon™ Fusion brand that’s formulated for plastic and PVC. You'll find it at most home improvement stores, such as Home Depot, Lowes, Ace Hardware and True Value. And if you really want to get fancy and creative, you can get coatings specifically made for plastic and fiberglass – both colored and clear as well as in various lusters – at auto paint stores.
I also use Rust-Oleum 2x Ultra
Cover Paint+Primer with great success.
Carefully follow the directions on the can. In a nutshell, you should work in temperatures ranging from 50° to 85° and low humidity. Spray paint about 8 to 10-inches from your project in an even, up and down, back and forth sweeping motion. To avoid drips or runs, apply multiple thin coats.
Make sure your work area is well-ventilated!
Let your project dry and you're done.
NOTE: You can read about the use and safety of Krylon Spray Paint by clicking here.
UPDATE: here's how to stain and "woodgrain" PVC pipe.
photos copyright © 2000 - 2014 by Brooks Owen