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I have several coils of yellow agricultural PVC hose.

My intention is to paint them, and to use them to represent thick high voltage cable for a prop. They will be completely static in coils, and will not be required to flex or bend. In fact this will be discouraged by fixing them in place as much as is practical.

They are a salvaged material, and while not ideal for my purposes they are free and available.

I intend to clean them with a degreasing agent, sand the surface down lightly, clean them a second time to remove dust created by sanding, and then to paint them.

Are there any specific techniques, products, or product families that would help me to achieve a high quality result, or which should be avoided?

For example, specific types of paint that would adhere well to a pvc surface, or which would adhere poorly

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Usually PVC pipes and hoses are sealed to make them extra water resistant. Unfortunately that makes them harder to paint.

Step 1: sanding

I assume the hose is cleaned of any soil or obvious dirt. You need to roughen up the surface you want to paint because otherwise the paint might pool or rub off. Medium or fine grit (anywhere between 80 & 200) sandpaper or sanding sponges should work fine and you want to treat the surface until it's visibly less shiny.

Please wear a particle filtering mask for this step. You don't want to inhale a cloud of plastic dust.

Step 2: cleaning

You'll want to clean the sanded hoses with acetone, because it acts as a degreaser and also swells up the surface slightly, which makes it take up the paint better. The acetone needs 30 minutes to react with the PVC and you get the best results if you start painting at that time instead of waiting longer.

Please wear gloves for this step because acetone drys out the skin.

Step 3: painting

You'll get the best results by using spray paint. The paint should say that it's "plastic-rated" or "rated for PVC" or it should list PVC as applicable material on the can. Plastic-rated spray paints contain special additives that make them bond to PVC. If your paint doesn't say it's applicable to PVC, it may not stick or rub off after drying.

Follow the instructions of the manufacturer (amount of shaking, spraying distance to the surface, drying time etc.) and apply a thin coat. After the first coat is dry, you can apply a second coat to achieve a higher quality result.

Please only use spray paint outside or wear a respirator while painting.

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  • You recommend against using a separate undercoat? Jun 27, 2023 at 18:30
  • @AaarghZombies I feel like with the right spray paint an undercoat shouldn't be neseccary, but it also shouldn't have any negative effects. You'll probably need at least 2 coats of paint anyways to completely cover the yellow of the hoses.
    – Elmy
    Jun 27, 2023 at 19:28

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