Sunday, March 9, 2014


I get a lot of questions from craft builders about painting pvc pipe.  Here is how I do it.  It is very important that you clean the pipe FIRST

In the extruding process of making pvc pipe, a heavy (shiny) wax is left on the outside and inside of the pipe.  This heavy wax, must be removed from the pipe or the paint will not stick to the pipe.

AFTER, you cut out your bird, BUT BEFORE you HEAT & BEND your bird,
 is the time to CLEAN.
 By cleaning at this time, the excess pipe has been cut away, and the pipe is not yet bent.  It is almost impossible to do a good job cleaning the pipe after it has been bent.

You need to remove the wax everywhere on the pipe that is going to be painted.  Sometimes this means the inside of the pipe (near the ends).  If you do not clean the wax off the pipe, you will be able to take your fingernail and scrape off the paint.  The wax is so hard, that the paint can not adhere to the pipe.

Some people think that we are just removing the colored markings on the pipe.  Yes, those markings come off when you clean the pipe.  However, it is the main job to remove the wax.  You will know when you have done a good job, when the pipe is dull and there is NO shiny surface left.

I use paper towels and MEK (Methy Ethyl Ketone ) or Acetone.

Either will do the job.  I like MEK because it does not seem to evaporate as fast as Actone.  I purchase the MEK by the gallon at Lowes.   Acetone seems to be more available and in smaller containers.

Cleaning PVC Pipe with MEK
Here is my friend Gary, cleaning his Eagle.
Notice the pipe has been CUT, but has not yet been BENT.

A note about drying paint.
If the paint instructions say 24hrs to dry, it does not mean "8 hrs and kinda feels dry"
If you apply your clear coat too soon, your original paint may bubble.

Just follow the instructions - Which most men do not like to do !

A closer look at this Friend name Gary: 
Friend Gary

My girlfriend Linda, wondered if this guy could be a "Fugitive from the Law"
hiding behind that mustache.  Does any one else know this handsome devil ?
He says, he is a former Wisconsinite.

floridajim on Ebay