View Full Version : Acrylics on plastic and able to last outside.

05-08-2001, 10:49 PM
Hi all,
I usually paint with oils, but for this project I'm choosing to go with Acrylics.
A friend would like me to paint something on plastic PVC pipe. This project will be placed outdoors when completed.
My questions are,is there any special prep work that'll be neede to be done to the plastic to make the paint adhere more readily,i.e. sanding,gesso,spraypaint a basecoat? Also, when the initial work is completed, what should I use to coat the work with so that it'll be able to withstand the weather?
Thank you for any input and help with this http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

<center> Cloud Ten Graphics *Artwork by Jim* (http://jim.artistnation.com) </center>

05-08-2001, 11:29 PM
I've used acrylics outside on stone and wood...but no plastic. I varnished the finished work with two coats of acrylic varnish. The varnish will wear off in a year or so...and it may need another coat to keep the painted surface fresh...but the paint is durable for many years. Some of my birdhouses still have paint...and the wood is wearing out!

"Everything is not art and Art is not everything, but it comes close."....carly

05-09-2001, 03:06 PM
Hi Jim,

Welcome to WC!

A couple of things to take a look at...with PVC it would be best to talk to someone in the business about it's properties. It may be that it is additionally pre-coated with something that makes it shine or even an oily coat of something that would prevent acrylic from adhering at it's optimum. Or, you may have to etch or sand the surface to prepare before painting in acrylic. There are also additives that you can use to make the acrylic stick better as well.

Secondly, I'd talk to a very good sign painter. They have specially prepared paints for use on car paint, plexi, etc. which have similar surfaces to the pipe you wish to paint upon. Ask them what they recommend. It might be that you'll need to switch from acrylic to enamel instead for your creation to assure it will hold up under outdoor conditions.

I hope others here in the forum will chime in with some suggestions as well.


L. Diane Johnson (http://www.LDianeJohnson.com/) NAPA, PSA
2001/2002 Plein Air Workshops (http://www.LDianeJohnson.com/workshops/)

05-14-2001, 03:40 PM
The key to having acrylic adhere to non-porous surfaces is to make sure the surface is totally free of any oily, waxy, or otherwise water-repellant residue. A lubricant of some kind is always applied to the molds when plastic or metal is cast, and will leave such a residue which can be removed with a household degreaser such as dish soap.

Another thing that helps is to abrade the surface with a fine sandpaper or scouring pad. This raises more surface area to facilitate a mechanical bond with the paint. This may create a texture that you find undesirable, but provided the grooves are not too deep, your paint will fill in most of them.

PVC pipe is typically extruded, rather than cast, but it is usually shipped and stored in less than pristine conditions. Acrylic paint should stick fine after a good scrubbing.

05-14-2001, 03:46 PM
Oh yes,...

For outdoor use, give your pipe a good sanding and scrubbing over the entire surface to be painted. A primer isn't necessary in this case, but you can lay down a coat of gesso if your technique requires it.

Very important, when the painting's done, give the piece a couple coats of gloss acrylic varnish, followed by a thick coat of solvent-based urethane varnish or other outdoor-rated sealant.

05-27-2001, 02:31 AM
Thanks for your suggesstions everyone.
I didn't mean to post and run. Gosh cuttlefish,for a minute there I thought you were gonna give me the history of PVC. J/K
Sometimes I can be too darn sarcastic for my own good. Thank you again! The pipe's been sanded and a basecoat of Brown has since been applied. This project will be covering an Oil Tank fill tube outside in a garden.
I suggested that the pipe be made to look like a stump (with bark) then paint some vines etc around it. I think it will work out just fine.

<center> Cloud Ten Graphics *Artwork by Jim* (http://jim.artistnation.com) </center>