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Old 05-08-2008, 21:34   #1
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Painting PVC

My pvc cowl vents are looking pretty rough despite a good cleaning. Can they be painted and if so with what product? Will it last?
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Old 05-08-2008, 22:05   #2
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I use PVC parts in my floating hot tub and have had no luck with paint. There is a commercial brand of paint that is supposed to work, but it chips very easily.
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Old 06-08-2008, 01:24   #3
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I have had good luck painting PVC pipe with a quick drying spray paint made by Rustoleum or Krylon.
This guy says it has last for him for over 2 years. Check it out:

Dorade Boxes

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Old 06-08-2008, 01:37   #4
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I'd say, forget it.
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Old 06-08-2008, 03:20   #5
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Wipe the pvc part down with acetone to etch the surface then paint when the acetone has evaporated.

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Old 06-08-2008, 03:41   #6
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Plasticized PVC will accept and hold “flexible” paints, such as:
Nicro (Marinco) “Nicro-Cote”
Don-Bur “PVC94"
PolyMarine “Superflex” PVC Paint
Viponds “TautFlex”
IBS “Inflatable Boat Paint” (PVC)
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Old 06-08-2008, 17:11   #7
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Thanks, I will give it a try.
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Old 06-08-2008, 17:44   #8
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HD sells a primer for plastics - it will make the paint stick. I've had luck painting EVERYTHING plastic after using this - I then typically paint the finish coat with appliance paint - it's extremely hard.
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Old 06-08-2008, 19:34   #9
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I just wipe all that sun baked crud off with acetone and a cotton rag and put a vinyl protectant on after that. They look brand new. There is no need to paint them at all. Give that a try before you paint them.
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Old 06-08-2008, 20:01   #10
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Cowl vents (PVC) used to last for years however several years ago the EU and most other countries banned some key substances in plastics (Cadmium etc. ) I believe this severly reduced UV protection. My 20 yeqr old vents looked fair but a replacement looked worse after only 2 years. I used the Krylon "Fusion" which was designed for outdoor furniture. It works pretty good but gets sticky after a year or so. I got some Stainless ones and the problem is resolved.
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Old 08-08-2008, 05:19   #11
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Gulfislander,

These have worked well for me:

You can probably clean your PVC up well with an ammonia/water solution. Or Windex, though stronger ammonia content works quicker. Spray/dab on, keep wet for a few minutes, then rub with a mild scotch bright.

We use UVX2 car vinyl protectant on our PVC cowls. Wipe it on every few weeks and it helps. Ads a sacrificial layer to the surface. Just don't forget to keep it applied - just takes a minute for all four. Works great on exterior upholstery too. We own a mobile car/boat detailing business and it works well for many things, as long as you keep up on it! Like any "protectant", if you let the surface dry out over and over after application, it'll cloud and sometimes turn gooie.


Inflatable dinghy paint works on flexible PVC and is available in most colors.

For regular PVC pipe, sand it and clean with acetone (also etches it), then prime and paint with standard marine paint (I've had success with Brightside).

Fair leads,
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Old 08-08-2008, 12:29   #12
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I've used Nicro-Cote, it works fine. It is designed for recoating vinyls and plastics, which most paints are not intended for.

Either Krylon or Rustoleum just came out with a line of spray paints intended for use on plastic, but I think that's just for rigid plastics, you might want to check.

Duplicolor also make paints to recoat auto interiors, particularly flexible plastics and vinyls, and those hold up very well. Available in auto stores, in a wide range of colors.

And any auto body shop can probably repaint them for you, they use a special "plastic" additive in regular auto body paint, so it can paint flexible bumper covers and stick to the plastic. Since white is one of the most common car colors, odds are you can drop it off and say "just paint it anytime this month with the next white job?" and get a price break versus having it done ASAP.

One "gotcha": Never use ArmorAll or similar products on painted plastic. It can and will attack the bond and the paint will flake off! Learned that the hard way too.
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Old 18-08-2008, 08:27   #13
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Right, don't use moisturizers (Armor All, UVX2, etc...) on paint, but do feel free to use them on non-painted plastic. IE, exterior of PVC cowls, vinyl seats, etc. For painted surfaces, use a wax or sealer of some sort.

So many in the marine world thing there is a disconnect between how to treat marine and land coatings. Keep gel coat waxed, it'll last a long time, just like if you keep a car waxed, its paint will last. Keep plastic coated with a sacrificial coating (UVX2), and it'll last.

The key is consistent maintenance of whatever you do.

Best of luck!
Aaron N.
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