How to Paint Your Plumbing Pipes

There are several reasons why a residential or commercial property owner would want to paint exposed pipes including décor and a color-coding identification system that simplifies maintenance and repair. We asked some of the experts at Emergency Plumber Finder just how color coding pipes help plumbers. Here is how they advise property owners to paint pipes.

Artistic Décor Solutions

Exposed pipes are common in property styles like factory-to-furnished dwellings, lofts and small apartments. Pipes often are out-of-place and inconvenient, which is why painting them is an artistic décor solution that solves several logistics problems. A few décor ideas include:

  • Use cords to create a candy cane effect
  • Pain them the same as your walls to blend in well
  • Play on each room’s color palette with warm, bright or natural tones
  • Use them as shelf anchors or light fixture holders as it adds a chic feel to any space

Why Color Code Pipes?

The American National Standards Institute recommends the following color codes for safety:

  • Fire hazards: Red with white lettering
  • Toxic fluids: Orange with black lettering
  • Flammables: Yellow with black lettering
  • Combustibles: Brown with white lettering
  • Potable waters: Green with white lettering
  • Compressed air: Blue with white lettering

Color coding your pipes offers critical information for plumbers as it is easier to follow from beginning to end. It also allows plumbers to locate the problem much faster as coloring narrows down the scope for an inspection. If your dwelling is a part of a larger complex, it will aid plumbers in organization and accessibility when moving from one apartment to the next.

How to Paint PVC Pipes

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a difficult material to paint as acrylics, latex, epoxy or water-based products will not adhere or cure properly when applied. It is important to purchase particular paint products that are formulated specifically for PVC and plastic pipes. As these  products are typically only available in spray-can formulas, you must use caution when applying.

First, clean the PVC with a cleaning solution that contains ammonia to remove excess dirt and debris. Then, use sandpaper to make the surface gritty to the touch. Use a cloth to wipe off the surface to remove loose particles. Next, put a flat-based board or paper behind the pipe and against the wall to avoid cast-off. Apply a thin layer by spraying it evenly on each pipe section.

How to Paint Metal Plumbing Pipes

Metal pipes are eyesores, which is why paint is often the easiest solution to make them look artistic rather than functional. Before applying paint, you need to remove the priming if the pipes are new or have surface debris. First, wash the area with a soapy solution. After it dries, use a vinegar-soaked cloth rag so the acid will act as a passivation material to bond the primer.

Apply a primer and let it dry. Apply the first coat soon after the primer has had time to dry. Next, use sandpaper gently to wipe away the excess paint elements before you add a second coat.

Removed callouts for specific brands of paint.

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