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How to Stain PVC

Jaimie Zinski

PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, pipe is an inexpensive, durable product manufactured from a combination of plastic and vinyl. It is available in basic colors, including white, gray, black and translucent. Some brands of furniture-grade PVC are available in limited colors, but are not always in the hue that will work with your home or craft project. Staining PVC pipe will allow you to customize the color without the risk of flaking and chipping, which is an issue associated with painting the pipe.

Clean any dirt or grime from the PVC pipe before staining.

Step 1

Rub the surface of the PVC pipe with 50-grit sandpaper. This will remove the outer coating from the pipe, allowing the stain to adhere more effectively.

Step 2

Slip on a pair of nitrile gloves and safety goggles before mixing the solvent dye and PVC pipe cleaner that contains the active ingredient tetrahydrofuran. Both of these products are available through home improvement, woodworking or hardware stores.

Step 3

Mix the PVC pipe cleaner and solvent dye to create the desired color. For instance, combine 1mL red solvent dye to a 32 oz. container of PVC pipe cleaner. Replace the pipe cleaner's cap and shake gently to incorporate the dye.

Step 4

Dip a small paintbrush into the PVC cleaner can and cover the entire outer surface of the PVC pipe. Continue to wear your gloves when handling the pipe to prevent skin irritation.

Step 5

Set the PVC onto a piece of paper towel and allow it to air dry completely. The amount of time required for the pipe to dry completely is dependent on the air temperature and humidity.