Painting PVC Parts

Ask an Expert From: Products Finishing,

Posted on: 11/1/2003

Question: I am starting to manufacture PVC fence posts to make sign posts used in real estate sales.


I am starting to manufacture PVC fence posts to make sign posts used in real estate sales. These posts holding signs are installed by realtors to help sell homes. I used to produce wooden posts and am trying to change over to the lighter PVC post. Here comes my problem, how do I paint or stain these posts a color other than white? Also I need to have a finish that will not scratch easily. I have tried oil, acrylic, etc. I have even taken a scrap piece to a body shop and had them paint it. So far, no luck. I have seen the auto industry take replacement interior car parts and paint them another color but that was so long ago I can’t even remember where I saw it done. Can you help me solve this problem? J. B.


Although I have never painted PVC fence posts, I have painted PVC pipes for use as smoke stacks on my model railroad. Part of your problem is the presence of a release agent on the surface. Pipes and fence posts are extruded products and there is generally a release agent on the product surface. I solvent wiped my pipes, using mineral spirits, before painting with a solvent-borne paint. I used both alkyds and acrylics packaged in spray cans (I have two air brushes but hate to clean them). The real problem your customers will face is abrasion of the paint from the posts as they are installed and removed from the home-sale site. As you know, soil is extremely abrasive. Perhaps an epoxy or polyurethane enamel will be sufficiently abrasion-resistant for this application. It’s worth a try. As they say, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”


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