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I'm looking for a way to color white PVC pipe, but need to make it scratch-proof. Black spray paint covers nice, but the slightest bump scratches it off. I just bought wood stain hoping the stain might soak in, but after hours of drying, it wiped off easily.

Anyone found a way to permanently stain or color PVC pipe?
 

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Yes, you're going to need something a lot more harsh than wood stain. The 'gold standard' would be to get some actual PVC dye and mix with your MEK.


Though if you happen to have access to some other organic dye, you might try that. But would still likely need MEK for the solvent to really 'dig into' the PVC. Even with that, this is still somewhat of a surface coating. Light bumps and surface scratches likely won't make a difference, but anything deep is still likely to expose white.
 

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Exactly this. You need to use a hydrocarbon based dye and then PVC clear cleaner. Essentially you’re making your own “purple primer”. It will still only stain the surface, but won’t chip or peel. Use a sponge brush to apply. Outside and using thick nitrile gloves. Over time (and possibly UV) it will fade a bit, but it’s easy to recoat. I use it a bunch, and put a post about it in my blog.

This guy’s legs are stained PVC.
Plant Window Botany Tree Land lot
 

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What you want is a Petroleum dye, i believe that is what Rekhaoil is, there is other ones out there when I was researching it a few years ago. Don't try to use Rit with MEK, it works but not well came out faint as I found a recipe for that ended up a waste for my tastes. I ended up really liking somebodys at the campground that used heavy paint that gave it a great texture so quit looking into dyeing mine.
 

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Beyond. scuffling, i'd look at combining a pigment with acetone, or a similar solvent. Much like PVC primer, it seeps into the PVC. But even that will still have the potential of being scratched or gouged off or out of the PVC if it's handled roughly.
 
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