This is the view when you walk down the stairs into my basement.
A big black PVC pipe running along the wall. It’s like a big zit on an otherwise nice painted brick wall. This pipe is non negotiable, it’s the main stack and vent line as well as the vent for the laundry. Framing in this wall is also problematic as there is absolutely no room. Our stairs already end precariously close to the wall and adding framing and drywall would mean the last step pretty much ends at a wall.
So the options were paint it, or build a box to cover it. I opted to paint.
Now PVC isn’t an easy thing to paint. If I just slapped on some latex paint and called it a day, I would be pretty disappointed when that paint started to peel. With a good finished paint job comes proper prep.
PVC needs to be sanded to make the surface easier for the paint to adhere to, and it also needs to be degreased. So grab some sandpaper (100 or 150 will work great) and give the PVC a light sand. You dont need to go crazy, just rough it up slightly.
Next the PVC needs to be cleaned. I used TSP, so mix it up according to the directions, don your gloves and eye protection (tell your highly sensitive husband to leave the area) and give it a quick clean.
After the PVC has dried, you can start priming. I recommend a primer that specifically says it works well on PVC. I went with the Zinnser BIN2 primer. Apply a coat of primer and let dry.
Now after all that prep, you’re ready to paint PVC! I chose a sample pot of flat white Behr Premium paint that matched the Behr Basement & Masonry Waterproofing paint on the brick walls. I gave the pipe two coats of paint, and here are the results.
What do you think? It doesn’t make the pipe magically go away, but it does camouflage into the wall a whole lot more than before. A couple coats of white paint can do wonders!