After finishing attaching all the PVC pipes to the wall last week, I’ve been dying to see what it would look like in color. (If you haven’t checked out last week’s post on creating a fluted wall using PVC pipes, read that first here.) We barely finished attaching all of the PVC pipes to the wall on Sunday night before the workweek began so we knew we had our work cut out for us as far as paint prep work goes after work this week.
Filling the Screw Holes:
Since we braced the PVC to the wall with screws while the glue was drying, we had quite a few holes to fill. We debated using putty on the holes but ultimately decided that caulking would be the quickest. I was able to knock this out one evening after work. We used a paintable latex-based caulk and just cut a tiny hole in the tip.
Sanding was quite a process because of the curve of the pipes. Each pipe took three passes- the left groove, right groove, and the front. We found that just using a piece of sandpaper in our hand was easier than a sanding block. The goal was just to remove the sheen of the pipes. We weren’t aiming to remove the ink writing or really rough it up, just get them to a dull state. I knocked out a sanding session one night after work, then Cody got the rest the next night.
Most people wipe down an item after its been sanded to remove sanding dust. With the tight grooves between each pipe of the fluted wall, we opted for vacuuming the wall rather than just wiping it down. I just used the hose attachment on our shop vac and went up and down each groove.
We tried out best to research how to paint PVC pipes correctly and most people recommended applying acetone to open the pores of the plastic. I purchased a quart of acetone from home depot, but looking back I could have gotten away with even a small nail sized bottle from a grocery store and saved a few dollars. Wearing gloves and a mask, I poured a little acetone onto a rag and rubbed it onto the wall. It smeared the ink writing pretty quickly and with a little elbow grease, I could have removed all of the writing, but I didn’t put in the effort since I knew the primer would cover that later on.
Taping was such a task! Because the pipes are basically sitting on our floor, there was no way to get tape underneath them so I had to tape around every curved pipe- all 111 of them on our 12-foot wall lol! I ripped three pieces of tape for each pipe groove (see photos below.) I began with regular masking tape, then decided to use our role of good tape for this project. Bron’s killer bee tape rips really easily, is easy to adjust, and gives the paint a crisp line. A huge shout out to Bron Tapes for sending us this sample roll. We loved it and will definitely be buying more for future projects.
In addition to taping the floor, we also taped a straight line on the wallpaper above the pipes. We had a tiny gap between the pipes and the ceiling so we were able to delicately shove a piece of tape into that gap to protect the ceiling.
Since we planned to spray the wall, we built a “spray booth” out of plastic about 6 feet deep to protect the room from overspray. We basically plastic-coated everything inside of the booth Dexter style lol. The floor, walls, and ceiling were plasticed and we left a small “door” opening to get in and out with the spray gun.
Acquiring the Paint:
Okay, gathering supplies is always part of the project, but with today’s shortages (it’s currently June 20th 2021) it has been SUCH a challenge to acquire the correct supplies for a project.
First up, the primer. We knew that painting the PVC properly was going to be one of the biggest challenges of the project. Painted plastic is always known to scratch and chip so we wanted to make sure we got the correct products to ensure this wouldn’t happen. After a ton of research, and eliminating the unavailable options, we decided to purchase Valspar’s Stainblocking Bonding Extreme Adhesion primer. This primer claims to (and has good reviews) of bonding to glass, which is slicker surface than PVC. We purchased a quart-size can and did a test piece of pipe in the garage overnight to ensure it would bond before going back for the full gallon. We requested the full gallon to be tinted pink (not color-matched, just a pink tint) to help cover under the paint as best as possible.
Next up, the paint. My plan was the paint the wall the same pale pink that is in the background of the wallpapered ceiling. Sherwin Williams has the technology to scan the colors of an image so I brought in a sample sheet of wallpaper for them to match. They are sold out of all sample-sized containers so I opted for a quart but the only quarts left were exterior flat paint lol. Additionally, if I liked the quart, the only gallons they had left were their highest quality paint at $96/gallon!! What? I didn’t even know paint COULD be that expensive. I decided to purchase the exterior flat quart of paint because all I needed was the paint itself to be able to go to Lowes and have them color match it.
Background- Lowes can match any paint chip for free but they do not have the technology to match it from an image, it has to be a piece of paint itself.
So I went to Lowes with the quart of paint and had them match it. I wanted their Valspar showcase line in eggshell but due to the paint shortage, the only eggshell finish they had available was in the signature line so I decided to take what I could get.
After all of the prep, Saturday morning came and it was time to paint. Cody’s dad used to own a painting company so he came over with his spray rig to help us. Once the rig was set up, the actual application of the primer was done in under ten minutes! I stayed out of the room and wore a mask for the two seconds I popped in to get a quick video. We waited the recommended two hours before applying the paint, which again was done in under minutes. We did one coat of each: primer and paint, and used a little more than a half-gallon of each.
I stayed out of the room (pregnancy) while Cody and his dad removed the drop cloths, spray booth, and tape so I feel like I got a true reveal of the room! I walked in when it was dried and cleaned up and omg I was soooo excited with the outcome! It was already after 8:00 by the time I saw the room but I couldn’t resist snapping a few dark photos to show you guys!
If you want to check out the other participant’s week 7 updates, head to www.oneroomchallenge.com/orc-blog