Should You Paint Copper Pipes [And How To]

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You might be bothered by the copper pipes that are visible in pertinent areas of your house, and you want to paint them to make them inconspicuous. Is this recommended -and can you paint over copper pipes? We asked pipe experts, and here's what they said.

Experts don't recommend painting copper pipes as they don't see any added value for doing so, especially for indoor pipes. But if it will satisfy homeowners and enhance the look of their homes, it can be done using oil-based paint for metals. The pipes need to be cleaned thoroughly before applying the primer and topcoat to ensure proper adhesion.

Keep on reading to know more about painting your copper plumbing and the best way to do it. We'll also give you tips on how to make your copper pipes look shiny and new. Lastly, we'll share other ideas on how to make your exposed copper pipes look good without painting them. Let's begin!

A man painting central heating pipes on the wall, Should You Paint Copper Pipes [And How To]

Can You Paint Copper Plumbing?

Plumbing is usually concealed behind walls, floors, and ceilings. But there are times when there's no way for the contractors to hide it, so you're left with exposed copper pipes. Some people are okay with this, while others are bothered by the way pipes look -especially when they don't really blend with the rest of the interior design.

A practical approach to fix this issue is to paint your copper plumbing. Yes, you can paint copper pipes using the right kind of paint, of course. This will ensure that the paint bonds well to the surface of the metal plumbing, which is the main point anyway.

Copper and white painted pipes junction

Aside from helping enhance the look of your room, painting the metal pipes can help give them added protection from harsh elements. This assumes that the pipes are located outside of your house, where they are exposed to heat, rain, and dust. This will help slow down the corrosion rate and make your pipes last longer.

However, experts say that there is really no need to paint copper pipes, especially when installed indoors. They don't recommend it, especially since the pipes don't have much need for any kind of protective layer. When you paint the pipes, you might even make it difficult for your plumber to identify the joints and junctions needing access to fix your plumbing.

So, make sure that you also explore other options when you're considering hiding those exposed pipes. But if it's the only way to satisfy you, then you can paint them, by all means.

Just pay attention to the ingredients of the paint that you're using and read the label carefully to ensure that the paint is compatible with your metal pipes. Only use tools that are safe to apply on copper surfaces so that you don't end up damaging your plumbing.

What is the best way to paint copper pipes?

Here are the steps to follow when painting your copper pipes.

  1. Put a cover on the floors, walls, and other areas that the paint can stain.
  2. Clean the copper pipes by using a degreaser.
  3. Remove any signs of oxidation by sanding over the pipes' surfaces. Do this until the pipes are clean and shiny.
  4. Wipe off the dust with a clean cloth. This is important to get rid of all the unwanted particles that'll hinder the proper adhesion of paint on the copper's surface.
  5. Before you proceed further, make sure you wear protective gear for your safety.
  6. Apply a primer on the surface. Check the manufacturer's instructions regarding the proper application and the number of coats required.
  7. Let the primer dry before applying the topcoat. Make sure that the primer and topcoat are compatible also. Experts recommend that you use oil-based paint, specially formulated for copper and similar metallic surfaces.
  8. Let the paint dry thoroughly in between coatings and after the last coat. It's best to turn off the heater when doing this that's why experts recommend that you do your paint job when the weather is warm.

Check out this oil-based paint on Amazon.

How do you make copper pipes look new?

For those who don't want to paint their exposed copper pipes, it's best to make sure that they look clean and shiny so that they're always presentable.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Clean the pipes using a sponge and warm water.
  2. Dry their surface with the help of a clean cloth.
  3. Apply your chosen metal polish on the pipes.
  4. If you'd rather use a homemade solution, you can mix one tablespoon of salt or cream of tartar with one cup of white vinegar. You can also add some flour until you reach a paste-like consistency. Apply this all over the surface and let it stand for 30 minutes.
  5. Rinse thoroughly with water.
  6. Dry using a clean cloth.
  7. If there are still some tarnishes, you can use fine wire wool to scrub away the stain. Rinse again and dry afterward.

Well-polished copper pipes are very nice-looking and can instantly beautify any room without any need for paint.

How do you make exposed pipes look good?

copper pipes and fittings for carrying out plumbing work. Plumbing, fixing pipes and fittings for connection of water or gas systems

There are various ways to work around the exposed pipes for those who aren't really fans of painting metal pipes to still make your home look good. Here are some ideas that'll hopefully inspire you so that your interiors will still look stylish and chic all the time.

Use pipe coverings

Paint isn't the only material that you can use to cover the surface of your metal pipes. You can use design tapes, rope, wood, and stone to cover the exposed pipes. There are also adhesives that come in various styles and designs that'll surely complement your interiors.

There are so many options to choose from. You can select which one has the color and design to suit the particular room. Pick the pipe cover that also fits your budget and is easy enough for you to install.

Put plants around the pipes

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You can never go wrong with plants to beautify your room. They also offer the added benefit of purifying your indoor air.

Plants come in different shapes and sizes. You can choose tall plants to hide the pipes or focus on the exposed pipes. There are also hanging plants that you can string up adjacent to the pipes.

And you can also buy fake foliage if you find that taking care of plants is a hassle on your part. Creepers and climbing plants will look really good alongside your pipes and give your room a tropical feel.

Click this link to find this hanging foliage on Amazon.

Build a bookcase around it

If you're a booklover and you're looking for extra space to stack your treasured books, you can build a bookcase beside the exposed pipes. Your library will have an updated and industrial look with the presence of the pipes.

Show them off!

Who says you have to hide those pipes, anyway? Show off those pipes and use them to enhance your home's industrial, rustic, or retro look. With the proper matching of colors and finishes in your furniture, fixtures, and hardware, you can create a cohesive look and build a design anchored on your exposed pipes.

You can now show off your pipes with these creative ways, and you won't worry about them being an eyesore anymore.

Final Thoughts

There are many options for you to conceal your exposed metal pipes, but if none of them will work well with your arrangement, you can proceed to paint them. Just make sure that you choose the right kind of paint and follow the manufacturer's instructions for its application so that you can get the best results.

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