Yes, you can paint plastic pipework but not with standard off-the-shelf paints. You need to use paints designed specifically for UPVC and plastic. These are nearly always solvent-based with a good example being Korlorbond Original.
High-performance plastic paints bond with the plastic on a molecular level, forming crystalline growth. This is why when you sand it, you can do so without flaking the paint away from the plastic. The paint bonds to it like skin.
If you use a non-plastic specific paint, such as a latex or acrylic paint, you will not get a durable long-lasting finish. The paint will probably stick and adhere to the plastic pipework, but it will not bond on a molecular level.
This is a problem because plastic expands with heat and contracts with cold. This process causes surface paint to become unstuck, allowing moisture to get underneath the paint and lift it away, and the sun to bubble it up.
So, in summary:
Do not use:
The above paints are nearly always solvent-based*
Quality of finish
It’s also important to remember that the application itself is just as important as the materials used. Plastic pipework should be SPRAY PAINTED with a spray gun to give it a factory-level finish. This contactless technique will ensure even paint coverage and give you the perfect surface you are looking for.
You can paint plastic pipework in a glossy, satin or matte finish. Raw plastic tends to be closer to satin than matte, so most people opt for a satin paint.
We provide a 10-year guarantee on all our paintwork including plastic pipework. This is a guarantee the paint will not degrade for at least a decade. The paints we use are made for us in Europe and are unique to our company.