Black pipe, also known as black iron or cast-iron pipe, is a durable and flexible material that may be used for natural gas lines to water heaters, furnaces, and other large appliances.
It’s commonly confused with galvanized iron pipes often used for other household supply lines.
When it comes to painting black pipes, black plumbing can easily be cleaned and painted in dark colors to blend in with the surroundings.
If you’re considering repainting black pipes in your home, I have discussed a few things to keep in mind here in this article. So, go through them before you get started…
Cleaning Black Pipe
Like with any other surface, cleaning and preparing the black pipes before painting is a key to getting your paint project right.
You should clean black iron the same way you clean other types of iron, but since it’s frequently used for gas, you must avoid using flammable chemicals.
Here are the exact cleaning steps you should follow…
- First, pour some warm water over your black iron pipe.
- Then use a plastic scrub brush to clean the surface of the pipe and remove any dirt that may have built up.
- Finally, pat the area dry with a paper towel.
- This should remove any accumulated dirt on your black pipe over time.
What if the pipes are heavily soiled?
If a simple clean does not remove the gunk, use steel wool or wet/dry sandpaper to clean your black iron pipe.
Wet the pipe’s surface with water and scrub it. Keep scrubbing the iron surface with steel wool or sandpaper until you have removed all the stains, debris, and gunk.
Rinse the area with water and dry it completely before painting using a dry towel or paper towel.
Remember that if the black pipes you have are heavily rusted, you will need to use some elbow grease and a good rust converter product to remove the rust before painting.
Otherwise, the paint will not adhere properly to the surface.
To deal with rust, you may also need to unscrew the black iron pipes from one another, which should be done carefully.
I won’t be going into those details over here. If you want, you can check here to find detailed steps on how to do that.
A word of caution: Do not clean black iron pipes that are already being utilized as a gas line with steel wool.
Metal rubbing against metal might create a spark, resulting in a fire just in case of a slow gas leak.
Spray Painting Black Pipes
Once you’ve cleaned the surface of your black pipe, it’s time to move on to painting.
This part is pretty straightforward since all you need to do is use a quality paint sprayer to apply an even coat of paint on the surface.
Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the sprayer along with the steps I mentioned below…
Step 1- Prepare the Area
Before beginning, take the necessary safety precautions by ventilating the area and opening windows and doors.
In addition, place drop cloths or plastic sheeting over anything you don’t want the paint to get on. Use painter’s tape for especially delicate areas or edges of the black pipe.
Step 2- Spray Paint the Black Pipe
For spray painting the black pipe, I recommend using Stove Paint that’s available with brands like Krayon and Rust-Oleum.
These are the specialized high-heat paints perfect for pipes that carry water from your dishwasher or oven.
Start by giving the paint can a good shake, then spraying from a distance of 12-16 inches from the surface.
Use even and consistent strokes while keeping the can at a perpendicular angle to the pipe.
Continue moving along the length of the black pipe until you have covered the entire surface.
Step 3- Apply an Additional Coat of Paint to the Pipe
Since black pipes are already dark and often black, you may need to use enough paint to cover the black color.
Allow the first coat to dry completely before moving on to the next one.
In general, it’s a good idea to wait for at least 24 hours before applying a second coat of paint.
Applying a second coat will give the black pipe an even finish and help it withstand wear and tear better. You can apply a third coat of paint if you feel the need to do so.
Step 4- Let the Paint Dry Completely
After applying the final coat of paint, let the external gas pipes dry for 24 hours before using the black pipe again.
Make sure you remove the taping and drop cloths. And that’s it!
What Color Should Gas Pipes be Painted?
Black gas or water pipes can be painted with a color that matches the surroundings or your home décor.
When deciding on the color to paint electrical utility boxes, gas meters, and pipes, remember that some locales will require them to paint a certain color.
So, it’s good to check with the concerned authorities before you pick any specific color. Based on your location, it may vary.
Based on sources, if you are in the United States or Canada, you can follow these guidelines:
|Red||electric power lines, cables, conduit, and lighting cables|
|Orange||telecommunication, alarm or signal lines, cables, or conduit|
|Yellow||natural gas, oil, steam, petroleum, or other gaseous or flammable material|
|Green||sewers and drain lines|
|Purple||reclaimed water, irrigation, and slurry lines|
|Pink||temporary survey markings, unknown/unidentified facilities|
|White||proposed excavation limits or route|
How do you keep a black iron pipe from rusting?
Even though there isn’t much you can do about the natural elements of erosion and wear, rusting is a problem you may keep in check.
Touching up paint is an excellent method to prevent rust. Rust generally develops at locations where the paint is peeling.
If this situation is dealt with early on, it will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
How can you remove the black coating from the steel pipe?
Black iron pipes do not come with a passivator, but they do have an oily surface coating to prevent rust formation.
It prevents the paint from adhering and must be removed before painting by rubbing down the pipe with mineral spirits or acetone.
Keep in mind not to use too much solvent for cleaning as it can erode or cut down the metal and can decrease the shelf life of the pipe.
What’s the difference between black steel pipe and black iron pipe?
The primary distinction between black iron and steel pipes lies in their construction.
Black iron pipes are seam-welded, which allows the user to connect them quickly and easily to other pieces of pipe using connector valves.
Steel pipe, however, is more often used in industrial applications and must be welded together.
The bottom line
While it’s easy to clean the black pipes and get them painted, make sure to do your research and use the proper products for the job.
In addition, be patient and let the paint dry completely before using the pipes again.
With a little bit of elbow grease, you can have your black pipes looking brand new in no time!
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for more than a decade to serve the customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques that are being implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.
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