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You are here:  Home ::  Didgeridoo  :: Making :: PVC Didgeridoos :: Decorating


Didge is done did so now to make it look good

Now the plastic didgeridoo has been made all that remains (apart from playing it) is to give it some decoration. The whys what's and how to is really down to you. Here are how I do some of my paint jobs (use stickers - its easier).

Plastic is difficult to get paint to stick to, or more appropriately, its difficult to get paint to stick and stay stuck, as it has a tendency to chip and peel off. 32mm waste pipe as with many other plastic pipes, is scratch, abrasion, stain, water and chemical resistant making the job at hand that much more difficult.

The key is preparation. Using sandpaper on the outside of the didgeridoo, rub lengthways along the bore. As mentioned in previous pages, this can be used to create the effect of wood grain, but regardless, will provide a suitable irregular surface for the paint to adhere to.

If wanting a woodgrain texture or feel as the end result I most often use a coarse grade sandpaper such as 80-120 grit. If wanting to prepare for painting where I want the finished result smooth, I will use a medium grade or 180(ish) grit sandpaper, then 240 grit to smooth and cut the primer/undercoat back.

There special paints available on the market that claim to stick to plastic better than other paints. Some may do just that but they all invariably tend towards the pricey side so I stick with what is easily and cheaply available.

I try to look for and use paint that has the same or similar properties as the plastic pipe, in that it is flexible, has good adhesion. Generally this means using an acrylic based paint which are increasingly cheaper and easier to get hold of. I avoid paints that create a hard solid layer such as varnishes, gloss etc as it is not flexible enough to accommodate the movement in the plastic. I have tried a number of paints, not least of which is enamel - because I used it on plastic model airplanes when I was a kid, but alas it does not work well and chips far to easily.

As the plastic pipe is sanded down before I start, the surface is ready to go. When I have altered the shape and the surface has gone smooth I will re-sand that area, trying to blend the marks into the others so that they match. I will then paint or spray a primer or undercoat on first, building the paint up so that there is a uniform opaque colour with good purchase for the top coats.

I can't iterate enough that the better the preparation and suitability of the type of paint used, will greatly improve the longevity of the instrument aesthetics.


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