Should You Paint Vinyl Windows?

So, you want to change your home’s exterior look, but you have vinyl windows. Wooden window frames can easily be repainted to match your new style, but what about vinyl?

Can You Paint Vinyl Window Trim?

The short answer is: Yes, you can. However, the longer answer is somewhat more complicated. You can’t just go up to your vinyl window and paint it. Why not?

The paint does not stick to vinyl. This is why vinyl windows (and siding) have inherent color. The advantage is that this color, unlike paint, won’t fade. If you try to paint a vinyl window, then the paint can chip, flake, and crack over time, looking unsightly. So, it’s a slightly more complicated process.


Pros of Painting Vinyl Windows

The apparent advantage of painting your vinyl windows is that it allows you to update your home’s look for less cost than replacing the windows. Even if you can’t do it yourself, this is the only advantage, and the complexities of doing the job wrong are significant.


Cons of Painting Vinyl Windows

On the other hand, there are several disadvantages to trying to paint vinyl windows, which include:

1. The paint will chip, flake, bubble, or peel unless it’s done correctly. It will not look good.
2. If your vinyl windows are still under warranty, painting them can void the warranty. You should check with the manufacturer; they will want to know exactly what paint you are trying to use. They may also restrict the colors you can use, making it harder to change your look.
3. As with painting windows, if you aren’t paying attention, you can paint over hardware or seams, making windows more challenging to open and close.
4. You can damage the vinyl by sanding it to apply the paint or by not using vinyl-safe primer and paint.
5. Vinyl windows are designed to be the color they are. If you paint them black or darker, they can absorb more heat and potentially warp your window.
Painting vinyl windows is risky. They are not designed to be painted (in fact, the fact that they don’t need painting is a significant advantage of vinyl).


Tips for Painting Vinyl Windows

If you really must paint your vinyl windows, here are some tips:

● Avoid using a color that is significantly darker than the original. This includes the interior side of the window.
● Unscrew the window hardware, so it doesn’t get painted over.
● Check the warranty on your vinyl windows, and if they are still under warranty, contact the manufacturer or original installer. You don’t want to void your warranty.
● Clean the window frame thoroughly with soap and water before you start.
● Sand with 220-grit sandpaper. Vinyl repels paint, so you must sand the frame before you start. This must be done carefully, so you don’t damage the frame. Use a tack cloth to remove the dust.
● Use painter’s tape to protect the window frame and the wall.
● Use a vinyl-safe primer. If it’s not vinyl-safe, it may peel. Shellac or oil primer works well. Let it dry for at least three hours.
● Select a vinyl-safe paint, and make sure it is exterior or interior-related. Let it dry for at least three hours between coats.
● Remove the painter’s tape while the last coat is still wet.


In closing

If you are no longer happy with the color of your vinyl windows, yes, it is possible to paint them. However, doing so risks an unsightly appearance, damage to the windows, and voiding the manufacturer’s warranty. A better option if you can’t live with the color is to replace your windows. Contact Window Depot Dallas to get a quote on new vinyl windows today. New vinyl windows start at $699.