How to Paint Vinyl Windows

How to Paint Vinyl Windows

Ah, the joy of a successful DIY project can get you scrolling Pinterest and craving another task. And if your vinyl window frames are looking a little shabby or plain, then they may be next on your DIY to-do list! A new color on your window frames will make a huge difference in the look of your home, whether you're painting the exterior or interior sides of the windows. Hang tight as we chat through the "how-to" of painting vinyl windows. We'll tell you what pitfalls to steer clear of and remind you of some vital steps you cannot miss.

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What you should know before you begin painting your windows

Before you hit the hardware store, consider these critical points:

Get Paint Advice

Choosing vinyl-friendly paint is essential if you want a clean finish. Look into the Sherwin-Williams VinylSafe® paint colors and speak to one of their experts. They have loads of colors to choose from, all of which are formulated to resist warping or buckling when applied to a vinyl substrate. Lighter colors are less likely to cause problems, but if you love trendy dark window frames, use Sherin-Williams paints to avoid black pigments and heat absorption. Their darker colors will still give you the look you desire when layered. 

Check Your Warranty

Painting your vinyl windows have the risk of voiding your manufacturer warranty. The reason for this is that certain paints contain chemicals that will soften and warp the vinyl. Some dark colors will also affect the integrity of the vinyl and encourage heat absorption and sun damage. 

Pick Your Painter

Are you ready to tackle the project? Or will you be hiring someone for the job? If you're confident that you can do it yourself, be prepared with sandpaper, drop cloth, painter's tape, plastic sheeting, cleaning materials, and a sponge brush. Weigh up the cost of hiring someone who has all these materials versus buying everything and taking time out of your day. You may find that the painter's fee is worth paying for a neat finish.

Consider a Replacement Instead

If your windows are old, the paint may not be enough to restore them to their former glory. Consider saving up and replacing your windows. Buying replacement windows have the following perks:

  • You get to choose the color you want
  • You'll have a new and valid warranty
  • New windows are made with better technology and offer better energy savings

How to Paint Vinyl Windows

Alright! You've got the (correct) paint, you have the tools, and you're ready for a week of painting. Here's how to go about painting your vinyl windows.

1. Wash those windows!

Start by giving the windows a good scrub, making sure to remove any mold, grime, and mildew. Use a degreasing dish soap that is gentle, rather than harsh chemicals. Dry the windows thoroughly.

2. Sand the frame surface. 

Sanding is an important step because vinyl repels liquids. You will need to make the surface rougher so that the paint adheres to it. Use gentle sandpaper, 220 or 240-grit, and gently sand every area until it feels rough but not scratched. Give the windows a wipe to clean off any dust and make sure the surface is clean and ready for the next step. 

3. Prepare the area. 

Now that you've cleaned (twice) and prepared your windows, set down some drop cloth, tape plastic over the window panes, and tape the spaces that you don't want to be painted. This includes any handles, weatherproofing, and of course, your walls.

4. Use a vinyl-safe primer.

Use a vinyl-safe primer for the first one or two layers. Allow it to dry overnight.

5. It's time to paint! 

Remember, it's imperative to use vinyl-safe paint. Spraying the windows is quicker, or you can use a sponge brush. Stick with what you're comfortable with. The paint may need several thin coats and a few hours to dry between each coat. Take your time, watch out for drips and be meticulous about a neat job!

6. Remove the tape. 

Do this while the paint is still wet, as it's less likely to peel paint away. 

7. Step back, take a deep breath, and admire your work! 

Fingers crossed, it all looks perfect! Congratulations!

Additional Painting Considerations 

If you're painting the exterior frames of your home, you'll need to check the weather forecast for the week ahead. Applying a clear coat can also be taken into consideration as an additional weatherproofing layer. If your home gets a lot of direct sunlight and you live in a hot climate area, reconsider the use of dark paint colors and the risk of losing your window warranty. 

Ready, Prepped, Paint!

Patience is key! Now that you know the risks and the steps to a flawless vinyl paint job, you can get started! Remember to take the time to choose the right vinyl-safe paint and prepare your surface thoroughly. 

If painting sounds risky, contact a trusted window company and get a bid for replacement windows instead. New replacement windows can be painted in the factory by professionals, some companies like NT Window offer custom color options on select vinyl windows.

To schedule a consultation for vinyl windows in Dallas-Fort Worth, contact us for a free project estimate.

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