Can You Paint Vinyl Windows: Hear from the Experts

Can you paint vinyl windows? There is some disagreement on this topic, as experts keep arguing on whether it’s cost-effective to paint vinyl window frames. Explore both the pros and painted vinyl window problems, then learn how to paint vinyl window frames if you opt to go ahead.

Apr 28, 2018

Can you paint vinyl windows? There is some disagreement on this topic, as experts keep arguing on whether it’s cost-effective to paint vinyl window frames. Explore both the pros and painted vinyl window problems, then learn how to paint vinyl window frames if you opt to go ahead.

Common Painted Vinyl Windows Problems

Vinyl windows can be painted, but that does not mean they should be painted. As a general rule, home contractors will tell you painting vinyl window frames is a viable option, while window manufacturers will contradict them.

The major drawback is that paint does not adhere to vinyl well. Since the paint does not bond with the vinyl, it may flake off – leaving you with windows that look worse than they did before you painted them. If you select a dark color, it can cause the frames to warp because dark colors attract solar heat.

If you’re wondering if painting your vinyl windows is a good idea, you should consider your windows’ warranty. Painting the vinyl window frame may void your warranty, which means that you would be unable to get the manufacturer to fix your windows if there is a problem. If your windows are no longer under warranty, you may decide to go ahead and paint them, since you would be liable for window repair anyway.

Some manufacturers will accept certain colors of vinyl paint but not others – going so far as to ask you to send in the paint chip for verification. If your windows are under warranty, it’s worth a phone call to find out what colors, if any, do not void the warranty.

The simple answer to ‘can vinyl windows be painted’ is, yes. While there are a lot of downsides to painting vinyl window frames, painting is the cheapest and easiest way to change the color of your frames. The only other option is window replacement. If you are saving up for replacement windows but cannot live with your frames in the meantime, painting can solve your problem.

How to Paint Vinyl Window Frames

Before you start painting vinyl window frames, clean the windows to remove any dirt. You never want to paint a dirty window, as that will trap dirt beneath the paint. You may want to lightly sand the windows using 220-grit sandpaper. Roughing up the frame encourages the primer to bond with the vinyl frames.

After you have completed all the prep work, apply a primer that is formulated to work with vinyl. Primers prepare the vinyl for paint – increasing the odds that your paint will stick to the windows – but they may soften the vinyl, which can decrease the material integrity.

Let the primer dry thoroughly, then apply a thin coat of paint using a brush. It is better to apply several thin coats of paint than one thick coat of paint. As with the primer, you should choose a paint that is appropriate for vinyl. The paint can will note acceptable materials on the label.

Hopefully, this helps you clearly answer the long asked “can you paint vinyl windows” question. If you prefer to save yourself time and avoid painted vinyl window problems, look into window replacement. High-quality windows will save you money by reducing air leaks, and they will add value to your home beyond what painting old frames will do.

Here at Window Nation, we offer several vinyl windows colors for you to choose from to suit your specific taste and the style of your home. Explore all the vinyl replacement window options available at Window Nation or schedule your free in-home estimate today.

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