How to paint vinyl outdoor window frames?

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I need to finish the renovation of my 1957 Ranch home. The final step is to paint the window frames white, which is the trim color on the home. The problem - the frames are beige and made of vinyl (updated replaced windows a few years ago). How can I successfully paint the frames? I live the desert Southwest where temps are hot and high in the summer with sunshine almost all year around. I don't want to use a heavy paint that may peal from the heat. And, I don't want to put so much paint on that I have trouble opening the windows. Any suggestions or past experiences would be welcome!

  5 answers
  • Diana Brewer Diana Brewer on Aug 17, 2017
    Kilz or Bullseye primer either one will stay on vinyl and they are already white.They are now selling both at Walmart.If you ever have a painting job that calls for a primer first,save money and work because you can have your color choice mixed in and it usually only takes one coat.Good luck!
  • Bobbie Bobbie on Aug 17, 2017
    How to Paint Vinyl Window Frames | Home Guides | SF Gate
    homeguides.sfgate.com › Home › Home Improvement › Home Painting


  • William William on Aug 17, 2017
    DO NOT USE KILZ, BULLEYE, BIN, OR ZINSSER UNLESS THEY ARE VINYL SAFE!!!

    Vinyl windows can be painted, but you never want to apply a coat of paint directly to the vinyl itself. The surface is not ideal for paint, so it is likely that paint applied directly to vinyl window frames will flake and peel off relatively quickly. If you insist on painting your windows, you must first clean them and apply a coat of primer before painting.

    Aside from the flaking and peeling risks already mentioned mentioned in the section above, you risk damaging your window frames and voiding your warranty if you do use many of the primers available on the market today. Primers contain a number of chemicals that can soften the vinyl and reduce its structural integrity.

    The color of the paint may also pose risks to the window. Darker colors will retain more heat than white, beige, or almond colors, which can lead to the vinyl frames warping and glass breaking. Aside from the obvious problems this would pose, it is also very likely to void your warranty, leaving you responsible for all repair or replacement costs.

    If you are set on painting your windows, finding the right paint and primer is your first priority. Different brands recognize the need for these paints and offer vinyl safe paint in cans, in spray paint form and reflective polyurethane enamel. Before you paint, you typically need to apply primer first, and there are a number of vinyl safe primers available. You can even find vinyl safe spray primer.

    The manufacturer of your windows can advise you on what paint and primer to use and if your windows can be painted.

    • Chey Chey on Aug 18, 2017
      Thank you very much. I've been doing some homework on this. I appreciate your knowledge and input. The more I ready on this, the more I think paint should be Plan B and not Plan A. Thanks, again.
  • Jewellmartin Jewellmartin on Aug 18, 2017
    I believe Kilz and Rustoleum can be used as a primer. Rustoleum has a whole line of paints, including those for high temps. Best wishes 😇
  • Diana Brewer Diana Brewer on Aug 18, 2017
    FYI William,Kilz and Bullseye ARE primers and it says right on the label that they work well on vinyl.I had just read the label on Kilz2 (water base) about 2 hours before this post started.And both brands have spray paints too.It is always good to READ THE LABEL! Have a blessed day.