Asked on Apr 02, 2016

Can I paint vinyl windows?

Betty Dreiling
by Betty Dreiling
I own a 1953 brick ranch that has brown vinyl windows. The windows are good so I really can't replace them. I'm going to paint the brick, it's kind of pinkish looking and randomly scattered throughout is like mustard colored brick. I've hated the brick ever since I moved here so this year it's getting painted. Can I paint the vinyl windows? I really don't want them brown but I need to know if I paint them how do I do it , what products do I need and will it last?
  7 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Apr 02, 2016
    This should give you all the information needed for your project.

  • MN Mom MN Mom on Apr 02, 2016
    If the windows are fine but you hate the brick, and are painting the brick, maybe wait and see how the windows look after the house is updated and then decide? You can choose an exterior color that will enhance the brown trim

  • William William on Apr 03, 2016
    Vinyl window frames are more durable and show less wear than wooden frames, but they don’t come in as many colors as you might want. Painting vinyl is no longer an impossible dream, thanks to the range of primers and specially formulated paints now available. The secret to painting vinyl frames so that the paint job lasts is in the prep work. Cover the floor beneath the windows with drop cloths. Old sheets or cloth tarps are far less slippery than plastic ones. This is important if you will be standing on a ladder. Dissolve 1 to 2 teaspoons of degreasing cleanser in 1 quart of warm water. Dish liquid is formulated to cut through grease, rinses off easily and will not damage vinyl -- so it’s a good choice for this project. Dampen a sponge with soapy water and clean off the window frames. Rinse them with a damp cloth and then dry them thoroughly with a shop cloth that will leave no lint behind. Rough up the surface of the vinyl with 220-grit sandpaper. Be gentle, because you only need to remove the surface shine to help the primer adhere to the vinyl. Wipe away all traces of the dust caused by sanding with a tack cloth. Even the smallest particles can make the end result look rough or bumpy. Cover the windows inside the frames with newspaper and secure it with painter’s tape. Either tape paper over the walls in the area around the window frames or protect them with painter’s tape, depending on how accurate you are with a spray can. Coat the window frames with a thin spray of primer that is specifically formulated to adhere to vinyl. Primer labels generally state which surfaces they work with. Let the primer dry according to the time the label recommends. Add one to two hours if you’re painting on a rainy day or your climate is generally humid. Apply a thin, even coat of paint that's formulated for use on vinyl. Use either a spray paint or brush it on, according to your personal preference. Use a sponge brush to avoid brush marks if you decide not to use spray paint. Let the first coat dry completely in accordance with the time frame recommended by the manufacturer. Apply a second coat if you feel that your window frames need it. Sand the paint very lightly with 220-grit sandpaper between coats for a smoother finish.

  • Linda Johnson Linda Johnson on Apr 03, 2016
    I agree with Williams in-depth response to your question. I would recommend just painting the outer edges of the window frames. This will save you time "cutting in" and give you an accent color that will give your windows depth.

  • Paula Brock Paula Brock on Apr 03, 2016
    Yes, they can be painted. Your local paint store or a Home Depot or Lowe's will be able to tell you what type of paint to use. My husband painted ours white and they look great, and the paint has held up for years.

  • Blu4311145 Blu4311145 on Apr 04, 2016
    Yes....I painted mine with paint from SW specifically made for vinyl. I tried other exterior paint, even with primer and it scraped off. It's called Resilience...Vinyl Safe Formula. It was pricey for a qt., but well worth it.

  • Anna Anna on Apr 04, 2016
    If you wet the newspaper, you can just stick it to the window. Smooth it out, then trim edges if necessary. When the paint is dry, the newspaper will be, too. It will peel right off. Much easier than taping.