How to Paint uPVC Windows and Doors

Are you looking to paint your uPVC windows and doors? A fresh lick of paint can add colour and boost the appeal to your property. But, doing so, requires proper guidance, especially if you are not a painter, but you are interested in DIY-ing it. So, if you’re looking for a step-by-step guide, we’ve got your back.

White upvc window - How to Paint uPVC Windows and Doors

Painting uPVC windows and doors require a bunch of preparations and precautionary measures. But, it’s a breeze, and you can do it alone. But before we discuss the process of painting your doors and window frames, let’s dig deeper into the nature of uPVC. 

blue upvc door - How to Paint uPVC Windows and Doors

Explaining the Nature of uPVC Windows and Doors

UPVC or Unplasticized Polyvinyl Chloride is a building material which is more rigid than PVC. It is commonly used in the production of window frames, vinyl siding, plumbing, as well as draining. At the same time, PVC is a more flexible material due to plasticizers, and it is mainly used in pipes and cables insulation. 

UPVC is waterproof or weather-resistant, and it is a cheaper alternative to hardwood timber and aluminium. It is renowned for its being a cost-effective and durable option. UPVC windows are manufactured in a variety of colours, and can even look like metal or wood. uPVC used in window and door framing is usually more energy-efficient than wooden or metal frames and can be recycled.

Should You Paint Your uPVC Windows and Doors?

Possibly! If you really can’t stand the way they look currently but can’t afford new ones then do you have many other options? A new front door, in particular, isn’t cheap, but it’s worth finding out from a local door fitter if they can help or how much for a new one if it all goes wrong.

You can paint it as long as it is not brand new. It is essential to leave the uPVC for 12 months before painting because the glossy resins that coat a uPVC need time to settle into the material, thus helping the paint bond to the surface. If you don’t wait for this period, you may find paint adhesion challenging to achieve.

You should also check with your manufacturer if painting it could void the warranty. If that’s not the case, you may ask insight from your manufacturer about the colours that will work best with your current colour and which paints are safe to use with vinyl. Darker colours tend to retain more heat, which could eventually cause warping or damage to your doors or windows. Thus, it is vital to choose the right paint that will bond with the substrate rather than try to stick to it. 

Whilst more rigid than PVC, uPVC will have thermal movement (expanding and contracting a little in the heat). Even in our UK climate, the area between glass and wall at the front of a shop or office block is exposed to very high temperatures. Therefore, you will need paint that offers UV protection. 

Preparing uPVC Before painting

Preparation is a must before painting your doors and window frames because it will significantly affect the result. You need to do some cleaning since painting on a dirty space will result in a poor quality finish. Additionally, the composition of a uPVC material will make it hard for your paint to stick onto it. But you don’t have to worry because we’ll give you valuable tips on how to deal with it.


The first step that you should do is to remove any object that is placed near the door or window. 


Then, clean the uPVC window and doors thoroughly using dish soap, water and a lint-free towel. 


Rinse the windows and door frames and let it dry completely.


This step requires more effort than the previous one. Ordinary paints will not adhere to uPVC because they have different surface energies. UPVC has much lower surface energy than water. Therefore the water will bead up and roll off the material, which repels water. So, for the paint to stick to the uPVC, you must raise the material’s surface energy or get the paint’s surface energy lowered. Painting directly on the vinyl will cause it to flake peel off quickly. Thus, it’s essential to prep the doors or windows first before painting. Thankfully, there’s a solution!

Sand your uPVC window and door using a 220 or 240-grit sandpaper. It helps to raise the surface energy of the uPVC. But if you want to get it done in a less amount of time, you can opt for the abrasive side of a sponge as an alternative it will less likely load up with uPVC’s surface waxes. If you scratched the surface, it would result in more surface area, and higher surface energy, making it easy for the paint to adhere to the uPVC. But again, make sure your doors or windows are completely dry before sanding them. 

Quick Alternative:

If sandpaper is not available, there’s another way to raise the surface energy of the uPVC – cleaning it with acetone. It helps to break down the molecular structure of the surface. Also, paint made with acrylic and polyurethane has lower surface energy allows the paint to adhere to the uPVC. So, if you want to achieve the best results, it is vital to do all the prep and using speciality paint. 


After sanding your window or door, clean off all the dust and debris to ensure that the paint won’t look uneven and you can have an excellent finish. 


Then, cover the areas around your uPVC window or door frame that you don’t want to get painted such as panes, weather stripping and the walls with a painter’s tape or plastic sheeting. And if your painting inside your home, it would help if you will also cover the ground with a sheet or cloth to protect the floor.

How to Paint uPVC Windows and Doors


Applying a thin layer of primer that’s made explicitly for uPVC will help the paint to settle to the surface and help you achieve a better quality finish when you Paint uPVC Windows and Doors. If you’re not going to spray paint, avoid using a paintbrush that leaves visible strokes. Use a sponge brush in applying the primer instead. Make sure to check the dry time of the primer as well, and allow it to dry before painting. 


Use the same method you used for a primer in applying the paint. It is essential to use vinyl-safe paint because ordinary paints can’t adhere to plastic surfaces like uPVC. Your paint must also have a degree of flexibility because plastics tend to expand and contract due to changing temperature. Thus, it has to withstand UV effects and resist solar breaching. In this case, acrylic paint seems to be a good option due to its adhesive ability in uPVC and capability to deal with thermal expansion. Using spray paint can also help you to get a smooth and even finish, but if you opt to use a brush, avoid brushes with visible strokes. You might also need to apply 2-3 coats to achieve the desired finish, so make sure that the first coat is already dry before applying the second. 


Finally, remove the masking or painter’s tape slowly once the paint dries completely to avoid messing it up while removing.

This task is doable on your own and will cost you less, but if the steps sound daunting, we recommend that you ask professional’s advice with regards to the tools you need for the preparation and most especially, with the right paint to use. 

Repainting your uPVC windows and door is also a logical choice because it can transform the overall look of your space if can’t buy new. Just make sure you do your homework and test it before you go all in.


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