Can you paint uPVC windows? While uPVC is not designed to be painted, it is a project that can be undertaken with care and attention (normally by a professional).
Here I’ll explore both the benefits, and the disadvantages of painting uPVC windows, look at whether you should tackle it yourself, and the costs you should expect if hiring a professional.
Contents (Jump to Topic)
What Are The Benefits Of Painting uPVC Windows?
There are many reasons people want to refresh their white uPVC doors and windows with the perfect finish in a color they like, here are the main ones.
1. Changing The Look Of Your Home
Are you tired of the same old window frames? Painting uPVC windows offers an opportunity to revitalize your home’s aesthetic, providing a fresh and vibrant look that according to Foxterra Design, can even add up to 7% value to your home!
2. Giving Older Windows A New Lease Of Life
Instead of replacing your plastic window frames, painting uPVC surfaces can give them a much-needed facelift. It’s a cost-effective alternative that can restore the charm of weathered or discolored frames.
3. Revitalizing Discolored Windows
Over time, harsh weather conditions can cause uPVC windows to lose their original color. Painting them from a wide range of colours allows you to restore their appearance, giving them a new bright shine.
4. Adding Value to Your Home
Most homeowners are always looking to add value to their property, and this is a great way to do it. Modern exteriors can enhance your home’s curb appeal and potentially increase its value. By painting uPVC windows, you can achieve a more contemporary look that can add up to 7% value.
So, What Are The Disadvantages Of Painting uPVC Windows?
1. Fading Paint Over Time
While uPVC paint offers durability, it’s essential to note that colors can fade gradually due to exposure to UV rays.
Regular maintenance and periodic touch-ups might be required to maintain a vibrant look over the years, which can mean you need to consider the budget for resprays.
2. Potential Damage To The uPVC Itself
Painting uPVC windows can potentially damage to uPVC window frames (and any uPVC) if not done correctly.
Improper preparation, application, or the use of unsuitable paints can lead to peeling, cracking, or even voiding your house insurance.
It’s crucial to approach this as a skilled craft that requires expertise and precision, not just a simple brush and roller like you would interior walls.
3. It’s Very Difficult For DIYers To Achieve A Smooth Finish
Painting uPVC windows is a task that HAS TO BE approached with caution. You need knowledge of the proper techniques, including surface preparation, paint application, and finishing, otherwise, you will end up with poor results similar to the above photo.
It’s very easy to make mistakes that can result in disaster, and fixing a bad paint job can turn out to be very expensive indeed.
Can You Paint uPVC Windows Yourself? And Should You?
When it comes to achieving a professional finish, it is generally not advisable for homeowners to paint uPVC windows themselves for a multitude of reasons, here are the main ones that spring to mind:
It’s Difficult & Time-Consuming
Painting uPVC windows requires meticulous attention to detail and really is a time-consuming process.
It involves a thorough cleaning, masking, priming, and applying multiple coats of paint, all between keeping an eye on the Great British rainy weather.
Without proper expertise, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and like many others, you’ll no doubt end up with a couple of painted windows before giving up and calling in the professionals, which now have to charge extra to fix your work.
Lack Of Skill, Knowledge & Equipment
To ensure a smooth and flawless finish, professional painters possess the necessary skills and knowledge of the best techniques, materials, and specialist paints to use.
Achieving a high-quality finish on your own is almost impossible, it is a skill and career path in itself.
Easy to Mess Up
Painting uPVC windows needs precision and careful execution. Mistakes such as uneven application, drips, dust, rain, or finger marks can be extremely difficult to fix and will guarantee an unprofessional end result.
Achieving the perfect finish requires both the knowledge of and the use of professional spray gun equipment. These high-end paint sprayers ensure even coverage and a seamless finish, which can be difficult (if not impossible) to replicate with basic DIY equipment.
Cost of Professionally Painting uPVC Windows Vs. Replacing Them
Whilst there are a few disadvantages, professionally painting uPVC windows is a cost-effective alternative to replacing them entirely.
Here’s a comparison of costs:
Cost to Professionally Spray a uPVC Window: £150-£250
Cost to Professionally Spray a uPVC Door: £250-£350
In contrast, replacing uPVC windows can be significantly more expensive, ranging from £400-£600 for a window and £500-£650 for a door.
Opting for professional painting can save you up to 75% of the cost while achieving the same fresh and updated look (when done correctly!).
I’d like to point out here that in recent years, spraying uPVC is a massively growing market. With such high prices, there are many inexperienced sprayers (and also complete cowboys) out there offering cheap spraying at less than half the cost of a reputable company.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do your homework before contracting a professional, those cheaper options tend to be very bad workmanship, with a lot of customers having to pay the full price for an experienced company to come in and put the work right.
Read reviews, asked for testimonials, ask to see previous work, do whatever is needed to make sure you’re happy with your choice.
A Professionals Step-By-Step Painting Process For uPVC
Professionals typically follow a specific process when painting uPVC windows. Here’s an overview:
1. Clean the Frames and Remove Existing Silicone:
Start by thoroughly cleaning the window frames and removing any existing silicone. This ensures a clean and smooth surface for paint adhesion.
2. Clean and Degrease the Frames:
Use a soapy water solution to clean and degrease the uPVC frames, removing any dirt, grime, or grease that may affect paint adhesion.
3. Masking Up:
Carefully mask off areas around the windows, such as glass panes and surrounding surfaces, to protect them from paint overspray and ensure clean lines.
4. Primer & Top Coat:
Apply a suitable primer designed for uPVC surfaces to promote adhesion. Once the primer has dried, apply a top coat of uPVC paint in your chosen color, ensuring smooth and even coverage.
5. Lacquer For Protection:
For enhanced durability and UV protection, consider applying a clear lacquer over the painted surface. This helps maintain the color and finish over time.
6. Re-silicone The Frame Seals:
Once the paint and lacquer have dried, re-apply silicone sealant to ensure proper sealing and weather resistance.
What Paint Colour Choices Are There For uPVC?
When it comes to painting uPVC windows, you have the freedom to choose from a wide range of colors to suit your own preferences.
However, it’s important to select paints specifically formulated for uPVC surfaces. Here’s why:
Chemical Bonding With uPVC Materials:
The paint you choose needs to chemically bond with the uPVC material to ensure proper adhesion and long-lasting results. Specialized uPVC paints are designed to achieve this bond effectively, so pay close attention to what you are buying or being provided.
UV Resistance To Avoid Fading:
Maintaining the vibrancy of your painted uPVC windows is key to its longevity, it’s so important to select paints that also offer UV resistance. This helps prevent color fading and ensures the longevity of the finish even under harsh sun exposure.
While the color options are virtually limitless, some popular colour choices for uPVC windows include classic white, elegant cream, modern gray, and even bold colors like black or navy blue.
I recommend taking a look at something like Pinterest to get some inspiration.
Consider your home’s overall aesthetic and personal preferences when selecting the perfect color, but also take into consideration other people’s opinions if you plan to sell in the coming years.
The wrong choice of colour has the potential to decrease your home’s curb appeal and decrease its value.
My Final Thoughts & Recommendations
Painting uPVC windows is a fantastic way to transform the look of your home without the expense of replacing them.
However, it’s important to approach this project with more caution than most DIY projects.
If you’re not confident in your skills, it’s advisable to seek professional assistance for a flawless and long-lasting finish.
Remember, painting uPVC windows requires proper preparation, skillful application, and the use of suitable materials and equipment.
By taking the time and absorbing the potential cost to finish the process correctly, you can enjoy beautifully painted windows that breathe new life into your home’s exterior for many years to come.
Other Commonly Asked Questions
To finish off the article, here are some questions I’ve regularly been asked by customers before.
Do you prime uPVC windows before painting them?
Yes, it’s essential to prime uPVC windows before painting them. Priming helps promote paint adhesion and ensures a durable and long-lasting finish.
What colour should I paint uPVC windows?
Popular colour choices for uPVC windows include classic white, elegant cream, modern gray, and bold colors like black or navy blue. I recommend taking a look at something like Pinterest to get some inspiration.
How much does it cost to paint a uPVC window?
The cost of painting a uPVC window professionally can range from £150 to £250, depending on factors such as the size of the window and the complexity of the job.
How long does uPVC paint last?
With proper application and maintenance, uPVC paint should last for at least 10 years, and potentially up to 20 to 30 years. However, it’s important to note that exposure to harsh weather conditions and UV rays may cause gradual fading over time.
What kind of paint should you use on uPVC frames?
For painting uPVC frames, you need to find paints specifically formulated for uPVC surfaces. These types of paint offer the necessary adhesion and UV resistance to ensure a durable and attractive finish.