Can You Paint Vinyl Windows?

Woman painting vinyl windows

You can paint anything, right? At least, that’s what Youtube says! We love a good DIY and depending on who you ask, you’ll get a different answer to this question every time. The short answer is yes, you can paint vinyl windows. Black window trim is a very modern, popular look right now, which means people are looking for ways to give their house an upgrade.

But it does come with some downsides and there might be some alternatives out there that will look better than painting and save you time. If you decide painting your vinyl windows is the way to go, we’ll cover how to get the job done and make it look as best as possible. Whether it’s your home or your business, we want you to be able to make the best decisions for your space.

Why Painting Vinyl Windows Isn’t the Best Choice: The Risks

One of the biggest downsides to painting vinyl windows is that you run the risk of damaging them. If you don’t properly prepare the surface and use high-quality paint, it can lead to quick peeling and chipping.

Since vinyl is a synthetic material, it’s crucial to use paint that is specially formulated for the job. You may also need to do some surface prep work before you start painting. This can include sanding the surface to give your new coat of paint something to adhere to or using special cleaning products to remove any residue or oils on the surface.

Like all DIY projects, this takes time, money, and energy, so be ready to do a bit of prep work before you’re ready to paint. Painting vinyl windows takes primer, which might have chemicals that will damage your vinyl and void the manufacturer’s warranty.

So, you can paint vinyl windows but we don’t recommend it. It takes a lot of prep work, can end up looking a bit rough, and you might have to replace them in a few years anyway. Here are a few alternatives to painting vinyl windows:

  • Installing new vinyl windows, which is a more permanent solution 
  • Replacing the old windows with energy-efficient, modern windows that are designed to last longer
  • Using window clings or decals to add color and style to your room without the long-term commitment

How to Paint Vinyl Windows

If painting them is your only option then here are some tips on how to do the best job possible!

1. Head to the hardware store for an alkyd-based primer, a medium-grit sanding sponge, vinyl-safe paint, and the usual painting supplies. Both Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore make vinyl-safe paint—it should say on the label. Many paints will say that you don’t need a primer, but we highly recommend you use one anyway! It will give you another smooth layer for a better paint application.

2. Do your prep! Lightly sand every piece you’ll be painting, tape off your windows and walls, and get some good music playing—you might be working for a while. Be careful not to sand your glass because there’s no coming back from that. Clean your space before and after sanding so that no dust particles or dirt get stuck in the paint or primer.

3. Get your primer on. Follow the instructions on the paint can for this and make sure you follow the right drying times. Applying paint before the primer is fully dry will mean that you’ll have to sand again.

4. Finish it off with paint. Whether you’re using a brush, foam roller, or sprayer, be sure to follow the instructions and look up painting best practices.

Skip the Prep Work! Paint With Utah Window Experts

So, one does not simply paint vinyl windows. But if you’re hoping to put it on your project list and do it yourself, follow the tips in this blog for your best chance at success! If you need a window upgrade but don’t want to paint, consider replacing them with new, energy-efficient windows from Utah Window Experts.

Our windows are designed to last, backed by a lifetime warranty, and come in a wide range of styles, colors, and finishes. Schedule a free in-home estimate today based on our 20 years of experience replacing outdated windows with beautiful, modern alternatives.