Can I paint my white vinyl windows?

Reply

  #1  
Old 03-17-13, 08:23 AM
junestan's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 127
Can I paint my white vinyl windows?

I'm having some of my old single pane aluminum windows replaced w/double pane vinyl windows. Can only afford the basic white ones. That will look fine inside the house but not so great against the dark wood outside. Someone put in 2 double pane windows before I bought the house - most likely at least 10 years ago. It looks like they painted the outside sash and trim. It looks great and I'd like to do the same w/my new ones. Not sure how well vinyl holds paints tho. Has anyone painted them successfully? If so, what kind of paint did you use?
Thanks!
June
Tah
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 03-17-13, 08:51 AM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 21,105
As a rule...no, you cannot paint vinyl windows a darker color. Most manufacturers have guidelines for painting their vinyl products...at least I know companies like Anderson do. They specify lighter colors with some sort of reflective index(?) so they do not absorb heat and damage the window.

If the windows never see any direct sunlight...you might be able to get away with it. I imagine it would void any warranty though.
 
  #3  
Old 03-17-13, 09:04 AM
junestan's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 127
Thanks

It sounds like painting them is not the problem, it's damage from absorbing the heat of the sun? The windows on the front (same side as the already painted ones) get no direct sunlight. I may wait 'til summer to see how warm they get, then decide on a color.
 
  #4  
Old 03-17-13, 09:12 AM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 21,105
There are specific methods needed to get paint to stick as well. I'm having issues pulling up PDF files to read what Anderson recommends (for example)...you may want to try to find that. They were pretty complete as I remember.
 
  #5  
Old 03-17-13, 09:13 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,967
Likes Received: 1
I think Krylon or Rustoleum makes a paint specific for plastics. Heed what Vic is saying about the manufacturer's recommendations, however.
 
  #6  
Old 03-17-13, 09:41 AM
junestan's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 127
I read the painting instructions for both Anderson and Andersen windows. Both of them refer only to painting wood parts. I do see there are paints for plastics by Krylon and Rustoleum. I might ask at the paint store and also ask on a forum I found for car nuts who painted their plastic parts.
 
  #7  
Old 03-17-13, 09:47 AM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 21,105
They have the info for vinyl...I'll see if I can find it without opening the PDF file.
 
  #8  
Old 03-17-13, 10:13 AM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 21,105
This is for doors, see page 4...http://www.andersenwindows.com/-/med...ance-guide.pdf but it's the same for their windows as well.
 
  #9  
Old 03-17-13, 05:45 PM
junestan's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 127
This is great! Thanks so much. I notice the Terratone color they mention is quite dark. I'll save these instructions and see what kind of manufacturer's info comes with the windows.
June
 
  #10  
Old 03-18-13, 05:02 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 45,528
Likes Received: 48
It has always been SOP when painting vinyl to use the same or lighter shade of color because vinyl is heat rated when manufactured. Several years ago SWP came out with a paint additive called 'vinyl safe' Use of this additive allows you to paint vinyl a darker color. You'd have to check with your window manufacture to see if it affects the warranty.

That said, given a choice, I wouldn't paint vinyl windows
 
  #11  
Old 03-18-13, 05:18 PM
junestan's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 127
Sigh

You folks are not giving me the answers I want!

But as always at this site I'm getting great info. The windows will be installed in April. Maybe the white will look fine. I'll wait 'til summer and if I just can't live w/the whiteness I'll make a decision on the painting. Maybe try a tan color. But I'm definitely hearing that I need to be very careful if I try it and it sounds like it would void the warranty. What drives me crazy is my two older white vinyl windows that have been painted dark brown on the outside and still look great.

Thanks for all your help!

June
 
  #12  
Old 03-18-13, 05:28 PM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 21,105
Are you sure they were painted? Some manufacturers offered different colors between inner and outer frames.

And as I think you stated before...if they aren't in direct sun...it makes a big difference.

I'll bet the reason Mark said " given a choice, I wouldn't paint vinyl windows" is because as a retired Pro painter..he didn't want want to be liable or responsible if the results weren't satisfactory 5 yrs down the road. Plus...once you paint something...it will require re-painting eventually.

It's like painting or staining concrete or stucco....concrete is a no maintenance surface...once you put a coating on...it isn't.
 
  #13  
Old 03-18-13, 05:28 PM
junestan's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 127
Yikes!

The label on the emoticon I included in my last post said "punish". No I see the file name is "gay sex". Please disregard!
 
  #14  
Old 03-18-13, 05:34 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 22,547
Likes Received: 104
The SW vinyl safe paint is actually not an additive, it's just a different pigment formula than usual. They use different pigments with higher LRV's (light reflectance values) to come up with the same colors. They use less pigments with low LRV's (like iron oxide) because they absorb heat.

For example, Azek (a pvc trim board) suggests the following when painting their products:

• If you choose to paint use a 100% acrylic latex paint
with colors having a Light Reflective Value (LRV) of
55 or higher.

• For darker colors (LRV of 54 or lower), paints
specifically designed for use on vinyl/pvc products
such as, but not limited to, Sherwin-Williams
VinylSafe™ coatings. These paints/coatings are
designed to reduce excessive heat gain.

This is probably a good guideline for painting any vinyl product, but as mentioned, painting any vinyl window will likely automatically void your warranty.
 
  #15  
Old 03-18-13, 05:38 PM
junestan's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 127
Maybe they aren't painted. My window guy said he thought they looked painted. When I looked at the white part that borders the brown it looked like there were areas where the brown brush strokes got onto the white part. But now I think the brown on white is just dirty or worn areas where the window runs up & down.

But your answer gives me hope. If I only had to repaint every so often I don't mind that. I could paint only the ones that get a very little sun, paint them tan instead of brown, and follow all the other advice listed here about painting them. Then I'd just have to consider the warranty.
 
  #16  
Old 03-18-13, 05:38 PM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 21,105
Junestan...thanks for the info on the emoticon....I'll let the tech people know...
 
  #17  
Old 03-18-13, 05:42 PM
junestan's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 127
Excellent info - thanks!
June
 
  #18  
Old 03-19-13, 03:23 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 45,528
Likes Received: 48
The SW vinyl safe paint is actually not an additive, it's just a different pigment formula than usual

It looks like SWP has made some changes. Unless I'm mistaken it was an additive for certain exterior latex paints but now appears to be a dedicated line - Polane® Solar Reflective Polyurethane Enamel

Vic is correct on my reasons for not wanting to paint vinyl windows. Painting them makes them no longer low maintenance and somewhere along the line the build up of paint might interfere with smooth operation of the window. I have painted vinyl windows for various customers in the past.
 
  #19  
Old 03-19-13, 04:54 PM
junestan's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 127
Ah so it can be done! I'm pretty meticulous so would do a careful enough job so the windows continue to slide easily. And I don't mind the maintenance. The warranty is probably the main question. I'll have to see if I hate the white enough to take that chance.

This forum is the best - thank you thank you!

June
 
  #20  
Old 03-19-13, 08:09 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 22,547
Likes Received: 104
The SW Polane is sold only by their Industrial Coatings stores, (that means SW paint stores have to order it in from that separate division of stores), is only available in a few select colors, and has a 30 minute pot life once the 2 parts are combined. (was over at my SW rep's house this evening). She said its probably one of the products that requires stainless steel spray equipment and nasty solvents like MEK and MAK to clean the equipment afterwards. Its definitely not a DIY product, according to her.

The "vinyl safe" paint colors in Superpaint or Duration is what she recommends for painting vinyl.

The places you will have trouble will be where vinyl contacts vinyl on the frames. Vinyl is self lubricating, so vinyl slides on vinyl almost like ball bearings. Put paint on 2 vinyl surfaces that have to slide on one another and now there will be friction and sticking. Latex paint on vinyl will want to scratch off with your fingernail just like latex paint would do on anything that was formerly painted with a glossy oil based paint. Good luck if you try it... at least you've been somewhat educated about what to expect.
 
  #21  
Old 03-20-13, 03:42 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 45,528
Likes Received: 48
I guess it shows that I don't frequent our local SWP stores like I used to

I agree that paint build up and opening and closing the window is where the biggest issues will be. I doubt that the window manufacture will ok painting the vinyl but it doesn't hurt to check and know for sure.
 
  #22  
Old 03-20-13, 05:59 PM
junestan's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 127
I'd only be painting the outside of the windows - white is fine inside. Since I assume the windows would slide on the inside track (they'll be sliders, not single-hung) paint wouldn't interfere with their operation.

There's still the question of the warranty. Sounds like a good chance painting them would invalidate it. If I hate the white I might just decide to live dangerously.

Again - thanks for the info - worth it's weight!
June
 
  #23  
Old 04-04-13, 04:22 PM
junestan's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 127
I got my windows today. Decided not to paint. I can see the paint would rub off where the windows slide. And the white looks fine, trimmed out. A huge improvement over the old aluminum ones. Thanks again for your input.
June
 
  #24  
Old 04-04-13, 04:29 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 45,528
Likes Received: 48
I think you made a wise decision! No worries with voiding the warranty or added maintenance
 
  #25  
Old 12-07-13, 03:45 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 7
cladding instead of paint?

I wanted to do the same thing - paint my white vinyl windows brown before installation. But after reading the thread I decided against it because the window I want to paint is in direct sunlight in the summer.

So how how about strips of some kind of colored cladding over the frames. I would leave the moving parts untouched. If this is an option, what kind of cladding could I use? How would I best attach the cladding to the window frame? Anyone done anything like this? Thanks.
 
  #26  
Old 12-08-13, 07:25 AM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 22,547
Likes Received: 104
mlelah,

you could look into the Trimquick line of products. Finding a supplier would be the hard part. Here is a link to colors available. However attaching it to the exterior probably is not recommended, and would probably also void your warranty because of possible heat transfer.
 
  #27  
Old 12-12-13, 05:29 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 7
Thanks for the suggestion. Looking into the possibilities. Anyone have experience using this product or cladding like this?
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes