How to Paint Vinyl Windows

  • 5-20 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50-500
What You'll Need
Latex paint
Latex primer
Masking tape
Drop cloth

There are many reasons you might want to paint your vinyl windows. You might be changing the color of your house and want the window frames to match. Or the color on the frames might have faded. It could just be that you want to give your house a quick makeover. Whatever the reason, you should use latex paint so it can expand and contract with the frames and not crack. Note that painting vinyl windows might void the warranty, so check on this issue before you start painting the vinyl windows.

Step 1 - Prepare the Frames

You’ll need to prepare each frame before painting it. Start by cleaning the frame with water and detergent; then wipe it off with a damp cloth. Let the frames dry thoroughly.

Next use some 120-grit sandpaper to sand the frames lightly. Don’t press too hard; all you need to do is roughen the surface slightly so the paint will adhere well and lose trails of previous coatings are removed. Use even strokes and when you’ve finished, wipe down the frame with a damp cloth to get rid of any grit. Once again, let the frames dry.

Step 2 - Prime the Frames

Apply masking tape to the window glass in case any of your brush strokes stray beyond the frame. Lay a drop cloth beneath the window to catch any spills.

Now put a thin coat of latex primer on the frames. You don't need to layer it on heavily. Be sure to cover all the frame, but don’t worry if the original color shows through. Cover all the corners and edges with primer. Give the primer ample time to dry. This will take up to 4 hours, depending on the weather.

Step 3 - Paint the Frames

Using latex paint, start at the top of the vinyl windows. Use even, long strokes to cover the vinyl. Make sure you cover all the parts of the frame. It’s important that your strokes are even, or they’ll be evident later. Paint only in the best conditions. Never paint when the weather is windy or if the temperature is over 85 degrees or less than 45 degrees. Following these tips will help the paint dry properly without the danger of foreign matter sticking to it.

If the paint doesn’t cover all the primer, don’t try to cover it. Wait until it’s all dry and use a second coat later for much better results. For edges and crevices, use a smaller, finer brush. When you’ve finished, remove the masking tape and use a very small artist’s brush to clean up any tiny areas that haven’t been covered.

Step 4 - Allow Drying Time and Assess

Allow the paint to dry. If the coverage isn’t total, apply a second coat to the frame. If there are spots you’ve missed, use the small brush to fill them in. Again, use even strokes so they’ll blend in with the rest of the color. Repeat the procedure for all the vinyl windows in your house.