In a world where technology and ingenuity have allowed us major strides in progress, we’re more and more frequently faced with the question of: should we—rather than: could we? Should we make another Smart Home device? Should we upgrade our appliances? Should we be painting our vinyl windows?
For homeowners, the question of whether to paint vinyl windows can be a difficult decision. Homeowners know that a house is truly never finished, so with a paintbrush perpetually in-hand, it’s hard to believe that a material such as vinyl could truly give get us off the hook from continual painting and upkeep.
Here’s why you shouldn’t break out the painting supplies and touch up your vinyl windows with a coat: the layer of paint simply won’t bond to the vinyl’s surface. At least not very well. Hypothetically speaking, if you did paint your vinyl windows, you’d need to sand them down well so the paint would have something to grip onto.
Veteran painters imagining the thought of sanding vinyl down and slapping a layer of paint over top are probably experiencing a skin-crawling reaction. The bottom line is: the two don’t mix.
Of course, painting vinyl isn’t unheard of, and there are even paints that are specially designed for vinyl application. Ask any painting expert—if you choose to paint vinyl. There is one thing you absolutely must do before painting and that’s to prime your vinyl.
After you sand down the vinyl surface using a grit no finer than 220, apply a coat of primer and allow it to dry before you paint. Make sure the primer and the paint you select is specifically designed to be applied to a vinyl surface, otherwise the layers will have difficulty bonding to the viny. If this is messed up you’ll have wasted time and money in your efforts.
Paint on a window is problematic, no matter the window’s material. A window is to be opened, operated, and exposed to everyday living and its exterior to the outer elements. For a functioning feature of your home that shoulders the burden of daily operations, a paint job, no matter how thorough, simply doesn’t hold up.
With its movable parts and a vinyl surface already predisposed to poor bonding to its layer of paint, a vinyl window’s paint job won’t stand the test of time. You’ll notice almost right away paint chipping, scratches, and imperfections on your newly painted vinyl window in areas that see the most motion like its sills and tracks. Painting the exterior of a vinyl window has similar effects, with its outdoor exposure exponentially increased the odds of dents and flakes are evident.
Don’t crack open that can of paint just yet because taking a paintbrush to your vinyl windows is likely to void the warranty. When you’re faced with damage to your painted vinyl window, you could be left hanging out to dry by a manufacturer that unfortunately can’t help.
Vinyl windows hold unmatched benefits in their composition. Often, they’ll go decades without the need for repairs or maintenance, unlike their competing materials wood or aluminum. This is why homeowners are granted lengthy warranties on their new vinyl windows, but when painted, that warranty is often void. Then, should anything happen, the cost of repairs comes out of pocket.
Although it’s advisable to not paint your vinyl windows, you should check the warranty or contact the manufacturer if you decide to and well before you take that first step to sand them down. Certain manufacturers will allow for specific paint colors to be applied to their vinyl windows while still allowing the warranty to remain intact.
Before you paint, the manufacturer may request that you send them a sample of the paint you’re going to be using before they give you permission.
Undoubtedly, paint contains chemicals. Paint designed to adhere to vinyl surfaces contains specific chemicals that allow bonding, but it can also cause more harm than good.
As you’re aware by now, vinyl is more difficult to paint, so the project would require you to sand down the inherently sleek surface so the proper paint can cling onto it. Roughing up the vinyl’s surface is a permanent decision. Once the sandpaper meets the vinyl, there’s no going back, and your vinyl windows can’t be restored to their original condition even if you remove the paint one day.
The material, in a way, is compromised, and it may not hold up to the standards it was originally designed to meet beneath layers of chemically enhanced paint and a face-off with coarse sandpaper.
Even if you’d prefer your vinyl windows to be painted, the next potential buyer for your home might not feel the same way. Vinyl windows are seen as an attractive resale point because of their extended warranty, little to no maintenance, and durability. When reselling your home, you’ll want intact vinyl windows to show off, fully equipped with a manufacturer’s warranty.
Feldco is the #1 window and door provider in the Midwest! So you know that when you buy your vinyl windows from Feldco, you know that they will be installed quickly and professionally. Speak to a product specialist and get a free quote online today.