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Why You Shouldn’t Paint Vinyl Windows

You don’t know what you don’t know—a common saying that has some powerful truth behind it, and a statement made even truer by a novice homeowner who might otherwise not know any better when it comes to attempting to paint vinyl windows.

Now, if the idea of taking a paintbrush to a vinyl window makes you cringe, then you probably are gifted with a little more experience in the matter than the average Joe.

But if you’re wondering why you can’t slap some paint on your vinyl windows like you would with just about everything else, we’ll explain that soon enough.

paint vinyl windows

You Could Void the Warranty

If for whatever reason you wish to take a paintbrush to your vinyl windows, you might want to hold off for just a second. That coat of paint you’re intending to cover your vinyl windows with could very well void the warranty put into place by the manufacturer.

If your windows were still under warranty, by painting them it would be voided, eliminating any help from the manufacturer if the windows were then to become damaged by anything. You would be stuck with damaged windows with no help in the costs or labor for the repairs.

In some cases, manufacturers will allow certain colors to be used for their vinyl windows. Of course in any of these instances, if you do not want to void your warranty on your windows, the best thing to do here is to contact the manufacturer directly to find out.

If the window manufacturer does, in fact, allow certain paint colors on their windows, they may ask for a paint chip to be sent in order to give you the go ahead.

Paint Simply Does Not Adhere Well to Vinyl

If you need at least one reason to not paint your vinyl windows, consider this one: paint just doesn’t stick to that slippery vinyl surface well. The fact of the matter is that yes, you can technically paint vinyl windows—but why should you?

If you hypothetically did paint your vinyl windows, you would need to sand them down first. Vinyl is sleek and shiny, so you can imagine that you’d need to rough it up quite a bit to get a viable surface for the paint to cling onto something.

You shouldn’t use anything less than 220-grit sandpaper to do the job.

There are paints that are specially designed for vinyl surfaces, so if you opt to paint your vinyl windows, you will want to pick one of these paint products up. Priming is important here; otherwise, nothing will bond to the vinyl, even if you do sand it.

Even if you follow all of the must-do rules when painting your vinyl windows, there’s a good chance that the paint will flake off. If not right away, the paint can chip and flake rather quickly.

Thinking about the exposure that your windows will see over the course of their lifetime, they are bound to be scratched, dented, hit, or marked by the outside elements.

Despite you following all of the rules and checkpoints while painting your vinyl surfaces, the slippery surface will still peel, chip, or crack when painted.

Considering Vinyl’s Nature

Painting vinyl windows show a disregard for vinyl’s inherent nature. First, you should educate yourself on how vinyl reacts to certain weather conditions. In colder climates, vinyl finds itself more brittle and subject to cracking or breaking.

In extreme heat, vinyl can be too absorptive and warp. This is the reason why you might see many homes utilize white vinyl or other light colors because, in the heat, it won’t take on too much of the sun’s powerful rays.

Let’s say you want to paint the vinyl a darker color. Well, you are setting yourself up for problems down the road. Your vinyl, when exposed to heat, sunlight, and temperature shifts, will warp.

As you learned in school, or from simply working outside in the heat, dark colors absorb more sunlight than neutral and lighter colors, which is why you won’t see many gardeners donning black on a hot summer day.

Vinyl windows are an investment, even if you are unsatisfied with the color. Painting them could lead to warping, and in fact, it probably will.

There’s a reason why you see vinyl in the popular neutral and light shades of almond, beige, white, and the lighter gray tones because these homeowners were likely advised to go this route to avoid damaging their windows or shortening the windows’ lifespan.

This doesn’t mean that vinyl is a poor choice in window material in the least—it’s quite the opposite. Like any material, you have to know what its weaknesses are in order to maintain it.

For vinyl, treating it well will give you back its best qualities, like energy efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and durability.

white painted vinyl window

Painting Could Compromise the Vinyl

There’s no question that certain paints and primers contain chemicals, but unbeknownst to some, these formulas could damage the structural integrity of your vinyl windows.

We’ve already gone over how vinyl is one of the more difficult surfaces to paint, well imagine what a paint or primer must do in order to adhere to this challenging, sleek material.

If you’ve painted your vinyl windows and then come to find that going bold and bright perhaps wasn’t the best idea, well, now that you’ve sanded them down there’s really no turning back.

You can strip the paint and repaint the vinyl, but because you had to use coarse sandpaper to get the surface to adhere, you really cannot return the vinyl windows to their original condition.

Painting Can Affect Your Home’s Resell Value

Your vinyl windows are an investment, even if they existed when you bought your house. If you are inadvertently damaging their integrity, this could dramatically affect their lifespan.

When it comes time to resell your home, your painted vinyl windows may not be so attractive anymore to interested buyers. Potential homeowners will want new vinyl windows, not something that’s been sanded down and painted over.

Consider Replacement Windows

So, how does one “win” when it comes down to painting your vinyl windows? The answer, as you can predict, is to avoid painting them altogether.

There are too many disadvantages in painting your vinyl windows, perhaps the most concerning of them is the fact that paint can seriously affect their structural integrity.

Your windows should stand up to the test of time, the outer elements included. Although you might despise their color, the bottom line is that you should want them to last.

Replace your windows instead. Replacement windows aren’t nearly as big of an investment as facing damaged windows with voided warranties or having to create new windows altogether. Be sure to go for a neutral color, because the same rules apply—darker colors of vinyl can cause the surface to warp in the heat.

Feldco offers vinyl replacement windows that if not painted, can last longer, is more durable, and energy efficient. Put down that paintbrush and seriously consider just replacing your windows instead.

We have served over 350,000 homes throughout the Midwest and delighted our customers with our products that are dependable and affordable. Speak to a Feldco representative to get your free quote now.

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