Vinyl windows have quickly become a popular choice for homeowners looking to replace their windows, since they are generally maintenance-free and long lasting. The main issue some people have with vinyl is that you are often stuck with the frame color once the windows are installed. Although it is possible to paint those vinyl frames, there are some things you must consider first.
Color and Heat
The primary reason many manufacturers recommend against painting vinyl windows has to do with heat exchange. Lighter colors reflect warmth from the sun, so the frames aren't exposed to high heat. If you paint the frame a darker color, it will absorb more heat, which can in turn make the vinyl warp.
How prone the vinyl is to warping depends on the quality and heat resistance of the vinyl used in the frame's construction. Contact the window manufacturer for paint color recommendations for your specific window. Most manufacturers can provide you with a list of colors appropriate for your windows.
Consider the Current Color
As a general rule of thumb, vinyl windows that are already a light color should only be painted colors of a similar shade. Darker-colored vinyl can withstand darker paint colors, as long as the paint is not darker than the current color.
Before you pick a color, consider it's future. You want to avoid colors that will become dated within a few years. Stick to neutral tones, preferably in lighter shades of white, cream, or beige.
The Basic Process
The windows will require a thorough cleaning before you can begin painting. Firstly, you must lightly scuff the frames with fine grit sandpaper so the paint adheres better. You will need to apply a coat of primer, using one formulated for use on vinyl. Follow this with two to three coats of your chosen paint color, once again using a paint formulated for vinyl use. When done correctly, the paint will go on smoothly without peeling or chipping.
Before you commit to painting, make sure your windows are no longer in warranty. Often, changes like painting can void your warranty. If you don't want to chance paint, opt for replacement windows instead. Choose a frame color that won't go out of style so you won't be tempted to paint in the future. White trim is the perfect choice if you prefer painting your home in cool colors, while cream or beige works well with warm-colored homes.
Talk to a company like Beyers Window & Door Inc to learn more about paint options for vinyl windows.