How To Paint Vinyl Window Frames

If you have a slightly damaged or faded window frame, or you just want to change colors, you don't have to replace the window. Vinyl windows are often prefer over wood and metal since they don't splinter or rust.

Vinyl window frames don't come in many colors, but latex paint make to possible for a novice DIY person to change colors and cover damage. Here are tips to paint vinyl window frames.

Prepare to Work

For this project, you need:

  • work gloves
  • step-ladder
  • drop cloths or plastic
  • tack cloths
  • newspaper or petroleum jelly
  •  painter's tape
  •  mild liquid detergent
  •  220-grit sandpaper
  •  paint brushes or sponge brush
  • latex paint and primer

Work during a dry spell of two or three days so paint has time to dry. The ideal painting temperature is between 45 and 85 with no wind. Also, ensure painting will not void the warranty.

Cover the area under the frame with drop cloths or plastic, If you have to use a step-ladder, a drop cloth is less slippery. Cover outdoor outlets with painter's tape.

Clean the Window and Sand

Combine one or two tablespoons of mild dish soap in a quart of warm water in a bucket. Liquid dish soap won't damage vinyl. Moisten a sponge in the solution, then wipe the frames and glass. Use a clean, damp cloth to rinse, and let the surface dry.

Tape newspaper to the  glass, or cover it with petroleum jelly. Belt sander can damage vinyl. Sand the frame lightly using 220-grit sandpaper, and wipe sand dust with a tack cloth. You only want to remove surface shine to help the paint stick better.

Prime and Paint

You don't have to use latex, but ensure the primer and paint is intended for vinyl. Many primers can soften the vinyl, so read labels carefully. Dip the paint brush in the primer, and spread on an even, thin coat. 

Allow the primer to dry according to directions. You shouldn't need a second coat of primer, since it won't cover the old color complexly, but add a second layer, if you think it's needed.

When you buy paint for the frames, don't stray too far from the original color. Neutral colors will match most any house paint color. 

Either spray or brush on the paint. If you paint with a brush, sponge brushes help reduce brush marks. Let the first coat dry, and add another coat, if necessary. Sand lightly in between coats.

If you're not comfortable doing the work yourself, you can hire a painting contractor to take care of it for you.