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TIPS ON HOW TO PAINT VINYL WINDOWS

The biggest decision I wrestled with was whether I would tell my husband. The odds of him noticing were slim to none. The decision to paint our brand new vinyl windows was the result of a huge mistake. My mistake.

It turns out I ordered the almond trim color windows instead of the white vinyl trim package. 

I knew I could pull it off because I am the DIY version of Kerri Washington’s character, Olivia Pope, in the hit show Scandal.

Sidenote: I stood next to Kerri Washington at a Sundance Film screening during her Scandal days. She is every bit as beautiful in person with the most beautiful full-length coat and boots.

I was wearing mud-stained Uggs and a pom-pom hat. I know.

ALMOND MISTAKE  

WHITE VS. ALMOND

With white casings around our kitchen windows, the almond window trim package was a huge mistake. It was my mistake and there was no way to pin this on my husband.

And, those mismatched almond windows against the white window moldings were the motivation I needed to learn how to paint vinyl windows. how-to-paint-vinyl-windows-everyday-edits 

The bigger challenge was to solve the problem before I told my family. The odds were in my favor that no one in my family would notice the almond.

But I could I paint a smooth vinyl surface leaving zero evidence of paint splatter.

My husband can’t find the ketchup bottle in the fridge, but he can spot a paint drip making its way to the molding.

PLAN

 I searched online for solutions and told no one in my family.

This was not my first mistake fix. I did this on these cabinet pulls.

HOW TO PAINT VINYL WINDOW TRIM

HOW TO PAINT VINYL WINDOWS

My first attempt to paint the vinyl windows was unsuccessful. I used a  paintbrush and white primer and just painted over the almond color vinyl trim.  

how to paint vinyl windows

But with the visible brush strokes, paint drips, and crank handles (which is what I loved about my new windows),  the paintbrush application was a fail.

I shut down the project site and drove to Home Depot to grab two cans of Rustoleum paint primer spray paint.

RUSTOLEUM SPRAY PAINT AND PRIMER

STEPS TO PAINT VINYL WINDOWS?

  • Lightly sand the vinyl trim.
  • Clean the window to remove any dust or bugs
  • Neither do well around spray paint. 
how-to-paint-vinyl-windows
  • I used a spray primer for the first coat and finished with coats of the primer + paint.
  • Next time I will just use the primer + paint combo spray paint.

The primer and paint combo provided great coverage and meant one less step to screw up the window finish.

The spray paint went over the window crank like the first coat of a new bottle of OPI nail polish; a smooth finish with instant glam. 

You guys I was so happy at this point because… the windows looked so good.

 As soon as I stepped away from the window I knew I had used the best technique to paint vinyl windows for my skill level and pay grade.

Fast forward a few years with a remodeled kitchen this is the same corner.

how to paint vinyl windows

The spray paint adhered to the vinyl with a smooth finish. There was a bit of overspray on the windows, but it was an easy cleanup with a razor blade and window cleaner.

PAINTED VINYL WINDOW UPDATE

 WEATHER

Over the years I read articles about the reasons a homeowner should not paint vinyl windows. The reasons included temperature fluctuations during the year.

Living in Colorado we know temperature swings. The only issue with my vinyl windows was the occasional pasta sauce splattered from an aggressive pot scrub or the one time I forgot to put the lid on the blender.

The vinyl window trim has yet to show wear and tear. I am in the process of painting a few other windows as we get ready to refinish our wood floors.

WARRANTY

Home Depot installed a few of our windows (well their subcontractors). I asked the sales guy if the warranty continues if the windows were painted. He answered my question with – over 65% of customers end up painting either the interior or exterior vinyl trim.

I did not paint the exterior side of our window trim, but I might on our next paint job.

After six or seven years the painted vinyl windows look great. And the crank window that I was so nervous to paint? It looks great and is used quite a bit in the summer.

I am so happy with the results of my painted vinyl windows.

how-to-spray-paint-vinyl-windows-everyday-edits

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Before you go I would if you pinned this project for others to see on Pinterest!

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8 Comments

  1. You’re too funnny! I know what you man about not telling anyone in the family ha ha. Windows look great! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm. xo Kathleen|Our Hopeful Home

  2. I just re-read this post from a while back and am out to buy some spray paint. I have some windows with this same problem (almond window that doesn’t match my white trim) and am going to fix it right away! Thanks as always for great solutions!

  3. What an awesome idea, thank you! Did the spray paint get everywhere and you had to paint the walls or how did you protect them?

    1. HI Sandy,
      Honestly, I had minimal paint splatter. But yes I did have a little touchup, but the spray paint was such a better application for the vinyl. I tried priming them with a paintbrush (for like 2 minutes) and then went with spray paint! I am going to post a follow up soon! thank you! laura

  4. Hi Laura, I love saving a step by using primer and paint! Do I still need to sand the vinyl first? Thanks

    1. HI Linda, I did not do a light sanding. If they are wood windows, I would do a light sanding. Make sure to spray slowly. Mine still look amazing and they get a lot of grime from the sink. They clean easily too! No regrets! good luck! laura

  5. That would have bugged me too. It’s good to know there’s a (relatively) easy fix!

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