Not many people know that you can paint plastic, PVC and uPVC surfaces as we are often asked “can you paint plastic window frames and doors” – and it’s much cheaper than having all of your uPVC windows and doors replaced. In fact, Rawlins Paints stock uPVC paints in 4,000+ colour options, including Anthracite Grey and Chartwell Green – click here to skip recommended products and to continue reading.
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Trending uPVC Paint Colours
uPVC windows and doors are a fantastic choice in the UK – their weather resistance and outstanding durability outshines other materials. You don’t have to stick with whatever the original colour was – often chosen by the previous occupier! Eventually, you may wish to update the colour scheme of your business or home.
Our blog post goes into detail with our recommended – tried-and-tested – PVC, uPVC, and plastic paints and coatings, with no peeling, cracking or flaking.
- Can you paint uPVC windows and doors?
- What other uPVC/PVC surfaces can you paint?
- Can I paint plastic garden furniture?
- Can you paint a uPVC conservatory?
- Can you paint composite doors?
- Can you recoat and recolour faded or aged white uPVC window frames?
- What is uPVC and why is it so popular in the United Kingdom?
- Which products should I use?
- Do you need to prime uPVC before painting?
- Are there colour options for painting uPVC?
- Can I spray paint it? Or should I use a brush?
- Can I use the same paint on interiors?
- How much does it cost to paint uPVC window frames?
- Can’t I just use a cheap paint/wood paint/emulsion?
- We are here to help!
- Customer reviews and testimonials
There really is nothing worse than old and tired uPVC windows and doors, plastered with a previous owner’s colour scheme. As a homeowner you’ll want to stamp your own personality on your house, with shades that contrast or blend in with other features and your neighbours on the street.
Landlords will definitely want to refresh their rental properties; the first entry on the Telegraph’s Landlord Guide suggests that tenants are looking for longer stays rather than temporary accommodation. Nicer-looking plastic windows and doors, with a clean paint job, helps convince renters to stay-put for longer. And it won’t cost you much to spruce them up – certainly far cheaper than buying new uPVC!
Making your uPVC chicer and up to date has never been easier. Paints specifically developed for plastic and uPVC that adhere and bond to the surface to keep their colour for years to come. Gone are the days of spending all day painting your windowsills, only to watch it peel back off again! If you are happy with the quality of your existing uPVC doors and windows, there really is no need to go through the cost and disruption of replacing them. You can have them repainted with professional coatings applied by spray, brush, or roller.
Whilst Rawlins Paints deal with trade customers and professionals, we also cater for homeowners, landlords, caretakers, and business owners, not limited to:
- Pubs, Bars, Restaurants, and Cafes
- Holiday Lets, Hotels, Bed and Breakfast, and Air B’n’B’s
- Corner shops, Supermarkets, Grocery, and Butchers
- Offices, Retail Units, Kiosks
- Educational facilities: Schools, Colleges, Play Groups and Universities
If you’re looking to one-up the competition with a refresh and rejuvenation, or a homeowner simply looking to touch-up their exteriors, no job is too small for Rawlins Paints.
Can you paint plastic window frames?
Absolutely! Nevertheless, it is vital to pick the correct paint – and that is where Rawlins Paints can help.
You will need a paint that will BOND with the substrate rather than just try to stick to it. Whilst more rigid than PVC, uPVC will experience thermal movement (expanding and contracting a little in the heat). Even in our UK climate, the area between glass and wall on houses, flats and apartments is exposed to very high heats, especially if south-facing. Therefore, you will need a paint that offers UV protection from the ultraviolet radiation of the sun.
uPVC paints and coatings have become far more economical and are now readily available at Rawlins Paints in thousands of tinted colours (yes, including anthracite grey uPVC paint!), with express and next-working-day delivery options to help speed up your project. More and more contractors are using uPVC paint to give plastic doors and windows a fresh look, using a process that can be done in a day and last for many years.
If you are looking at painting your plastic windows and doors, then you may wish to colour-match other plastics on your building’s exterior. Pipework, downpipes and guttering, cladding, soffits and facia boards can all be made from plastic and repainted to match or contrast roof tiles, brickwork – or your freshly painted uPVC windows and doors. These exteriors can be marked and stained from rain damage, such as blocked or unclipped guttering that causes drips or overspills, leaving sediment on paintwork and surfaces.
Stained, faded, and marked PVC and uPVC surfaces make a property appear rundown. For homeowners and landlords, this affects your “kerb appeal”, especially if you’re looking to sell up or rent out. Businesses may see lower footfall because of an unappealing entrance to their premises. Your building doesn’t have to be spotless – who has the time these days? – but keeping on top of stains and faded surfaces can only increase its attractiveness.
Some garage doors are made from uPVC and can be painted to match your windows and doors – for metal garage doors, we have that covered in another blog post here.
We also receive enquiries for painting plastic storage bins and containers for bikes and garden equipment. As we look to switch to more environmentally friendly forms of transport, the bicycle is increasing in popularity. They are also a pain to store properly, clogging up hallways or sitting out in the rain to rust. Given that bike stores are often supplied in light grey or beige, it’s no wonder people are looking to repainting them!
Before painting any uPVC/PVC or plastic surface, you must ensure that it is cleaned and prepared correctly so that the paint will bond with the surface, otherwise it will peel off once dry.
Given that plastic garden furniture and plant pots sit outside in all weathers, it is no surprise that they become faded over time, losing their original colours. Whilst still perfectly functional, if you enjoy the outdoors then you want to sit in chairs and eat from tables with a good aesthetic.
More and more people are now switching to plastic fences and sheds – even children’s playhouses, swings and slides – not just in their gardens, but businesses with play areas for families. Their low maintenance is a key factor as they do not rust or rot which can require near yearly attention to correct, but like garden furniture, left out to face the elements and lacking UV protection from direct sunlight will see colours dull quickly.
Our range of uPVC paints and coatings have excellent colour fastness and UV protection for years, ensuring your garden furniture, fences and more stay your chosen colour for much longer. As before, preparation is absolutely key here – ensuring your plastic surfaces are suitably cleaned, degreased and, where appropriate, lightly abraded – to make sure uPVC paints bond to the surface correctly and don’t flake, blister and peel off.
When uPVC doors and windows exploded onto the scene in the 1980’s, conservatories weren’t far behind. It seemed like every other house extended out into the garden with a sunroom, contained that wicker furniture, and were constructed from white uPVC.
Just like plastic windows and doors, your conservatory can be repainted to a colour of your choice, with our range of interior and exterior uPVC paints in thousands of colours – including patio and French doors.
Composite doors are not intended to be painted; made from a mixture of glass-reinforced plastic (GRP), insulating foam, wood, and PVC, it is incredibly hard for normal paints to adhere to the surface.
At Rawlins Paints we stock Kolorbond Aquatek, a water-based interior and exterior coating designed specifically for uPVC and GRP surfaces, making it ideal for painting composite doors. The coating bonds with the surface with excellent adhesion – when applied correctly to a suitably cleaned surface – and has a huge range of colours available, over 2,400.
Yes, exterior surfaces which have been weathered can be washed down using warm water and diluted detergent followed by rinsing off with clean water – then proceed to prepare suitably with applicable degreasers and, if needed, primers, before painting.
Is it uPVC or PVCu?
uPVC can also be referred to as PVCu but there really is no difference. It is simply down to preference/terminology but ultimately refers to the same material.
Unplasticised polyvinyl chloride (uPVC), or vinyl siding as it is known in the United States, is an energy-efficient plastic often used for window and door frames. It is rigid, which means it will not change shape in the heat of the sun, and it is also recyclable. It is not biodegradable I hasten to add, but at very high temperatures it can be remoulded and repurposed.
It is also an incredibly safe plastic, more so than polyvinyl chloride (PVC), as it has no hazardous phthalates or Bisphenol A (BPA). It is also fire-resistant, giving it an advantage over wooden frames.
Note: There is more about BPA in coats and varnishes on our Food Safe Paints blog.
What paint to use on plastic?
Renowned UK paint specialists Kolorbond lead the way in manufacturing paint for uPVC and PVC substrates such as windows and doors, conservatories and more, for commercial and industrial applications.
The strengths of Kolorbond are its huge colour range (2,400+ colours from RAL and BS (including the current favourite, RAL 7016 Anthracite Grey), with more available on request, including Steritouch) and unrivalled guarantees. Its outstanding adhesion chemically bonds with the surface for a minimum period of 10 years and is extremely colour stable, guaranteed to hold its colour without excessive fading for a period of 5 years.
Kolorbond Aquatek is used in new and refurbishment work in the domestic and commercial sectors of the market. Specially developed for PVC, uPVC (PVCu) plastic and GRP (glass-reinforced plastic) composite, it can be used on exteriors and interior surfaces, primarily windows, doors, claddings, facias, and conservatories. Kolorbond Aquatek is water-based and formulated for spray application, but has also been modified to also be applied by brush to make it especially applicable for on-site work.
Available in multiple sheen levels including matt, satin, semi-gloss, and full gloss, Aquatek’s finish is hardwearing with good hardness and scratch resistance, tested under accelerated weathering conditions for 1600 hours!
Kolorbond uPVC Painting Kits contain all of the products and application tools required to ensure a high quality finish on uPVC windows, doors and fascias, and also suitable for use on composite doors. Kolorbond uPVC Painting Kits are designed around Kolorbond Aquatek paint and come in 4 pack sizes, for the average terraced, semi-detached, and detached house.
A high-performance water-based protective coating that provides a decorative satin finish in more than 4,200+ colours in RAL, BS, NCS and exclusive Wethertex shades. MS11 Multi-Surface Renovation Paint has superb adhesion to interior and exterior PVC and uPVC (and many other substrates), is self-priming, highly vapour permeable, and water-shedding, and is durable for 10 years.
A customer favourite for many years, CombiColor Multi-Surface is a solvent-based primer and topcoat in one. Applied directly to suitably prepared uPVC (amongst many other substrates), CombiColor saves time and money with its fast application by brush and roller to interior and exterior surfaces.
Rawlins Paints offer the full range of colours – more than 4,100 – for customers to choose from right on the product page in an attractive gloss finish. Matt and satin finishes are also available, on selected colours. We also stock a limited selection in smaller, 750ml-sizes tins that are ideal for touching up and small-scale projects.
This quick-drying primer/finish has excellent adhesion and stain blocking properties that are ideal for painting interior and exterior uPVC windows and doors, cladding, and more. Water-based, Bradite One Cans’ large range of colours (2400+) come in attractive matt and eggshell finishes. Applies by brush, roller and spray, drying in as little as 30 minutes and recoatable after an hour.
Ideal for interior projects, Zinsser’s Perma-White Interior is a durable, water-based, very low odour finish containing a biocide that protects the dried coating against mould and mildew. It is ideally suited for areas with persistent humidity and poor air circulation, such as bathrooms, basements or laundry rooms. Zinsser guarantees protection against fungal degradation for 7 years. See our online store for more anti-mould and damp-proof paints.
Don’t be fooled by the name containing “white” – it’s just one of more than 4,000 colours available from industry standard palettes that include RAL, NCS, and British Standard, in matt and satin finishes.
Ultimate performance, all surface exterior paint that is recommended for use on uPVC doors, windows, cladding, and more. Zinsser Allcoat Exterior is available in water-based and solvent-based formulas in satin, matt and gloss finishes, with a huge colour range of 4,000+ shades.
Zinsser listens to contactors and develops new products – or adds features to existing products – to meet their changing needs, delivering world class products that meet “real world” challenges, providing tried and tested solutions to painting problems, such as painting plastic and uPVC windows and doors.
ALWAYS prepare the surface appropriately before using our recommended paints and coatings. The surface must be dry, clean, and free of any debris such as mould or dust. Our manufacturers have their own cleaners and pre-treatments, or recommended products, for use with their uPVC paints.
If you intend to sand or lightly-abrade PVC, take note that friction will cause heat, which can release toxic chemicals in the dust – hydrogen and chloride – that can affect breathing. Always wear protective equipment (gloves, eyewear, ventilated facemask) to filter out dust and chemicals.
Kolorbond have pre-treatment products such as Vinylkleen to remove all water-soluble contaminants together with most oils, Windowprep and Polyprep. Make sure the surfaces are sanded so that the brush can achieve a seamless stroke.
If you are using Rustoleum products, uPVC surfaces should first be cleaned with a 5% solution of Rust-Oleum Mathys ND14 Cleaner Degreaser followed by a solvent wipe with Methylated spirits.
Bradite also have their own Industrial Degreaser recommended to remove oils, grease and other contamination.
Step 1. Surface Preparation
The surface must be clean, dry and free from anything that will interfere with the adhesion or application of the products and materials to be applied.
Start by removing loose and failing material by scraping or brushing with a stiff bristle brush to a sound edge, feathering sound edges with a fine grade abrasive paper.
Remove contaminants and anything else that could interfere with adhesion, degreasing the surface overall with Zinsser Universal Degreaser & Cleaner in accordance with manufacturers instructions, rinse well and allow the surface to dry thoroughly.
Remove all visible signs of organic growth from the surface, treating with Zinsser Mould Killer & Remover for interior projects or Blackfriar Anti-Mould Solution for exterior projects in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, and allow to dry.
Zinsser Allcoat Exterior Water Based (Matt, Satin and Gloss finishes) and Solvent Based (Satin only) can then be applied directly to suitably prepared (clean, dry, lightly abraded, and thoroughly degreased) plastic, composite, GRP, uPVC (PVCu) and PVC without the requirement of a primer coat.
For Zinsser Allcoat Exterior Solvent Based Gloss and Zinsser Perma-White Interior/Exterior, use one full coat of Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 to prime overall, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, allowing an hour’s drying time minimum (in normal drying conditions).
Step 3. Decoration
Interior projects – use two full coats, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, of Zinsser Perma-White Interior in one of more than 4,000+ colours in matt or satin finishes, allowing two hours minimum between coats for drying.
For exterior projects, decorate the prepared and/or primed surface with two full coats of Zinsser Allcoat Exterior (three coats for sills and more exposed projects) in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, and allow the minimum drying time (as stated on the tin/data sheets) between coats.
Notes: We would expect these systems to be applied to aged/weathered surfaces normally, if there is a requirement to paint a brand new surface of this type then a small test on an inconspicuous areas should be carried out to ensure the surface preparation is adequate to remove surface chemicals from the manufacturing process of the item and the paint has adhered well to meet the requirements of the project, prior to application to the larger item.
We also recommend that these products are for vertical surfaces with a good water run-off, products are not intended for areas of water immersion, roof areas, areas where water will pond or use on floors or underfoot.
Are there colour options for painting uPVC?
There are, in abundance! The most popular colours you see walking along the street are white, black, grey (RAL 7016 Anthracite Grey), and darker green or blues.
Kolorbond products can be tinted to almost any shade and are readily available in 2,400+ colours from RAL, NCS and British Standard, with more available on request, including Steritouch.
Similarly, our Wethertex, Rust-Oleum, Zinsser, and Bradite uPVC paint products can be tinted in thousands of popular RAL, NCS, and British Standard colours.
This huge range of colour option provides homeowners, businesses, and services with all the choice they need to rebrand, rejuvenate, and renovate with warmer and more inviting shades.
Yes – where products are self-priming, 2-3 coats of a lighter colour should cover the dark original uPVC surfaces.
Alternatively, we can match to the nearest RAL, NCS and British Standard colour (depending on the product chosen) if you wish to post us a sample of the colour you are trying to match. Our technical team can then inspect and advise you on which colours we have available and a suitable product to use.
Whilst a lot of professionals will spray uPVC paint for a quick and easy application, all the products mentioned in this blog post are designed for brush and roller as the primary and intended method of application and achieve extremely impressive results.
Brush and roller have a reputation for being inferior as an application, this just is not the case anymore thanks to leaps and bounds in paint technology that provides an excellent finish. If you do require spray application, you can hire a professional applicator that is experienced with the technical nature of spraying uPVC paints.
Using a paint brush allows you to get around any fiddly design work (with a teaspoon of stealth) such as painting windows or a front door, which you would need to take it off its hinges to truly protect the brickwork around it.
Do be aware of leaving brush marks though, by over-coating in some areas more than others – as always, check the data sheets for application instructions. These can be found on our product pages under the “Data Sheets” tab.
If you are looking to paint interior uPVC doors, window frames, and other surfaces, our recommended DIY products are a great choice for refurbishment projects, domestic & commercial applications. Check each product for compatibility as some are exterior-only, and always apply according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Much cheaper than to replace them! Our recommended uPVC paints and coatings are very economical with excellent coverage rates and unrivalled performance. They are available to view and buy today at our online store – with next-working-day and express delivery options – so you can get started painting your uPVC immediately.
We strongly advise against cheap alternatives and paints meant for other surfaces – they will crack, blister, and peel off from your uPVC in no time at all. They will then have to be fully removed, and the surfaces fully washed down, before attempting to repaint them.
If you’re looking at painting your uPVC, give us a call and we will talk you through it. We can offer advice on which paint will be best for you, talk you through some colour options and advise on whether you need a primer or any preparation products. Our technical team are available on 0113 2455450, or you can email us on [email protected]. Further still, feel free to leave a query on the comments section below.