Can You Paint UPVC? Read Our Guide Before You Get Started

Can You Paint UPVC? Read Our Guide Before You Get Started

Want to upgrade your home? Regarding home improvement projects, the question of whether you can paint UPVC (unplasticised polyvinyl chloride) surfaces, such as doors and windows, often arises. It's a tricky one.

UPVC is a popular material for doors and windows due to its durability and low maintenance requirements. However, over time, you may want to refresh the look of your UPVC elements. If they look dull, and you've already tried our article on how to clean UPVC, it's time to add something special.

The good news is that you can paint UPVC, which can be a cost-effective way to give your home a fresh, new appearance. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore everything you need to know about painting UPVC and achieving stunning results. Read on to learn how to paint UPVC the right way and some helpful tips you can use.

Understanding UPVC and its benefits

Before we dive into the world of painting UPVC, let's first understand what UPVC is and why it's commonly used in homes. You may have some of this material in your home without realising it. With that in mind, here's what you need to know about it.

What is UPVC?

First, let's deal with the main question here. UPVC, or unplasticised polyvinyl chloride, is a type of plastic material widely used in the construction industry for doors and windows. It's valued for its durability, low maintenance requirements, and energy efficiency.

UPVC is resistant to rot, corrosion, and weather, making it an excellent choice for exterior applications. For that reason, the material is highly popular in many modern homes around the UK. You might find that you have it in your home already.

Benefits of UPVC:

Now that you understand what UPVC is, let's discuss its benefits. There's a reason that this particular material can be seen in homes all around the country. Here are some of the benefits of using UPVC in your home's structure:

  1. Low Maintenance: UPVC is virtually maintenance-free. It doesn't require regular painting, staining, or sealing like wood. That means you can have it in your home for years without worrying about how it will fare over time.
  2. Durability: UPVC is highly durable and resistant to various environmental factors, ensuring a longer lifespan for your doors and windows. If you are looking for a material that will stand the test of time, you might find that this one works for you.
  3. Energy Efficiency: With the cost of energy soaring, you should always look for ways that you can cut back. UPVC has excellent insulation properties, helping you maintain a comfortable indoor temperature and reduce energy bills.

Now that we understand the advantages of UPVC, let's explore the steps to paint it effectively. Here's what you need to know about how to paint UPVC like a professional.

Can you paint UPVC?

The short answer is yes, you can paint UPVC surfaces. Painting UPVC doors and windows allows you to update their appearance and even change their colour without needing costly replacements. However, achieving a professional-looking finish on UPVC requires the proper preparation, tools, and technique. Here's what you should know:

Preparing your UPVC surfaces

1. Cleaning: Before you start painting, cleaning your UPVC surfaces thoroughly is essential. Use a mild detergent, UPVC cleaner, and a soft cloth to remove dirt, grime, or contaminants. Rinse with clean water and allow it to dry completely.

2. Sanding: Lightly sand the UPVC surface with fine-grit sandpaper to create a rough texture for better paint adhesion. Be sure to wipe away any sanding dust with a clean, damp cloth.

Check out these brilliant uses for sandpaper for your next project!

3. Priming: To ensure the paint adheres properly and lasts longer, apply a UPVC primer. The primer creates a bond between the UPVC surface and the paint, enhancing adhesion.

Choosing the right paint

Next, you must ensure you have the right stuff for the job. Selecting the right paint is crucial for a successful UPVC painting project. Look for paints specifically designed for use on plastics, such as UPVC.

Some popular options include Rust-Oleum and Frenchic paint. These paints are formulated to adhere to plastic surfaces and provide long-lasting results.

How to paint UPVC surfaces

Now that your UPVC surfaces are properly prepared and you have the right paint, it's time to start painting. Here's a step-by-step guide to painting UPVC doors and windows:

1. Apply the first coat

Apply the first coat of paint evenly on the UPVC surface using a paintbrush or paint sprayer. Start with the frames, moving from top to bottom. Follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding drying times and application techniques.

2. Allow drying time

Allow the first coat to dry completely before applying the second coat. This typically takes a few hours, but checking the paint can for specific drying times is essential.

3. Apply the second coat

Apply the second coat of paint in the same manner as the first. A second coat ensures even coverage and a more vibrant colour.

4. Add finishing touches

Inspect the painted surface for imperfections once the second coat is dry. Touch up any areas that may need additional paint. After you're satisfied with the results, allow the paint to cure completely. It's wise to leave it overnight when you have finished.

Tips on how to paint UPVC

By this point, you should already know how to paint UPVC. However, before you rush to the DIY shop, you must ensure you are ready for the challenge. Here are some tips to help you paint your UPVC doors, windows, and more.

Choose the right colour: Take time selecting the colour for your UPVC surfaces. Consider the overall aesthetics of your home and how the new colour will complement your exterior. You might want to choose something neutral that works with everything.

Check the weather conditions: Plan your painting project for a day with mild, dry weather. Avoid painting on extremely hot or cold days, as temperature extremes can affect the paint's performance. Choose the best day for this project.

Proper ventilation: Ensure good ventilation while painting to disperse fumes and aid in drying. You want to give the paint the best chance of success.

Protect surrounding areas: Cover any adjacent surfaces or areas you don't want to paint with painter's tape and drop cloths to prevent accidental splatters.

Follow manufacturer's guidelines: Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for the primer and paint you choose. This will help you achieve the best results.

Maintenance and longevity hacks

Painted UPVC surfaces can maintain their appearance for many years with proper care. To extend the life of your paint job, follow these maintenance tips:

  • Regularly clean the painted surfaces with a mild detergent and water to remove dirt and debris.
  • Inspect for any chipping or peeling paint, and touch up as needed.
  • Avoid abrasive cleaning materials that could scratch the paint.
  • Consider repainting every 5-10 years to keep your UPVC surfaces looking fresh.

In summary, you can absolutely paint UPVC surfaces, including doors and windows, to refresh your home's exterior appearance. With the proper preparation, paint, and technique, you can achieve professional-looking results that enhance your home's curb appeal.

Whether you opt for a subtle makeover or a dramatic colour change, painting UPVC is a cost-effective and rewarding home improvement project that can breathe new life into your property. So, why wait? Transform your UPVC elements and enjoy the renewed beauty of your home.


Are you looking for some more answers? We've got you covered. Here are some frequently asked questions regarding how to paint UPVC doors, windows, and more.

Can you paint plastic window frames?

You can paint plastic, PVC, and UPVC surfaces around your home. However, you should ensure you prepare these surfaces well before you start. You also need to look for the right paint for the job before working on this project.

What paint will stick to UPVC?

When choosing your paint, you must ensure it is UPVC-friendly. As we have mentioned, some brands, such as Frenchic and Rust-Oleum, make ranges you can use. However, you should also look into other brands that specify the paint can be used on UPVC windows and doors. Do your research first.

Can I spray my own UPVC windows?

Yes, you can! However, you should look for the right spray paint before you get started. If you use the wrong paint, you could find that it doesn't last, comes off quickly, or simply will not stick to the material.

Giving it a try? Let us know in the comments below!

Joanne A


Expert in finding beautiful solutions for small and rented spaces. Would happily spend the rest of my life shopping for homewares and watching Disney movies - I only wish I had Cinderella's army of mice to help me clean!

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