If you are in the process of renovating your home, one of the changes you may want to make is the color of your vinyl windows. You may be wondering if you can paint vinyl windows. Can this material be painted over, or are you stuck with window frames that clash with your home’s new colors?
Well, the answer you hear will surprise you because it varies depending on who you consult. A painting company will tell you confidently that they can paint both exterior and interior vinyl windows. Meanwhile, a reputable window manufacturing company will give a resounding NO.
Ultimately, the choice of whether to paint vinyl windows or not is up to you. However, you should consider several things before finalizing your decision. Continue reading this article as it will delve into how you can paint vinyl windows. It will also discuss the specific risks associated with painting vinyl.
How to Paint Your Vinyl Windows?
Vinyl is highly durable, super affordable, and extremely energy efficient. For this reason, many people opt to invest in vinyl window frames for their homes. Vinyl windows come in a broad range of colors. They can also manufacture your vinyl window frames in the color of your choice.
However, this may make it difficult to paint your vinyl, especially if you have a dark frame and want to revert to a lighter color. Though you can paint vinyl windows, you must not apply a coat of paint to the material itself.
Vinyl is a material that is not suited or ideal for painting. Whatever you apply directly on the surface of the vinyl frames will most likely peel off or flake in time. However, if you are adamant about changing the color of the vinyl frames, here is what you must do:
- Clean the vinyl frame
- Apply a coat of two or paint primer
- Let it sit for a day or more
- Put a layer of your chosen paint color
What are the Associated Risks of Painting Vinyl Windows?
Apart from the peeling and flaking paint mentioned above, you potentially risk damaging your window frames. Are you ready for this kind of scenario? You may end up voiding in warranties (should your windows still fall under the manufacturer’s coverage).
Sadly, many of the primers in today’s market contain numerous chemicals that adversely impact vinyl. Upon contact with vinyl, the primer chemicals can soften the frames. As a result, you will reduce the structural integrity of your vinyl window frames.
Your chosen colors can also pose certain threats to your window frames. Dark colors will retain more heat than lighter colors like white, beige, or tan. Absorbing too much heat in the material will cause it to warp. On top of that, since the frames become superheated, you risk breaking the glass. Since doing so voids your warranty, you will bear all the costs and responsibilities of replacing the glass and the frame.
What Can You Do to Maximize Your Vinyl Frames?
If you cannot bear to risk it, you have no other choice but to leave your vinyl frames alone. The best thing you can do is choose a color scheme that will work well with any color palette next time you upgrade your windows. This means buying neutral-colored vinyl windows like:
If you choose vinyl window frames in this shade, you can rest easy knowing that future home renovations will work well with your window color scheme. Thus, you can change your home’s theme and appearance without worrying about your vinyl windows. Working with neutral colors means you can leave your windows in their original state.
What Kind of Performance Can You Expect From Vinyl Windows?
When you look around your neighborhood, you will notice that many homes have vinyl windows and patio doors. They use this material for a good reason. Why? Because vinyl is easy to maintain and energy efficient. In the future, you do not need to re-paint, re-stain, or re-finish your vinyl windows, bringing down costs. But remember, the cheaper price of vinyl is not its only asset. Look at the advantage of working with vinyl below:
Proffers Extreme Durability
Vinyl is created with fully welded sashes, and frames equate to better strength and durability. They will work well in protecting your home from inclement weather, including high winds, heavy rains, snowstorms, and hailstorms. Even if you reside in an area with inclement weather, most vinyl windows still have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years. They can last even longer if you maintain them well.
Assures an Affordable Price Tag
Among all the different window materials, vinyl is the least expensive. However, this does not mean that it is also low quality. Vinyl is extremely durable. It will not warp like wood or corrode like metal windows. The reason it is cheap is that they readily manufacture vinyl. Besides, if your vinyl windows get an energy-star rating, you can qualify for tax credits. This can add money to your pocket and beef up your home’s property valuation.
Helps Lower Energy Costs
Vinyl is made from a plastic material called PVC or polyvinyl chloride. This PVC has a high R-value rating, which means it also provides great insulation. That is good news for your energy bills. Your vinyl windows will retain heat well during winter but keep it out during the summer.
As a result, you can reduce your HVAC costs and lower your energy consumption. Your pocket will thank you every month if you shift to vinyl windows. Get a quote from a reputable window supplier before the weather shifts and take advantage of the cost savings.
Promotes Good Environmental Stewardship
One of the perks of working with vinyl windows is you get a material that has a lower impact on the environment when they are made. If you are conscious of your carbon footprint, you will be happy to know that vinyl is highly recyclable. Should you eventually decide on window replacement, you can recycle your old vinyl to create new vinyl products.
Ensure Easy Maintenance
One of the primary reasons contractors loves vinyl windows is that they are nearly 100% scratch resistant. You read that right! Vinyl is not a sensitive material like wood or steel, which you need to baby and prime every so often. They make modern car bumpers out of similar materials, which proves how strong they are. Vinyl window frames can take a beating and handle the wear and tear with aplomb.
You do not need to paint, scrape, or stain them because they will look fresh all the time. You only need to clean them with good old soap and water. Since they are highly resistant to inclement weather and harsh environmental elements, your vinyl windows will not age as quickly as other window materials.
Proffers a Lot of Variety
Though it is not ideal to paint vinyl windows, you still have an option when it comes to the color, size, and style. You can have them customized to fit your home’s theme. The manufacturer can customize them to perfection to fit your needs.
You can find vinyl windows in different window styles, from awning to bow windows. On top of that, this material will work well as patio sliding doors or French doors, too. As for color, you can check out the wide color palette offered by your trusted window supplier. You can undoubtedly find the exterior and interior color you desire.
The only disadvantage of working with vinyl windows is that they are difficult to shape. Hence, your manufacturer will use a process called extrusion. You do not need to worry about this if you have standard-size windows as the costs will be minimal. However, customized vinyl windows will cost a bit more. This, of course, hinges on the scale of your project and your other requirements.
How To Clean Vinyl Windows?
Though vinyl windows are generally fuss-free, there are still common do’s and don’ts when cleaning them. Check out these tips that will help make your general cleaning a lot easier and more efficient:
Do: a Visual Inspection
Before cleaning, do a visual inspection for issues like peeling, water leaks, streaks, or cracks. Watch out for loose screws, tight tracks, and vacant caulking. This can prevent further complications in the future if you nip them in the bud now. It would be prudent to get any issues inspected by your window supplier so they can repair them before problems escalate.
Do: a Good Rinse
Before cleaning the glass, gently cleanse the entire frame with mild soap and water. Baby shampoo will also work well. Start cleaning from the top and work your way down. Use a sponge or soft brush to take out stubborn gunk. When complete, give it a quick rinse, then wipe dry.
Do: Work With a Good Glass Cleaner
Clean the glass with one part vinegar and two parts of water. Put it in a spray bottle for easy dispensing. You can also use a commercial glass cleaner if you prefer a strong scent. Be sure to work with a product that is intended for glass. Though soft paper towels work, some swear by a rubber-bladed squeegee for streak-free glass.
Do: Try Out the Newspaper Trick
Your vinyl windows will accumulate dust, dirt, gunk, insects, lizard droppings, and so much more. All these will get wet then get baked under the sun. Soap and water may not work if you have a lot of stubborn funks in your windows. You may need to let them sit on a cleanser to soften them up.
After soaking, use newspaper doused with vinegar. Why this? The ink in the newspaper provides a non-abrasive but grittier material that will get rid of the gunk. It can demolish debris and take out oils without hurting your glass or frames.
Do: Keep Temperature in Mind
Ideally, you should avoid cleaning in direct sunlight. It would be best not to do anything on your windows when the temperature is too hot or cold. The heat will dry your cleansers fast and leave you with an unsightly soapy residue. Meanwhile, extreme cold will cause your windows to dry inefficiently and slowly. You may end up dealing with streaks or leaving moisture that will promote mildew and mold growth.
Don’t: Utilize Harmful Solvents
Never use harsh cleaners with solvents such as chlorine, super-strong soaps, bathtub cleaners, detergents, or even grease remover. Even organic materials are a no because they can damage your vinyl windows. They can scratch the glass and cause discoloration on your frames. Remember, most modern glass windows have tints and chemical coatings for energy efficiency. Do not compromise your windows by using harmful materials.
Don’t: Use Abrasive Tools
Steer clear of abrasive tools like a hard brush, your kitchen scouring pad, steel wool, and the like. Before, people removed gunk “baked-on windows” with razor blades and hard chemicals. These items can damage vinyl surfaces and window glass. Take this advice to heart or suffer the adverse consequences.
Don’t: Use a Power Washer
Are you tempted to use a power washer on your vinyl windows? Stop and stay away from that machine! Though power washers can make washing your car a breeze, they do not do well on windows. Your power washer is way too aggressive, especially if you use it at close range. They will “eat” your vinyl windows and cause frame damage. The pressure can penetrate the caulking sealants and break them. As a result, it will cause leaks and open your home to insect and pest invasion.
Work With a Reputable Window Company
For best results, consider aluminum clad-wood windows made with premium materials in neutral colors. It is vital to work with a good window supplier who will undoubtedly provide durability and longevity. On top of that, they can produce energy-efficient materials and blend them with beautiful aesthetics.
Most windows offer countless design options to homeowners. You can expect this to last because they manufacture the color with the material. Hence, it will not face, peel, or flake, ensuring your windows look fresh and good as new for years and decades. With this, you can eliminate the need for frequent maintenance and repairs.
Remember, modern innovation has catapulted vinyl into a premium home improvement material. If you need help sprucing up your vinyl windows or need input on window replacements, give our team a call. Our window experts at North Shore Window Inc. can help you find that perfect window upgrade.