How to paint uPVC windows
With spring just around the corner, thoughts are turning not just to spring cleaning, but also decorating and home maintenance in general. While it might be easy to overlook at first, one part of the home where it’s definitely wise to keep on top of things is the windows.
Crisp window frames, clean glass and some welcoming light in the room can do wonders for brightening up a space and making it feel larger than it is. Quality is always a must here, which goes some way in explaining the growing popularity of uPVC windows. Luckily they’re easy to keep on top of, and cleaning uPVC windows is a simple process using everyday household bits and pieces. But what about painting the frames?
Do your windows need painting?
Before we get into how to paint uPVC windows, let’s take a brief moment to talk about why it’s so important. While uPVC windows are durable and high quality, they stay this way thanks to the special plastic chemicals and compounds on the surface of the frames. All uPVC windows are coated in a special film, which not only makes them hard-wearing, but also very good at keeping out draughts and letting the warmth in your home circulate. They’re easy to install too, and fitting high quality windows from a reputable company will mean that they are less likely to lose their colour and need painting.
High quality uPVC windows won’t require much maintenance once installed, however it’s important to remember that not all are created equally. If you do find your windows looking a little worse for wear, one of the best ways to keep on top of it is to paint them. While general dirt and wear and tear is one thing, window frames are exposed to the sun pretty often. Like many plastic materials, that exposure can lead to a little discolouration – especially if the windows are of a slightly lower quality. Painting uPVC windows isn’t recommended until a year or so after installation, but it can help to fight back against any yellowing you might see as time goes by.
Do you need special paint for uPVC windows?
It’s commonly suggested that painting uPVC windows is best done with acrylic paints. By leaving any painting until a year or so after installation, you get the chance to let the resins on the top plastic layers of your window frames settle. That makes it easier for the paint to stick, and acrylic is typically the best choice in this instance.
If you want to get technical, there’s also the concept of thermal expansion to keep in mind. This refers to the expansion of materials in heat or sunlight, which is a natural phenomenon not usually visible to the naked eye. Picking an acrylic paint with a good resistance to that kind of thermal expansion is best and could save you from needing to carry out additional work in the long run. Acrylic paints work best for their flexibility in temperatures, as well as their adhesion factor and ability to stick to smooth surfaces like those of uPVC window frames.
Preparation before painting
You’re going to want to ensure your windows are clean before painting, and that you’ve set out a decent space that’s easy to work and move around in. You’d be surprised how much easier a job like this is when you cover the basics.
Removing any dirt, grime or other material that’s naturally accumulated on your windows will also help the paint stick. Better still, you may also choose to put on a thin layer of primer and let it dry for an hour. This will help the paint take to the surface and save you having to keep going over it if it gets patchy.
Only low quality uPVC windows need painting
Thanks to advances in how these sorts of windows are made, there are some higher quality uPVC windows that don’t need maintenance at all – barring the occasional clean you’d give to windows made of any material.
As with many things, it’s a question of paying for quality. While it might cost a little more upfront, if you think about it, you’re saving on paint, primers and so forth further down the line. It also adds value to your home, as well as making sure that the windows last without yellowing, peeling or flaking. Frames tend to keep their colour when they use stabilising chemicals and similar components that may be pricier to begin with, but that more than pay for themselves in the long run.
It always pays to think of your home as an investment, even if you’re set on spending the rest of your life in your current house and don’t foresee yourself moving. Saving time on painting, maintenance and deep cleaning is always a smart move in the long run, so never be shy in paying for quality if you can get it.
That said, hopefully the tips we’ve gone over today have shown you how to paint uPVC windows in a way that lasts. Just remember to get some decent acrylic paint, clear out the space around your windows and layer on a good primer. Leave it for an hour before you begin, and definitely don’t paint uPVC windows until after they’ve been installed a year or more. The biggest hurdle is knowing about thermal expansion, so think about how much heat and sunlight your windows get and plan accordingly. The simplest way to get around this, if you can’t go for low-maintenance higher quality uPVC windows, is to get some decent acrylic paints that can withstand those sorts of shifts in temperature.
Have you any of your own painting or DIY tips to share?