Painting uPVC

Have you ever thought about?

There’s nothing wrong with uPVC as a material. In fact, back in the 1980s, it was seen as the very best material for windows and doors available. It seemed like everyone had it installed and it was there forever. Obviously, no material can be there forever, and as the eighties disappeared, people began to realise that uPVC was great, but did start to become dull and less bright than it was when it was first installed. 

However, in recent times it has become quite popular to simply paint uPVC. Prior to this it was thought the only way forward was to replace it. While this is of course a solution, it’s also quite expensive and disruptive to a home or business that has uPVC fitted. Ripping out frames can take a long time and it is something that you either have the budget for or you don’t.

Painting uPVC is therefore an option that people have generally realised can make a difference to a building without breaking the bank. Sure, you have to buy special paint and there is some work involved before you begin to paint the uPVC, but that is an expense and time commitment that simply doesn’t compare to that which you would need to think about with a full replacement.

The benefits of uPVC

Let’s not forget that uPVC was very popular once. It was everywhere. As a material it is actually very safe, and much safer than polyvinyl chloride (PVC), so it has a much better reputation for that reason. Also, one aspect of uPVC that really made it very popular back in the eighties was it’s absolute fire-proof status. This made it one of the most popular materials to use in buildings.

It’s also a rigid material, which meant it wouldn’t change shape at all in the heat of the sun. This again did a lot for its overall popularity. There was always going to be some expanding and contracting with uPVC, but not enough to cause a problem.

So it was clean-looking, safe and affordable. The problem came with time. For a material that was originally installed in the eighties, time has made its mark. Much of the uPVC we see now looks bad and old. 

So can we paint it?

Yes, it is perfectly possible to paint uPVC, and it is becoming very popular too. One Of the main reasons why it is so popular now is that it allows a wide choice of colours as a solution. You’re not limited to just a few, and you’ll even find some colours available that are quite unexpected. You can get the standard, and quite popular, dark brown shades. These are rich and attractive and a complete change from the pure white of the original material.

You also get the choice of other colours. One such colour, Anthracite Grey, is very subtle in its tone, but is one of the most popular colours in repainting uPVC.

There are some considerations you will have to bear in mind if you are going to paint the surface yourself. The first step to make absolutely sure that the uPVC is clean and clear of any material that might affect the finish. Dust and other material has to be cleaned away before you start to paint. This Is absolutely crucial,and if you don’t do this you’ll be looking at a result that is less than satisfactory.

It’s fine to use a good sponge with warm soapy water. Make sure the sponge is brand new, and also ensure that you wash down the full area of uPVC. There could be a multitude of problems on the surface, including mould, dust and algae. So give it a good clean. And afterwards, make sure the surface is completely dry before work begins.

The next stage in the process is the preparation for adhesion. The paint you use will have to adhere to the surface fully. This means sanding the surface down so that a level of abrasion is created. This is one of the most difficult parts of the process to get right. Make sure that when you carry out this part, you only give the surface a light sanding. Sand paper has to be of the highest or lightest grain, so that no damage is done to the surface. It’s also incredibly important that you rub in the direction of the frame. This is a key part of the process,and is one of the reasons why we do recommend that you hire a specialist.

Next, masking tape should be applied to the parts of the frame that you don’t want to paint. This ensures that mistakes are not as catastrophic as they could be. This is perhaps even more important when you are working on uPVC window frames. 

Then you apply primer to the surface. This has to be a specialist primer that you can ask for at paint stockists. Using a primer means that the paint will settle on the surface more effectively. 

Then painting can take place. It’s essential that you use paint that has been formulated for this job. A good stockist will be able to sell it to you, but it’s a good idea for you to be clear on what you are planning to do when you buy it. A conversation with a stockist will ensure you get the best paint.

The paint will have to be tough enough to withstand impact from the sun, as well as being UV resistant. 

Use a specialist?

We do recommend this, and there are many professionals in this field so it will be easy to arrange. However, make sure you’ve narrowed down your choices to two or three, and that you have seen testimonials from previous customers. It’s an important job and it needs to be done by people who know exactly what they are doing.

Painting uPVC is possible, and the results can be incredible, so if you have uPVC it is well worth looking into having the work done.

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