uPVC (unplasticised polyvinyl chloride, also known as PVCu) is a material commonly used for replacement windows and fixtures. It is lightweight, strong and easy to maintain, which makes it such a popular choice.
However, although uPVC can be manufactured in different colours, you might fancy a change without installing new windows. If so, you might be asking the question, can you paint uPVC windows?
Risks associated with painting
The short answer is yes, but we wouldn’t recommend it. In theory, there is nothing stopping you from painting uPVC – you can even buy primers to make your life easier – but there’s no guarantee that this will give you the look you desire for the long term. Painted uPVC can often end up looking much worse than it did before.
The problem is that paint doesn’t stick to uPVC very well, which means it doesn’t take much for it to look flaky and distorted. One of uPVC’s main strengths is its naturally smooth finish, but if that finish is covered in flaking paint then it won’t be much to look at. uPVC is also naturally easy to clean – another quality that paint could take away from it.
A further concern is that paint, especially if applied in multiple layers, could prevent the windows from working as smoothly as they were designed to. Paint makes the material that it is applied to thicker, which is an issue if your uPVC windows have been designed to work smoothly and seamlessly, with minimal gaps. This makes the paint more likely to flake and deteriorate in the areas that see the most movement.
Alternatives to painting
Unfortunately, if you can’t paint your uPVC windows you aren’t left with a lot of other options. The best solution in terms of aesthetics is simply to buy new windows. As we’ve mentioned already, uPVC can be manufactured in a number of colours and even made to look like wood, which means there’s a lot of flexibility if you want to start again from scratch.
However, we appreciate that replacing all your windows might not be a viable option for everyone. If you don’t want that disruption, you could instead see if there’s a way to match your windows to the rest of your home by gradually changing furniture or decor to better suit the windows. Even adding some window boxes or tasteful curtains to the inside or the outside of the windows could help them to blend better with your home.
If you’re interested in replacing the windows entirely, have a look at the different colour options here.