How to Paint Vinyl Replacement Windows

By Carlye Jones

Updated September 15, 2017

Items you will need

  • Latex primer

  • Latex paint

  • Fine grit sandpaper (120-grit)

  • Drop cloth

  • Rags

  • Mild detergent

  • Small paint container

  • Ladder

  • Paint brush

  • Painter's tape

  • Paint stir stick

Vinly replacement windows can be painted. It just takes a little know-how.
i Kinsey

Whether you want to cover up damage, freshen up faded color, or simply change to a new color, it is possible to paint vinyl replacement windows. The key is to use latex paint, which will expand and contract right along with the vinyl. Properly preparing the vinyl to accept the paint is also essential.

Wipe the vinyl window frames down with a damp rag and mild detergent to remove any dust, dirt or debris.

Sand the vinyl with a fine-grit sandpaper. You only need to slightly roughen the surface, and rough sanding will show, so sand gently with even strokes.

Wipe the vinyl down again to remove any debris created by the sanding. Let the vinyl dry completely.

Lay out a drop cloth to protect the surrounding area. Open and stir the primer. Dampen some rags and keep them nearby in case of accidents, drips or spills.

Pour a small amount of primer into a container that you can easily hold in your hand while painting.

Brush the latex primer on to the vinyl, making sure to cover all areas, including corners and edges. Apply the primer in a thin coat only. It will not cover up all the color of the vinyl, but it will allow the paint to do so. Brush strokes and direction of the strokes does not matter. The important part of applying primer is to cover all areas.

Allow the primer to dry completely before proceeding. This usually takes two to four hours.

Pour a small amount of paint into a small clean container and get a clean brush.

Start at the highest point and work in one direction, brushing the paint onto the vinyl window frame in long, even strokes. A a thin coat. Work methodically and carefully, making sure the paint covers all corners, edges and crevices. If the paint is not providing complete coverage, do not apply a thicker coat. Simply let the first coat dry completely and apply a second coat.

Let the paint dry slightly, but not completely, before removing the painter's tape.

Keep a small artist's brush handy to touch up any areas where the painter's tape smudges or removes the paint.

Let the paint dry thoroughly and then inspect the window carefully. If you find spots that you missed, use the artists brush to carefully touch them up. The touch-up spots will blend in as they dry and you will have a perfectly painted vinyl replacement window.


Wear old clothes or a large apron for painting so that you can focus on painting the window rather than on avoiding getting paint on yourself.


Do not paint in extreme conditions. If it is windy, above 85 degrees or below 45 degrees wait for another time to paint.