How to Paint a PVC Window

Updated February 21, 2017

PVC is an acronym for polyvinyl chloride. Along with polythene and polypropylene, PVC is a commonly used plastic. A window composed of this thermoplastic polymer doesn't accept paint very well. Professionals combat this problem by employing abrasion-based preparation. If you want your finish to endure, do the same. Many amateur painters use the wrong type of paint on a PVC window. This inevitably leads to fading. Learn which paint is appropriate for your window, or you may find yourself repainting the PVC in just a few months.

Wash the window with soapy water, using a coarse sponge. Rinse the PVC plastic, using a hose. Don't just rinse the window, or adhesion difficulties could follow.

Promote adhesion by abrading your window using a palm sander, stocked with 220-grit sandpaper. Stop once the PVC feels rough. Don't leave any slick areas, as these will reject primer.

Place tape along the surface next to the window. Leave the glass exposed. Position a dust sheet beneath the polyvinyl chloride.

Brush latex primer onto the polyvinyl chloride. Synthetic paintbrushes are appropriate for this task, however, not all are the same. While nylon brushes leave marks in the finish, polyester ones promote smooth results. Let the PVC dry for two hours.

Use the hose to rinse primer from the brush.

Paint your polyvinyl chloride window as you primed it. Let the PVC dry for two hours.

Remove unwanted dried paint from the glass, using a razor blade.


Latex paint is fine for interior windows, however, it will fade in an exterior environment. Use an acrylic latex paint if you're painting exterior PVC.


Priming is essential to promoting a long-lasting finish. If you skip this important step, expect eventual finish failure.

Things You'll Need

  • Dish soap
  • Coarse sponge
  • Water hose
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Palm sander
  • Professional painter's tape
  • Heavy-duty fabric dust sheet
  • Latex primer
  • 2- to 3-inch polyester paintbrush
  • Latex paint or acrylic latex paint
  • Razor blade
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About the Author

Ryan Lawrence is a freelance writer based in Boulder, Colorado. He has been writing professionally since 1999. He has 10 years of experience as a professional painting contractor. Lawrence writes for High Class Blogs and Yodle. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and public relations with a minor in history from the University of Oklahoma.