Over time, whether through sun damage or neglect, uPVC doors and windows can lose their clean, eye-catching look. Whilst you may be tempted to replace the uPVC entirely, oftentimes painting your tired-looking uPVC can give it a new lease of life.
Not only will painting them restore your exterior to its previous glory, but the best uPVC door and window paint will also give you the opportunity to change your colour scheme entirely and have it last for years to come.
With that being said, choosing the best uPVC paint for the job is no easy task. For one, you’ll need to ensure the paint can not just stick, but bond with the uPVC to ensure it lasts more than 12 months.
Then, you’ll need to factor in important attributes such as how well it withstands the elements, how flexible the paint film is to deal with the demands of the expanding and contracting uPVC and of course the coverage and overall finish.
So how do you know which paint to choose?
Fortunately, I’ve had hands-on experience with a variety of uPVC paints and have put my experience using these paints into a helpful guide – grading each paint in different categories so you can make the right choice depending on your own personal needs.
What Type of Paint is Best for uPVC Doors and Windows?
Before getting into the specific uPVC window and door paints that I would recommend, I just wanted to touch on the types of paint that are available for use.
One of the most important considerations is whether to use water-based or oil-based paint on exterior uPVC.
Whilst traditionally it would be a good idea to use oil-based products on exteriors due to their superiority in standing up to the weather, there are a few water-based products on the market that have been specifically formulated for exterior uPVC use and which can withstand just as much as oil-based (some of which will appear on my list of recommendations).
It’s also worth mentioning multi-surface paints. These paints adhere to almost any substrate which makes them perfect for uPVC which is typically a problem surface. You’ll find a couple of multi-surface paints in my recommended list such are their quality!
Finally, I wanted to mention that budget paints are a waste of time when it comes to painting uPVC so you’ll find the ones that I’ve recommended are pretty much all the more expensive trade paints. I’ve experimented with a few budget uPVC paints in recent times and they simply don’t last and scratch far too easily to be considered for this type of job.
Best Paint for uPVC Doors and Windows
1. Bedec MSP: Best Paint for uPVC Doors and Windows Overall
I’ve been using Bedec MSP for 7 or 8 years now and can say that I’ve barely, if ever, had a problem with it. Whilst all the paints on this list are very high quality, Bedec MSP is my number one recommendation because it’s just so reliable and versatile.
Its durability is impeccable and easily passes the scratch test which makes it especially ideal for those who tend to make a mess of putting your key into the door or are just generally clumsy entering the home!
I would recommend using either the soft satin option (my favourite, especially in anthracite) or the soft gloss option. The soft satin has a flatter finish than the gloss and gives your doors and windows a contemporary-looking finish. I would say that if you’re going to use the soft satin in white be cautious that the opacity isn’t particularly great so you may need to apply an extra coat or two.
One of the best things about Bedec MSP is that it’s actually a reliable all-surface paint which makes it incredibly versatile. If you’ve got plastic downpipes, guttering or a garage door which you want to paint all in the same colour, you can go ahead (without a primer, no less).
Make sure you don’t skip prep before applying this. Give the doors and windows a thorough cleaning and key the substrate properly with a red scotch pad and you’ll be laughing.
When you’re ready to paint, use either a sprayer or brush. I typically get very smooth results using a brush due to the paint’s consistency and flow. This makes it much more accessible for the average DIYer who might not be comfortable using a sprayer.
One final note – in my experience, Bedec MSP takes about a month to fully cure so be especially careful around it during this time. With that being said, I find that it’s pretty tough after 7 days so you shouldn’t have any issues.
- It’s highly resistant to the British weather and takes years to fade
- Comes in a variety of sheen finishes
- Easy to apply with a brush
- Can be used on other substrates aside from uPVC, including plastic, metal and wood
- Dries very quickly so you can finish the work in a day
- The white satin option doesn’t have great opacity so typically needs more coats than other colours
Paint specs: coverage: 13m2/litre, touch dry: 2 – 4 hours, re-coatable: 4 hours, application: brush or spray
2. Zinsser Allcoat: The trusted choice
Another exterior all-surface paint, Zinsser Allcoat is perhaps the most vouched-for paint by professional decorators when it comes to painting uPVC doors and windows.
I’ve used it myself on plenty of occasions and it’s always come out looking great and with a good amount of durability.
Whilst it’s marketed as a self-priming paint, I personally would recommend priming anyway. It’s let me down a couple of times when I didn’t prime so it’s not worth the risk. Interestingly, I talked to someone from Zinsser who said that sanding and priming is essential otherwise the paint can flake off. Make of that what you will.
Here’s an example of a door I painted with Zinsser Allcoat after priming with Caparol Haftprimer:
In terms of opacity, I would say it’s pretty decent. Some jobs will need at least 3 coats but because it goes on so quickly and dries so quickly that’s not necessarily an issue for me.
When it comes to application, using a brush is totally fine although you will probably get the best finish with a paint sprayer. The paint has self-levelling properties so any brush marks left behind will be barely visisble.
One thing worth bearing in mind is that it’s designed to be applied in cooler temperatures so don’t apply it in direct sunlight. If you do, uPVC doors shrink when the weather gets cooler so you’ll likely be left with a thin line of unpainted door. Not ideal.
Overall, Zinsser Allcoat consistently does the job but the fact that you need to apply a primer, which consequently makes the job more expensive, means it misses out on the top spot!
- Can be tinted to over 4000 colours
- Passes the scratch test with ease
- Can be used to paint other exterior surfaces such as wood and metal
- Dries incredibly quickly allowing you to finish the job in under a day
- Doesn’t have the best opacity
Paint specs: coverage: 12m2/litre, touch dry: 30 mins, re-coatable: 1-2 hours, application: roller, brush or spray
3. Tikkurila Panssari Akva: Choose for rock-solid durability
If durability is your number one priority then you should seriously consider going with Tikkurila Panssari Akva.
When used in combination with Tikkurila Otex Oil as a primer, this might be the toughest paint I’ve ever used on uPVC – it dries to a rock-solid finish that is pretty much bomb-proof.
With that being said, it doesn’t quite measure up to the other paints on this list in a lot of other areas. For example, the coverage, at 8m2/litre is underwhelming and ultimately means you’ll need to buy a higher quantity, driving the overall price up.
Furthermore, you’ll need to wait a day before you recoat it so will need to bear in mind what the weather situation is like before you start the process of painting your uPVC doors and windows. And with the British weather being the way it is, it adds a bit of stress to the project.
Whilst the semi-matt finish looks attractive once fully cured, it’s slightly disappointing that this paint only comes in that finish. There’s no option to choose anything with more sheen.
- One of the most durable uPVC paints you’ll come across
- Withstands scuffs, scratches and the elements better than any of the other paints on this list
- Only comes in one type of finish
- You’ll need to wait a day before you can re-coat
- The coverage is a bit ‘meh’
Paint specs: coverage: 8m2/litre, touch dry: 1 – 3 hours, re-coatable: 24 hours, application: brush or spray
4. Kolorbond Original: Great for spraying
If you have a good quality sprayer then I would recommend using Kolorbond Original (NOT AQUATEK!) to paint your uPVC doors/windows.
Whilst I only sporadically use paint sprayers for jobs, I do have a Graco GX21 paint sprayer that I like to use from time and completed a uPVC conservatory using Kolorbond Aquatek a few years. I’ve been back to that property a couple of times since and can say that it still looks like it was painted yesterday.
Spraying can be a bit of a messy job so masking around the doors and windows can be quite time-consuming but fortunately, Kolorbond dries so quickly that the actual painting part is a breeze.
In my opinion, the consistency of the paint isn’t quite there to be sprayed straight from the tin. I’ve used it straight from the tin a couple of times and whilst the average Joe would probably think it has great coverage, I could spot a tiny bit of texture. With that in mind, a little splash of water and a good mix almost always results in a flowed-out, level finish.
Top tip for application: use a 2 – 2.2 tip on your sprayer. It will mean that drying times are slightly longer but it will be worth it! Also, make sure you mask the seals around the doors/windows to ensure you don’t get any cracking/crazing paint.
One thing I would say is to make sure you purchase the cleaning products otherwise the guarantee of 10-year adhesion won’t be valid!
Also, make sure you buy the Kolorbond Original, not the Aquatek. I recently tested the Aquatek and it failed the scratch test after 6 weeks of curing. I’m not sure if I made a mistake somewhere along the way during application but it was far too easy to chip, even with a light brush up against it with a set of keys.
- Sprays to a beautifully level finish
- Dries rapidly
- Lasts for years with minimal maintenance
- Can’t get a texture-free finish with a brush – brush marks will be visible regardless of what you do
Paint specs: coverage: 4m2/litre, flash time (time between coats): 10 – 15 minutes, application: spray
5. Bradite One Can: For super adhesion
The final paint to make my list is Bradite One Can which is relatively unknown but is starting to catch the eyes of professional decorators across the UK due to its incredible adhesion properties.
One of the stickiest paints on the market, Bradite One Can really does cling on to uPVC and a testament to its adhesion is the fact that some decorators will even use it as a grip primer (although I wouldn’t personally recommend it for that purpose).
The opacity of the white isn’t fantastic – you’ll be looking at 3 or 4 coats to cover darker colours. If you’re painting white uPVC doors/windows then a quick waft over with an 80-grade pad, a wipe-over with white spirit and 2 coats straight on will do the job every time.
Whilst I can’t attest to its long-term durability as I used it for the first time recently, the fact that it has super adhesive properties and passed my rigorous scratch testing suggests it should go the distance.
- Incredible adhesion means you can use it on any surface, not just uPVC
- Covers in 2 coats with a quick drying time
- The white opacity means you may have to apply 3 or 4 coats
Paint specs: coverage: 11m2/litre, touch dry: 30 minutes, re-coatable: 1 hour, application: brush or spray
Frequently Asked Questions
Is painting a uPVC door a good idea?
Whilst some people might be tempted to replace their uPVC door at a great cost when it looks weathered and tired, painting it is a great idea to save money.
Do you need to prime a uPVC door before painting?
It really depends on what type of paint you’re using. Bedec MSP doesn’t need a primer whereas Zinsser Allcoat will require the application of a primer before applying your topcoats. It’s always best to check the product specification before purchasing the paint.
Does painting a uPVC door last?
Painting a uPVC door certainly lasts, assuming you apply the right paint system. Some brands even guarantee longevity of up to 10 years (or your money back).