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How To Paint A uPVC Door

uPVC front doors are durable, practical, and will stand the test of time. Due to their longevity, you might find yourself becoming fed up with the colour. Instead of changing it for a costly new replacement, painting your front door is an easy and inexpensive option.

Because front doors are constantly exposed to the sun, the uPVC is liable to discolouration over time. If this is the case for you, refreshing your door with new paint will result in a cleaner, fresher looking exterior.

Your front door is the gateway to your home, and whether you choose a bright, bold colour to stand out from your neighbours, or you just want to cover over any stains or discolouration, adding a fresh layer of paint to your uPVC door is an easy and convenient way to go.

You’ll find all the information you’ll need for a professional finish on your PVC front door here, from preparing your uPVC door, to avoiding defects in your paintwork.

Can You Paint uPVC Front Doors?

Yes, you can paint uPVC front doors, and doing so is a great, cost-effective way of refreshing the exterior of your home. The key to a good result is to correctly prepare your door, ensuring a long-lasting finish. Painting your uPVC front door can make a big difference to your house’s façade and is well worth doing, especially if your door is looking a little tired or has become discoloured.

What Paint Can You Use For A uPVC Front Door?

Dulux Weathershield guarantees 6 years of weather protection, making it a great option for your uPVC front door. I’ve used Dulux’s Weathershield plenty of times on exterior painting tasks and it hasn’t let me down yet. It’s a durable paint that’s mould resistant, making it a good option for your PVC front door. This paint also has a flexible paint film which means it’s less likely to crack and split when the uPVC expands and contracts with heat.

Zinsser Allcoat Exterior is another tried and tested paint that can be used on your uPVC door. This high-quality paint offers superior protection on exterior surfaces including uPVC.  Zinsser Allcoat Exterior is resistant to cracking, blistering, flaking, and rain.

As well as this, the paint has great colour retention, meaning it’s less likely to fade or discolour as some other uPVC paint may. Even better, if you use Zinsser Allcoat Exterior long-lasting paint, you might not have to repaint your door for a whopping 15 years!

Both Dulux Weathershield and Zinsser Allcoat Exterior can be mixed to any colour you’d like, so you can enjoy your perfect shade for years to come.

How To Prepare A uPVC Front Door For Painting

Plastic can be hard to paint because of it’s smooth, shiny surface. To ensure your paint adheres to your uPVC surface, you will need to prepare your surface and use a primer.

Firstly, with a cloth or clean, dry brush, remove any dirt or cobwebs from your door.

Gently sand down the surface using a light abrasive. This, used together with the primer, will help your paint to adhere to the plastic surface.

Next, apply your primer. We recommend using Bulls Eye 1-2-3 primer which is best applied with a brush or roller. This primer can be tinted to most pastel and mid-tone shades, helping your paint to look pigmented and saturated without the need for excessive coats.

How To Paint A uPVC Door

Method 1: Using A Brush/Roller

If you choose to apply your paint with a brush or roller, it’s best to do so carefully and methodically to avoid defects in the paint.

If you are painting a panelled door, start by painting the flat, vertical panels that are set back in the door.

Next, paint the horizontal strip along the top of the door, above the panels you have just painted.

Then paint the horizontal strip about halfway down the door, usually where the door handle is.

After this, paint the long vertical strip that goes down the centre of the door, between the panels you painted first.

Next, paint the door edge.

Apply your paint to the long vertical strips that go from the top of the door down to the bottom on either side of the panels you painted first.

Lastly, paint the horizontal strip along the bottom of the door.

By painting your door in this way, you avoid fatty edges, a defect that can occur when painting.

Method 2: Using A Paint Sprayer

Painting your door using a paint sprayer can have professional results when done correctly.

Once you have prepared your surface, you will need to either mask handles and other areas you do not want paint to reach or remove them completely. It is important to take your time doing this as it will make a big difference to the overall appearance of your paint job.

Making sure you are wearing a good-quality mask, spray a light, even coat of paint onto the surface, following manufacturer’s instructions depending on what paint sprayer you have.

You will need to apply several coats of paint with a sprayer, and it’s best to allow at least 15 minutes between coats. Once you have applied all your coats and are happy with the finish, leave the door to dry for 24 hours.

If you really want a high quality, professional finish, it might be worth giving this video by professional decorator Phil Beckwith a watch:

Advantages of Painting uPVC With A Brush

Painting your uPVC doors or windows with a brush can result in a professional result. The key to a good finish when painting your door with a brush is painting methodically and carefully with a clean brush. You have greater control over how much paint you use on each coat and can make sure there are no dry or thin patches as you go. And because you have greater control, using a brush is often less messy than using a paint sprayer.

Advantages of Painting uPVC With A Paint Sprayer

Using a paint sprayer is a good option for fast and easy application. You will need to properly mask the area before you start spraying the paint. Spraying your door leaves a thin, even coat of paint with a smooth finish. It can be messier than using a paintbrush, but this is not always the case and can be avoided with masking tape.

Always wear a mask when you are using a paint sprayer.

Should You Paint uPVC Front Doors and Windows?

Painting your uPVC doors and windows is a relatively inexpensive way to update and refresh your space. By painting the door yourself, you avoid the need to buy a whole new door (or windows!), which, when your existing front door works perfectly fine, is expensive and unnecessary.

uPVC is hardwearing and long-lasting, so during its lifetime, it is bound to need some TLC now and again. Luckily, painting your uPVC door is a straightforward process and a great way to update the exterior of your house whilst keeping to your existing style.

There are some common issues with painting plastic which you may want to consider when deciding whether or not to paint your uPVC doors or windows.

Plastic expands and contracts with heat which can lead to cracks or damage to your paint. Paint that is designed with uPVC in mind will have a flexible paint film which helps but is not guaranteed to prevent cracking.

With any plastic surface, paint is more likely to scratch off than on walls or woodwork. This may be something to consider if there is heavy footfall through your front door, or if the area is liable to scratches with daily use. Using good-quality uPVC paint will help prevent scratches but can’t eliminate the possibility.

Plastic is inherently difficult to paint because of its smooth, shiny surface. To help paint adhere to your uPVC door, you will need to prepare your plastic with a primer. This will help the paint stick and give you a professional finish that lasts.

Application Defects To Be Aware Of and How To Rectify Them

It can be frustrating to find defects in your paintwork. There are some common defects that can occur during the painting process. We’ve listed the issues below and tips to rectify them.

Runs and sags are commonplace when painting and can occur when too much paint is applied to the surface. To avoid this, try to apply the paint in a thin, even layer, laying off the paint where necessary. To lay off the paint, use a clean brush to lightly go over the paint layer, feathering the paint while it is still wet.

If you find your uPVC surface has excessive visible brush strokes after you have finished, you will need to wait until the paint is thoroughly dry before gently rubbing down the surface and re-coating. To avoid this happening in the first place, lay off the paint with light brush strokes as you paint.

Ropiness or tramlines can occur when the paint is not applied evenly, or you continue to brush the paint whilst it is setting and too dry. Like visible brush strokes, wait until the paint is thoroughly dry before gently rubbing down the surface and re-coating your uPVC.

Fat edges or wet edge build up happens when paint builds up and is especially common when painting doors. To avoid this, lay the paint off with a dry brush on the edges of your door. If you only notice this when your paint is dry, you will need to prepare the area again and re-coat.

To avoid getting paint on nearby surfaces, make sure you cover and mask areas where you don’t want to get paint. Try not to have too much paint on your brush as this can lead to unwanted splatters and marks.

If you haven’t cleaned or brushed off your uPVC surface before you start painting, you may be left with a bitty finish. You will need to rub down the bits on the surface before applying another coat to achieve a smooth surface.

It is possible to miss areas when painting your uPVC door, especially if you are applying a similar colour to the existing one. Once you have applied all your coats, check the door for any patches that have been missed, and apply another coat if necessary.

Grinning – when the surface you are painting is not entirely covered – can happen if you are applying the paint too thinly, or if you are painting a light colour over a darker one. Try to apply the paint in an even layer and keep coating your uPVC door until you get an even, smart finish.

Post-Application Defects To Be Aware Of and How To Avoid Them

Sometimes, defects will occur after you’ve painted your uPVC door. This can be annoying, but we’ve listed some ways to minimise these defects below.

Fading can be an ongoing issue for your front door. Whilst it is not always possible to eliminate fading entirely, using colours that are less likely to fade noticeably is a good way to encourage the longevity of your chosen colour. Matt paints are more susceptible to fading, so using a gloss uPVC paint or a topcoat will help to minimise fading on your newly painted front door.

Discolouration is another common problem with painted uPVC front doors and can be caused by sunlight and some specific types of mould. Unfortunately, when your door has become discoloured, the best and most effective method is to re-coat the surface. If you can identify why your paint has become discoloured – mould, for example – try to eliminate it before re-coating to avoid a vicious circle of paint and discolouration.

Retarded drying can happen when your paint takes a long time to dry, usually caused by humid weather conditions. Try to paint your front door on a dry, sunny day with some wind as this will help speed up the drying process and avoid retarded drying.

Cratering is another defect caused by weather conditions and occurs when rain or condensation fall onto the wet paint. Try to schedule painting your front door when the weather is fine and dry.