Paint like a pro: How to paint uPVC windows and doors

By John Kavanagh, manager, Pat McDonnell Paints Galway

Painting your windows can be a relatively cost-effective way to freshen up your home. Check out our guide below to learn how to give PVC, uPVC or Aluclad windows and doors a new look.

Step 1: Preparation

As with all painting projects, preparation is key. Lack of preparation is the most common reason why painting projects don’t succeed.

Start by removing dirt and dust with a dry cloth – paint will not adhere properly on unclean surfaces. This is even more important when working with a smooth surface that you will not be sanding before priming.

Fully clean and degrease the surface that you wish to paint. Fluxaf Pro Clean is a concentrated cleaner and can be diluted for this purpose. Don’t forget those hard-to-reach corners to avoid peeling further down the line.

Wipe the dust off with a new clean, damp cloth and allow to dry completely.

Before you begin painting, cover the ground with dust sheets. Tape both sides of the door/window frame. For straight lines and zero residue, we recommend Deltec Gold 36mm masking tape.

Step 2: Prime

A brush will give you better application on window frames. Van Dam brushes have a pointed head, making them ideal for reaching tight corners. However, any good quality brush should do the trick.

Try not to overload the brush with paint as this can lead to unwanted drips. Keep a damp cloth on-hand to wipe drips away.

Apply one coat of primer to ensure the paint better adheres to your windows. We like Ralston Aqua All-Primer because it offers great adhesion and can be tinted to your preferred colour. The finish is great, but don’t be tempted to skip the topcoat as this is what gives your windows their durability and UV protection.

Always remember to stir paint for a minute or so before use.

A common error is to apply a topcoat or second coat before the previous coat has had a chance to fully dry. Primers in particular become ‘touch-dry’ quite quickly, but this does not mean they are ready to be overcoated. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions with respect to drying times.

Tip: We always recommend a very light sand between coats with a fine grade sandpaper. Removal of all dust before applying the next coat is critical.

Step 3: Paint

Follow up with two coats of a Ralston Aqua topcoat. Depending on how much shine you want for your PVC/uPVC, you can choose between a range of finishes including matt, semi-matt (ie, eggshell ), satin and gloss.

Tip: Open the windows for a couple of hours each day so the paint on the PVC/uPVC windows can dry and cure properly. It can take several days for the paint to cure, so be gentle in the meantime.

Tools for the job:

Deltec Gold 36mm masking tape

Microfibre cloth

Fluxaf Pro CleanFine Grade Sandpaper (320 )

Ralston Aqua All-Primer tinted to the colour of your choice

Ralston Aqua Semi-Matt/Satin/High Gloss tinted to the colour of your choice

Van Dam brush

Dust sheets

Inspired? Pop in-store or phone us on 091 380 640 to get expert advice specific to your project. Fast and free delivery is available on all orders. Shop all products online at


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