Can you paint uPVC front doors?

by Daniel Berry | Last Updated: 21/01/2021

You may have noticed a lot of colourful uPVC doors out and about these days. Dark grey and duck egg green in particular seeming to be very popular modern choices. It’s easy to see why, they look great and can really improve the kerb appeal of any house.

Many people are looking to get the transformative effects of a new door colour without the cost, so they inevitably think about paint. But can you paint uPVC door? Let’s jump in and find out.

can you paint a upvc door

can you paint a upvc door

Can you paint UPVC front doors?

Yes, you can. You will need a specialist paint and a few extra preparation steps. But if you follow all the guidance and choose the correct paint then this is definitely a job any DIYer can do. We will talk you through all the steps in our comprehensive guide here.

Choosing the right paint

This is probably the most essential part of the whole process. The right paint will make all the difference. Seen as though UPVC is not a regular surface to paint onto, being plastic and shiny, then you cannot simply use any old paint.

There are lots of options on the market though including specialist uPVC paints but also paints which can be used on a wide variety of surfaces including uPVC. For my front door, I went with the latter and chose frenchic paint which is reported to be suitable for wood, laminate, uPVC, composites, ceramics and metals.

Prep

If you want to get the best paint finish possible then prep work is incredibly important. Cleaning a surface before painting is important no matter what you are painting but with external doors, it is more important than ever. As you will be well aware your front door can get filthy when the weather is bad. If you want a good finish you need to remove all of this dirt and grime before you begin painting. As well as cleaning the door you will also want to give it a light sand in order to rough the surface up a little bit. This gives the paint a better surface to stick to. I would recommend high grit sandpaper so that you don’t leave deep gouges which are still visible through the paint. Something around 150 grit should do the job well.

Sanding the door will help protect against paint chips forming, this is because the paint will be better “adhered” or stuck to the door. Because it is better stuck the door it is less likely to chip off when nocked.

I like to use sugar soap before decorating. With an external door, I close it and give it a really good spray with a hose before beginning. This removes the large dirt pieces and a lot of the worst muck. I would then sand the door after the worst of the dirt is gone. You can then spray with sugar soap and give it a really good scrub to remove grime and the smaller bits of dirt.

Now you have cleaned it you will need to dry it. The door must be perfectly dry before you begin your first coat of paint, so under no circumstances should you attempt to paint your uPVC door in the rain, this will backfire!

You will want to remove or tape up all of your door furniture. Take your time here as this is a much bigger step than you may initially think. Time spent here will massively improve the overall quality of finish on the job.

Painting

It is important here to take your time. If you are going from a dark colour to light, as I was, then it will take two or three coats of paint before you get a good finish. Don’t try and put down too much paint at once here as this may cause runs.

before painting uPVC door

before painting uPVC door

You also want to leave plenty of drying time in between coats as this will help ensure the paint has properly adhered to the door before you put the next coat on.

during painting uPVC door

during painting uPVC door

Another important factor is a good paint brush, I always recommend using a high quality paint brush as this can make a big difference in the quality of your finish.

after painting uPVC door

after painting uPVC door

FAQ’s

What is uPVC?

uPVC stands for unplasticised polyvinyl chloride, it is essentially a more tough and rigid form of PVC which you see used often in plumbing. It is incredibly popular for use in windows and doors due to it being tough, waterproof and weather resistant.

My door is always in the sun, will the paint fade?

This all comes down to the paint you choose, you will need to ensure your paint is UV resistant. It is the UV element in sunlight that causes fading in paints. Ensure your paint is resistant to UV light. Frenchic al fresco paint is UV resitant.

What colour can I paint my uPVC windows?

The short answer is any colour you can find a uPVC paint in. All colours will work fine, particularly if you are painting onto white uPVC to begin with.

Hey, I'm Dan, I studied computer science with artificial intelligence at Loughborough University. I try to bring my tech knowledge to the posts where it is needed while also offering a DIY view to go with Sam's professional view on tools. I am a very keen DIY'er and have experience of doing everything the completely wrong way.