Let’s set the scene, you’ve just finished painting your walls, carefully cutting in around your windows when disaster strikes. You notice you got some emulsion on your uPVC windows a while ago without noticing and, oh no! It has already dried on. What do you do? Well, I have done some research and got together some of the most recommended ways to remove emulsion paint from uPVC windows. But I haven’t just done that, I have gone one step further. I have gone out and bought all the supplies I will need for each different method. Then I have purposely painted some emulsion on my window frame and let it dry. So let’s get cleaning and see which method is actually the best way to remove emulsion from a uPVC window.
Hopefully at least one of these methods works well so I don’t have to explain to the wife why we now have painted window frames…
How to remove emulsion paint from uPVC windows
The method that worked best for me was Methylated spirits although all three methods did work well so if you want to see all the different options I tried just keep scrolling.
There are tons of methods to remove emulsion from uPVC and every decorator will probably have their own secret sauce. But these are some of the most popular methods I saw recommended again and again on DIY forums and blogs.
According to one wise old head if you apply methylated spirits to the emulsion and let it soak in it will soften the paint. After it has worked its magic you should, in theory, be able to simply wipe the paint off.
The decorator’s old-time friend. Seemingly recommended for all jobs, it pops up again here.
I had never heard of these before but they seemingly look like baby wipes marketed to men, lets see how they do!
The uPVC Window
So here is my window. Freshly painted with some beautiful grey emulsion, I really hope at least one of these methods comes through for me!
So let’s start with the Methylated Spirits. Commonly known as Meths, Denatured Alcohol or Ethanol (Ethyl Alcohol). It is alcohol mixed with a small quantity of Methanol to make it unfit for consumption and dyed purple. The purple dye is really just an extra step to put people off from drinking it.
The perceived wisdom for using this to clean off emulsion is that I should just apply it and then let it sit. It should then soften the paint, allowing for it to simply be wiped off.
Step 1 – Add Spirit to a Cloth
So to start with simply add some Methylated Spirit to a cloth.
Step 2 – Dab Onto Paint
Now just dab the spirit onto the paint. Don’t try and scrub the paint off yet. Just simply dab the spirit on for now.
Step 3 – Wait
Now we wait for the spirit to do its thing. In theory, it should be softening the paint up so it comes off really easily.
In fact, we can see that it is already working in the photo below.
Step 4 – Wipe Off
So now the idea is that the paint has been thoroughly softened up and it should just wipe off.
So you can see that simply wiping has not brought all of the paint off. But it has done a good job. So we will require a little elbow grease to get this done.
Step 5 – Scrub Off
Now we have wiped and it didn’t bring everything off its time to put a little more effort in and do a little scrubbing.
Now the paint is really coming off.
So I managed to remove all of the emulsion paint and to be honest it was very easy, this method definitely works well.
Specially formulated to clean hands, tools and surfaces from wet and semi-cured paint, sealant, adhesive, bitumen, expanding foam, oil, grease and even silicone. Particularly useful if there is no water on site.
Everbuild multi-use Wonder Wipes have become a popular choice of the nations builders and tradesmen. They are particularly useful when there is no water on site. Contains an anti-bacterial additive that is tested by an independent laboratory to BS EN 1276 for chemical disinfectants and antiseptics.
But how well will they clean emulsion off of my uPVC window frame?
So this method is simple enough to follow. Grab a wonder wipe and scrub at the paint. Let’s see how these manly wipes work.
You can see that these wipes are really working. I was pleasantly surprised at just how well they removed the paint. The image is a after a little bit of scrubbing, probably around ten seconds.
So with a little more elbow grease we are nearly done, but will these wipes manage to remove all of the emulsion?
So here we can see all of the paint removed. I did this sample first which is why the other two paint marks are still there. I would say this is a very effective method but I would say the Methylated Spirit is slightly easier.
Sugar soap is one of those things that seems to be useful for everything. Officially it is used to effectively removes grease, grime and nicotine from painted surfaces to ensure improved adhesion.
I sprayed the paint I wanted to remove with some of the sugar soap.
I then scrubbed away at the paint with a cloth.
You can see that the paint is coming off. This was a lot slower than the other methods however.
All done! This method obviously worked. But, it was the hardest and most time consuming of all three methods I used.