Does PVC Have To Be Painted?

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There remains a concern among people using PVC for the first time that it will “yellow” over time if it does not get painted before installation. While, when PVC first hit the market, this was a valid concern, it is not the case anymore.

All manufacturers have added what are known as “UV stabilizers” to the manufacturing process. These stabilizers eliminate the possibility of the PVC yellowing over time. So, while you still can paint PVC if you want to change the color, you do not have to. It will stay the same bright shade of white forever (aside from the normal dirt and dust that may build up on it over time.)

I plan on painting my PVC trim…

What Kind Of Paint Should I Use On PVC? Do I Have To Prime It First?

You do NOT have to prime it first. You also (against conventional wisdom) do NOT have to “scuff it up” with sandpaper beforehand in order to get the paint to “adhere” properly.

You DO, however, have to use a 100% acrylic latex, which really is nothing special. Most exteriors paints are 100% already. Sherwin Williams seems to be the most knowledgeable paint supplier when it comes to PVC, and they are the only brand we recommend. So make sure to buy from them if there is one in your area.

If you are painting your trim a dark color, be especially sure to consult with Sherwin about it as they have engineered UV reflective paints for colors that reach a certain shade of darkness. This paint “reflects” the UV rays that otherwise would be soaked up by the dark color and cause the PVC to heat up, warp and distort.

Here is a solid article put out by PVC manufacturer Versatex about painting PVC.

Here is an example of an arched PVC bracket that we are making to spec for a Parade of Homes house here in Grand Rapids:

Custom Arched PVC Bracket

Custom Arched PVC Bracket

As you may be able to see, we are using laminted (layers) of PVC that will be smoothed out to look like one solid molded piece by the time it gets to our customer. (Yes, that is automotive bondo we are using to do the finish work.) After the sanding is complete it will head to our paint booth where it will receive a coat of 100% acrylic latex paint!

To all of our stock brackets and corbels head over here and check them out.


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