DIY, Outdoors, Painting, Saving Money
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Let’s talk about white UPVC (and how to paint it)

Painting UPVC

I know a lot of you guys hate your own white UPVC, because you were all messaging me this week on Instagram when I was sharing my recent DIY project on Insta Stories. I’m not the only hater out there it seems.

Once the talk of the town, white UPVC doors and windows revolutionised the whole glazing and door industry back in the 80’s. Maintenance free, double glazed units were fitted in nearly every house and home in the country. However, it seems there’s not a lot people out there that still want their white plastic frames and doors. Not in their current state anyway. Including me.

There I am standing in front of my door, fake laughing for a MADE.COM shoot. Praying they won’t use this one as i’m so embarrassed by the front of our house. I’m super proud of what we’ve managed to do inside our little 3 bed semi, but the outside was always last on the list. And this year is the year for that.

If you remember, we’d already started on the outside at the back of the house with our new aluminium sliding door that was fitted earlier this year.

Graphite Black Ral 9011 Aluminium Sliding Door

New Aluminium Sliding Door

The old French doors that were previously in this space were binned… but not all of it.

No, we saved the two vertical window panes, flipped them 90 degrees and have re-used them in our new garden workshop.

But they were white, and these are black!?

Yeah I know. Guess what we did. We took the panes of glass out, so we just had the frames and bought some of this…

A couple of coats, a day to dry and it was time to fit the windows in our new garden building.

Ta-da!

The finish is super matt, a really good solid colour and hasn’t chipped or dinked throughout the rest of the workshop build. Spraying them black saved us about £250 on two new windows, so it was defo worth a punt and I think they’ve turned out great considering they were going to the tip.

Ok, so now onto the front door. What I’d really love is this:

Kuppe Black Satin Composite Door (NO WOOD GRAIN EFFECT) by Endurance Doors

I don’t know why it’s to hard to find a black composite door that doesn’t have that damn wood grain in, but it is. This range by Endurance Doors are meant to resemble aluminium doors, but without the risk of scratching that you get with aluminium. We know we want to upgrade our windows to black aluminium eventually (it seems we can afford about one a year at the mo) so the door needs to tie in with the windows. The Kuppe in black satin is defo on my wish-list, but for now, as we’re skint and this costs £1k fitted, it was time for me to flex my DIY muscles.

I was going to be brave and paint our white, UPVC door, black. It would have been sooooo much easier if I could have sprayed it black, like our old window frames, but that involved taking the door off its hinges which hubby wasn’t keen on doing. The spray paint also took quite long to dry and we needed to be able to lock up for bedtime, so ya know, I was limited with what I could use.

After lots of research, and Zinsser coming up trumps in the comments, time and time again in my most read post ever: “What’s going on with paint” I went straight to the Zinsser website and found this:

Zinsser Allcoat Exterior Satin in Black

Zinsser AllCoat ® Exterior is an ultimate performance, mould resistant paint that offers supreme protection to all exterior surfaces: wood, metal, masonry, plastic, concrete and cladding. It forms a vapour-permeable, low maintenance, water-shedding coating that is recoatable in 1 hour.

Available in white, black and a selection of bases that can be tinted to any colour, the paint is self priming and can be applied to previously painted surfaces without sanding, even glossy paints or those coated with bitumen, tar varnish or creosote. For most jobs, there is no need to purchase a seperate primer.

Sold!

I followed the instructions to the letter (first time ever i’ve actually read anything on a paint can) in order to get the best results I could. I was pretty nervous painting UPVC, mainly as EVERYONE and his dog could see me as they walked past. Oh ma gawd, what if I made a total arse of it?

What if crowds would gather, point and laugh at how ridiculous I was for trying to paint plastic. And what if the local gazette came around and I made the front page news for being the biggest idiot in the whole god damn town? 

And whilst thinking all of those things for approximately 40 minutes, i’d already done my first coat of paint and left it to dry for an hour as per the instructions.

I can see already here where I made some mistakes. But ya know it’s the first time i’ve used this stuff and painted a bloomin plastic door, so I won’t be too hard on myself. But once the hour had passed, the door was indeed dry and ready for its second coat.

And again:

What if crowds would gather, point and laugh at how ridicu…. 

And 40 minutes later it was done.

Want to see what it looked like the next day?

Whadya think?

For reference, this stuff dries VERY QUICKLY. There’s not much working time so it’s hard to keep the brush strokes clean and in the same direction, especially on a fancy pants door like this one with curves and mouldings.

There are a few areas where I over worked the paint a little too much. So with a very fine grit paper and I mean fine, I lightly sanded over the top coat once it was fully dry and removed some of the ridges.

It was then given a third coat to try and even out the direction of some of the brush strokes. The brush marks actually make it look more like a wooden door, so I don’t mind them so much. But if you are wanting a super flat finish on your door, don’t use this paint with a brush, because you’ve not got a cat in hells chance of it drying without visible brush strokes.

I didn’t paint the frame, as we still have our white UPVC windows, so want to keep some continuity for now…. but I tell you what, i’m not half tempted to start painting the window frames now. Especially as i’ve nearly got a whole tin of this stuff left. Must. Be. Patient.

So I hope that’s helpful to some of you out there hating on your own front doors. I felt as though we had nothing to lose by painting ours as I know we’ll be getting a new one eventually anyway. But I know some of you mentioned you were nervous to do it and I get that. But if I can do it, so can you.

Pin me for later!

I will be sure to write an update on the door in the next couple of months and let you know how it’s faired. Because that’s the real test isn’t it? Does the paint chip, scratch, peel or bubble? Will let you know asap. Because sharing is caring 🙂

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9 Comments

  1. Jill says

    The door looks really good altho I think the cleverest bit is turning your old doors round to make windows 🙂 Did you consider using the Zinsser primer then an ordinary paint on top or doesn’t that work on upvc? Probably more expensive as well I guess…

    • Karen Knox says

      I did consider that first and I reckon it would work just as well tbh. I just went with this as it was simpler than buying two pots of paint. I’m hoping to do my interior soon so will be experimenting with a colour inside soon 🙂

  2. Zoe says

    Hi Karen, these look fab. I’m really keen to know how it holds up in the Sun. I was planning on doing mine a lovely dark grey but then was warned about using a dark colour as it would absorb heat and potentially damage the UPVC, which was made to be white and reflect heat. I really want to go for it, but don’t want to bugger up the windows either 😳😳

  3. Zoe says

    Hi Karen, looks fab. Love to know how it holds up in the sun. Having researched doing mine a while ago I was advised to avoid dark colours as they absorb the heat and the UPVC white is designed to reflect it, so they may warp, crack or generally fail. Can’t afford for that to happen so have put it on hold, but may attempt it as a trial on the hubster’s workshop…😳

  4. It’s great to see now there are good options to paint uPVC. My uPVC front door came prepainted forest green. Even though I don’t hate it I may have to update it in a few years (or fit a reclaimed one!)

  5. Anonymous says

    Great job! We have wooden windows as live in conservation area with wooden bars inside and out that divide window into’lites’ – these are so fiddly to paint and the paint seems to age so much quicker than on the actual window frames – out there literally every year and we have 24 windows 😱. Am thinking I could replace the bars with UPVC and paint them same colour as windows … what do you reckon? Cxx

  6. Martha says

    Your door looks fab! Just wondering if you used any sort of primer before jumping straight in with the black?

  7. Michelle Turner says

    I’ve just applied it to the upvc fascia around the top of my bay window. The first coat went on much the same as your door, but the second coat looked fab. I had enough left over to do a third coat, so I went for it. Fingers crossed it holds up during the winter.

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