How To Paint Pvc Trim: A Complete Guide

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How To Paint Pvc Trim: A Complete Guide
Tips for Working with PVC Trim The Family Handyman from


PVC trim, also known as cellular PVC, is a popular choice for exterior trim due to its durability, low maintenance, and resistance to rot and insects. While PVC trim comes in a variety of colors, you may want to paint it to match your home’s exterior or to refresh its appearance. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of painting PVC trim to achieve a professional and long-lasting finish.

Materials You Will Need

Before you begin, gather the following materials:

  • Quality acrylic latex paint
  • Primer specifically designed for PVC
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Clean cloth or sponge
  • Painter’s tape
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paint roller and tray

Step-by-Step Guide

1. Clean the PVC Trim

Start by cleaning the PVC trim to remove any dirt, dust, or debris. Use a clean cloth or sponge and warm soapy water to gently scrub the surface. Rinse thoroughly and allow it to dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

2. Sand the Surface

Lightly sand the PVC trim using fine-grit sandpaper. This step helps the paint adhere better to the surface. Be sure to sand in the direction of the grain to avoid scratches. Wipe away any sanding residue with a clean cloth.

3. Apply Primer

Apply a coat of primer specifically designed for PVC trim. This step is crucial as it helps the paint bond to the surface and provides a smooth base for the topcoat. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying time.

4. Tape Off Adjacent Surfaces

Use painter’s tape to protect adjacent surfaces, such as windows or brickwork, from accidental paint splatters. Take your time to ensure the tape is applied securely and evenly along the edges.

5. Start Painting

Once the primer is dry, it’s time to start painting. Use a high-quality acrylic latex paint in the color of your choice. Begin with a brush to paint the edges and corners of the PVC trim, then switch to a roller for the larger flat surfaces. Apply thin, even coats and allow each coat to dry before applying the next one.

6. Apply Multiple Coats

Depending on the color and coverage desired, you may need to apply multiple coats of paint. Allow each coat to dry completely before deciding if additional coats are needed. Remember to lightly sand between coats for a smooth finish.

7. Remove Painter’s Tape

Once the final coat of paint is dry to the touch, carefully remove the painter’s tape. Peel it off slowly and at a 45-degree angle to prevent any paint from peeling off with it.

8. Finishing Touches

Inspect the painted PVC trim for any imperfections or missed spots. Touch up as necessary and allow the paint to fully cure before exposing it to heavy wear and tear.


1. Can I paint PVC trim in any color?

While PVC trim can be painted in various colors, it is recommended to choose light colors that reflect sunlight to prevent warping or damage due to heat absorption.

2. Do I need to sand PVC trim before painting?

Yes, sanding the PVC trim lightly helps the paint adhere better to the surface. It also helps to create a smoother finish.

3. Can I use any type of paint on PVC trim?

No, it is essential to use high-quality acrylic latex paint that is suitable for exterior use. This type of paint provides excellent adhesion and durability.

4. How long does it take for the paint to dry?

The drying time varies depending on the paint and environmental conditions. Refer to the paint manufacturer’s instructions for specific drying times.

5. How long does the painted PVC trim last?

A properly painted PVC trim can last for many years with proper maintenance. Regular cleaning and occasional touch-ups can extend its lifespan.

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