Can You Paint PVC Trim? What’s the Best Way? – DIY Guide!

Author: Pat Freling | Updated: | Affiliate links may be present.

Looking to paint PVC trim? Find which paint will work best for the PVC trim on your home!

PVC is a naturally white and durable plastic used to trim a house. The most effective paint for PVC trim is 100% acrylic latex paint. You can easily spray or brush the paint onto the trim’s surface. Clean and wipe down the trim before applying any primer or paint.

What is PVC Trim?

PVC trim is a wood replacement made from polyvinyl chloride. It’s a popular alternative to wooden trim because it isn’t easily damaged by moisture.

Pros of PVC Trim

PVC trim is a beneficial alternative to wood trim since it’s made from plastic and water-resistant. This means moisture can’t damage the trim as it could with wood and rot away the material.

The plastic material is easy to manipulate and mold around tough corners of the house.

Unlike wood, PVC trim won’t warp or split and doesn’t allow for mold growth. Plastic also costs cheaper than wood, so PVC is a more affordable option in the long run.

Cons of PVC Trim

Although PVC is more cost-effective, it’s also prone to breakage, especially during installation. Plastic is not as durable as wood and might take longer to install because the nails will need to be pre-drilled.

PVC trim is cheaper in the long run but might require a higher upfront cost when first installed, although, due to its durability, PVC trim won’t need as much maintenance in the future.

How to Paint PVC Trim

Make sure the PVC trim is completely clean and dry before giving it a new coat of paint.

Wipe Down Surfaces

Clean the surface with soapy water to rid of any dust and grime. Let the trim dry completely before applying primer or paint.

If you can remove the trim, take it off to clean separately before painting. You can use Soft Scrub with bleach to safely remove dirt and oil before you begin painting.

Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are also a great option for wiping down the PVC trim. Always test your cleaners on a small section of the trim to ensure that they will work safely on the rest of the surface.

Apply Primer and Paint

Although recommended, it’s not required to apply primer. If you do choose to prime, use a high-quality acrylic latex primer for PVC trim.

It’s possible to get good results with just a clean surface and a coat of 100% acrylic latex paint. You can spray or brush the paint on the trim.

When painting with a sprayer, hold it about ten inches away from the surface. Apply the topcoat in the same manner once the primer has dried.

With a brush, remove the trim to fully wash and paint it. For both methods, allow the primer to set before applying a top coat of acrylic latex paint.

Since PVC trim is made from plastic, it won’t need to be repainted often and the color shouldn’t fade easily.

Which Paints Are Best for PVC Trim?

Find which paint will work best on PVC trim and last the longest!

Acrylic Latex Paint

The paint that is most recommended for PVC trim is 100% acrylic latex paint. This paint will last the longest and be able to flex with the plastic material.

Acrylic latex paint will stay on PVC trim longer than on wooden trim. It’s also a great option if you’re looking to personalize the trim since acrylic latex paint comes in a variety of colors.

Paints to Avoid

There are paints you should stay away from when looking to recoat PVC trim. Lacquer paints are not a good option for PVC trim because they’re typically brittle and easily cracked on plastic surfaces.

It’s also recommended to avoid dark paint colors for PVC trim since most warranties have a specific LRV (light reflective value). Double-check even light shades of paint to ensure they have an LVR of about 55 or higher, depending on the manufacturer.

Final Thoughts

It is possible to paint PVC trim! If you are up for a DIY challenge, this painting project can be completed with a simple brush or spray painter.

If you’re using a spray painter, use a side-to-side motion for equal coverage.

It’s also recommended to scorch the surface with sandpaper so the paint can grip better. Check with the manufacturer of the PVC trim to ensure it’s safe to sand down the plastic.

If the PVC trim hasn’t been cleaned or updated in a while, it’s important to clear the surface of debris and oil before applying a new coat of paint.

Since most PVC trim doesn’t require painting, it’s important to test out the paint on a section of the trim before painting the entire surface.

Make sure the paint grips to the trim and allow for it to dry completely so you can properly examine the results.

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About Pat Freling

Pat has been into DIY painting since he was 14 years old. He's painted interior walls, decks, patio, and even the first car that he'd purchased at 18.

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