How to Paint Vinyl Trim

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Things You'll Need

  • Painter's tape

  • Drop cloth

  • Rags

  • Mild detergent

  • 120-grit sandpaper

  • Ladder

  • Paintbrush

  • Latex primer

  • Latex paint

  • Stirring stick

  • Small container for holding paint

Paint Vinyl Trim

In most cases, installing vinyl trim means no painting and little maintenance, but occasionally, vinyl fades or a homeowner wants to change the color. In that case, vinyl trim can be painted using latex paint. Unlike other paints, latex will expand and contract with the vinyl, preventing cracks and peeling. Painting vinyl trim isn't difficult, but it does require some prep work to ensure that the paint sticks.


Step 1

Prep the vinyl trim. Begin by lightly sanding the trim with fine sandpaper. The slick surface of the trim only needs to be slightly scuffed up, not deeply sanded. After sanding, clean the trim thoroughly with a wet rag and mild detergent to remove the dust from sanding, as well as any dirt or residue already on the trim. Rinse well and allow the trim to dry thoroughly.

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Step 2

Prepare your work area. Using painter's tape, tape off the areas around the trim that you do not want to paint, on both sides of the trim. Lay a drop cloth on the ground underneath the trim to protect any walkways, driveway or plants. Open a can of latex primer and stir well. Pour a small amount of primer into a container that you can comfortably hold in one hand.


Step 3

Prime the vinyl trim. Brush the primer onto the vinyl trim, making sure to cover all edges, corners and crevices. The direction and appearance of the brush strokes do not matter; neither does even coverage. Just make sure you apply a thin coat that covers all areas. Let the primer dry completely.


Step 4

Paint the vinyl trim. Open the latex paint and mix it well. Pour a small amount into a hand-held container. Begin painting the vinyl trim at the highest point, starting at one end and working your way across in long, even strokes. Be sure to paint edges, corners and crevices. Brush only a thin layer of paint onto the vinyl trim. After applying the first coat, allow the paint to dry completely.

Step 5

Continue applying coats of paint until you have achieved a smooth finish with complete coverage.


You will get a much smoother and more professional-looking finish by painting several thin coats rather than one thick coat.


Don't paint over the primer or an earlier coat of paint without letting the first coat dry completely.


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