How to Paint PVC Trim Boards

How to Paint PVC Trim Boards: A Step-by-Step Guide

PVC trim boards are popular for exterior trim due to their durability, low maintenance, and rot, mold, and insect resistance.

Despite this, PVC trim boards are not painted white or beige. Fortunately, painting PVC trim boards is a relatively simple process that can be done by homeowners and professionals alike.

Throughout this article, we’ll provide a detailed guide on how to paint PVC trim boards, including tips on preparing the trim boards, choosing the right paint, applying primer and paint, and allowing the paint to dry.

Here Is Step-by-Step Guide on How to Paint PVC Trim Boards

Here Is Step-by-Step Guide on How to Paint PVC Trim Boards

Step 01: Preparing the PVC Trim Boards

Before painting PVC trim boards, properly preparing the surface is crucial. This includes cleaning the trim boards, sanding them, and filling holes or gaps.

Cleaning the PVC Trim Boards with Soap and Water

The first step in preparing PVC trim boards for painting is to clean the surface with soap and water. This removes dirt, debris, or grime on the trim boards’ surface.

Use a non-abrasive cleaner and a soft-bristled brush or sponge to scrub the surface gently. Rinse the surface thoroughly with water and allow it to dry completely before continuing.

Sanding the PVC Trim Boards with Fine-Grit Sandpaper

After cleaning the surface of the PVC trim boards, the next step is to sand the surface with a fine-grit sandpaper. This provides a rough surface that helps the paint adhere to the trim boards.

Use fine-grit sandpaper (120 grit or higher) and sand the surface toward the grain. Be sure to remove any dust or debris from the surface after sanding.

Filling Any Gaps or Holes with an Exterior Filler

If there are any gaps or holes in a raw PVC board, these should be filled before painting. Use an exterior filler that is designed for use on PVC trim boards.

Apply the filler using a putty knife, smoothing it out so that it is level with the surface of the trim boards. Allow the filler to dry completely before sanding it down with fine-grit sandpaper.

Step 02: Choosing the Right Paint

Choosing the right paint for PVC trim boards is essential for achieving a professional, long-lasting finish. Several types of paint can be used on PVC trim boards, each with its advantages and disadvantages.

Types of Paint for PVC Trim Boards

The two most common paint types for PVC trim boards are acrylic latex paint and solvent-based paint. Acrylic latex paint is a water-based paint that dries quickly and is easy to clean up with soap and water. It is also more environmentally friendly than solvent-based paint.

Meanwhile, solvent-based paint is oil-based and takes longer to dry. It is more durable than acrylic paint, suitable for areas with high traffic or environmental exposure.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Each Type of Paint

Acrylic latex paint is a good choice for PVC trim boards because it dries quickly, is easy to apply, and is more environmentally friendly. It also has a lower VOC content, making it safer to use in enclosed areas.

In contrast, acrylic latex paint may not be as durable as solvent-based paint and may not hold up well under extreme weather conditions.

On the other hand, solvent-based paint is more durable and provides a longer-lasting finish. It is also better at resisting wear and tear, making it a good choice for high-traffic areas. Nevertheless, it takes longer to dry, requires solvents for cleanup, and has a higher VOC content, which may concern some users.

Step 03: Applying Primer and Paint

After attaching the PVC trim boards and selecting the right paint, it’s time to apply primer and paint to the surface. Primer is essential for providing a good base for the paint to adhere to and helps to prevent the paint from peeling or flaking.

Applying Primer to the PVC Trim Boards

Use a paintbrush or roller to apply a high-quality primer to the PVC trim boards. Apply the primer in a thin coat, and follow the drying instructions. Allow the primer to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Applying Paint to the PVC Trim Boards

After the primer has dried, it’s time to apply the paint to the plastic PVC trim boards. Use a high-quality paintbrush or roller to apply the paint in thin, even coats, working in the direction of the grain.

Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying time and re-coating. Apply at least two coats of paint for the best results.

Step 04: Allowing the Paint to Dry

After applying the final coat of paint, it’s important to allow the paint to dry completely before handling the PVC trim boards or exposing them to the elements. The drying time for paint varies depending on the type of paint, the temperature and humidity, and the thickness of the coats.

Drying Time for Acrylic Latex Paint

Acrylic latex paint typically dries to the touch in one hour and is ready for re-coating after four hours. Sometimes, the paint may take up to 24 hours to dry completely, depending on the temperature and humidity.

Drying Time for Solvent-Based Paint

Solvent-based paint takes longer than acrylic latex paint, typically requiring 24 to 48 hours to dry to the touch and up to seven days to cure completely. It’s essential to wait until the paint is fully cured before exposing the PVC surface boards to the elements.

Step 05: Maintenance and Care

Proper maintenance and care of painted PVC trim boards can help to extend their life and maintain their appearance. This includes cleaning the surface regularly, inspecting the surface for damage or wear, and touching up any areas that may require attention.

Cleaning the Surface of Painted PVC Trim Boards

To clean the surface of trim boards, brush or sponge the surface with a soft-bristled brush. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that may damage the paint’s surface. Let the surface dry completely after thoroughly rinsing it with water.

Inspecting the Trim Boards

Regularly inspect the surface for wear, damage, or peeling. Touch up any areas requiring attention, and consider repainting the trim if the paint has faded or worn.

What Are the Pros of a Painted PVC Trim Board?

What Are the Pros of a Painted PVC Trim Board

A popular choice for exterior trim is PVC trim boards, which are durable and resistant to rot, mold, and insects. When painted, these boards offer several advantages, including:

Increased aesthetic appeal: A painted PVC trim board can add dark color and visual interest to a home’s exterior, making it stand out from neighboring homes.

Protection against UV rays: Paint acts as a protective layer against UV rays that can cause fading and discoloration to the PVC moulding material, increasing its longevity.

Easy maintenance: Painted PVC trim boards require minimal maintenance, as the paint protects the material from environmental damage and makes cleaning easier.

Versatility: Painted PVC trim boards can be customized to match any design style, making them a versatile choice for any home.

Cost-effective: Compared to traditional wood trim, PVC trim paint boards are a cost-effective choice that can save homeowners money in the long run due to their durability and low maintenance needs.

What Are the Common Painted PVC Trim Boards Problems?

While PVC trim boards offer several advantages when painted, some potential problems can arise:

Paint adhesion issues: If the PVC trim board isn’t cleaned or primed, the paint may not adhere well, leading to cracking, chipping, or peeling.

Expansion and contraction: PVC trim boards can expand and contract with temperature changes, resulting in cracks or gaps in paint PVC pipe.

Color fading: While spray paint can protect against UV rays, over time, the color of the paint may fade, especially if the trim is exposed to direct sunlight.

Mildew growth: If the PVC trim board is not properly ventilated, it can trap moisture, leading to mildew growth and discoloration of the paint.

Surface scratches: While PVC trim boards are durable, they can still scratch or dent, exposing the material underneath the paint and requiring touch-ups or repainting.


Painting PVC trim boards is a fairly simple process that anyone can do. It is an effective way to protect them from weather damage and enhance their appearance.

By properly preparing the surface, selecting the right paint, painting the trim, and allowing it to dry, you can achieve a professional, long-lasting finish that protects the trim from weather damage and UV rays.

With proper maintenance and care, painted PVC trim boards can maintain their appearance and durability for many years.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *