Can I Paint the Exterior of Pella Windows?

Q: My neighbor painted his windows and they look great. I’d like to do the same; however, a friend of mine said the finish will peel, because mine are energy-efficient Pella windows. I don’t know whether to believe him or not, and I’m not an experienced painter. Can I paint the exterior of Pella windows, or will the finish ultimately peel away?

A: You can paint them; however, you’ll have to use a specific preparation strategy depending on what they are made of. Pella makes wood, fiberglass and vinyl windows. If they are made of wood, prime the windows with an acrylic exterior primer. If they are made of vinyl or fiberglass, you’ll need to take an extra step to encourage adhesion. Lightly scour the Pella windows with 180-grit sandpaper until they feel slightly coarse. Once they feel rough, you can add an acrylic primer.

After the primer has dried for about two hours, add a quality exterior acrylic paint. Just be sure to apply light coats of primer and paint using a soft-bristled polyester paintbrush or you may end up sealing the windows shut. Also, never apply paint directly over any type of unprimed window, or the finish will quickly peel up and pull away.

Incidentally, if you need to paint metal windows, use an etching primer instead of acrylic primer.

Jim Dugan has over 20-years of experience as a professional contractor.

By Jim Dugan
Home Improvement Expert

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