There are a couple of ways to go about painting vinyl, wood, or metal window frames and trim. Using the proper tools, procedures and products is the first.

Spraying on a finish with a paint sprayer or using a brush and roller is the second.

The following page gives how to advice for both spraying or brushing and rolling your vinyl windows trim, and frames.

Some of the products and tools below may not be needed for the type of windows, trim or frames, that you happen to be painting.

With that said, you will have to decide on which tools to use for the project at hand. Also, the type of surface being painted might require a specific primer (eg. for vinyl, wood or metal). Ask your paint supplier for advice regarding tools, paint and materials for the job being done.


Be sure to ask your local paint store sales representative, for assistance with application advice, and information on choosing products and tools for painting vinyl, wood, or metal windows.

  • Quality Primer
  • Quality Interior Paint
  • Window Paint Scraper
  • Painters Paper & Masking Tape (low tack and regular)
  • Roll Of Plastic
  • Drop Cloth (or old bed sheets)
  • Quality Latex Paintable Caulk & Gun
  • Filler
  • 100 Grit Sand Paper
  • 2 1/2" Sash Brush & Cut Can
  • Short Extension pole, Roller & Cover, Tray/Liner
  • Speed Roller & Cover (4") Small Tray/Liner
  • Rags
  • Paint Sprayer
  • Small step or platform ladder


Set up depends on whether your painting vinyl, wood, or metal windows with a brush/roller or using a spray system.

Spraying of course will require open doorways, window glass and everything else in the room to be covered. Tape and plastic will do the trick or if possible items need to be moved to another room, otherwise, there will be overspray everywhere.

If you are spraying it's probably a good idea once the window trim is coated and dry to bag the room with plastic and painters tape then spray the ceiling with a flat white paint. If your painting the walls coat the ceiling first, then the trim (frames, doors, baseboards etc.,) followed by the walls.

When brushing and rolling window trim you may not have to worry about overspray but it's still a good idea to repaint the room anyways.

It will take more time to paint the walls and ceilings but in the long run your work will be easier to do and the finished product leaves the area looking fresh and new again.

Once the prep is done and the paint is throughly dry remove your plastic and mask off the edges of your newly painted windows, doors and trim (with medium tack tape) after doing so proceed to cutting (brushing)and rolling the walls.

By painting the room in this fashion you won't have to worry about overspray when spraying the windows, frames and trim etc.

Of course, if your painting vinyl, wood or metal windows with a brush and roller you won't need to be as protective with the items in your home. More masking instructions can be found by reading the text below (depending on the type of painting you choose, spraying, brush/rolling).

Another thing to keep in mind is if there is bare wood, spot-prime the bare areas or the entire bare surface before you begin your painting project.

Vinyl and some metal surfaces will need also a special type primer applied prior to painting. Ask your local paint store representitive for assistance.


All cracks and holes between the woodwork and walls need repairing. As an example, trim around a window doesn’t always touch the wall leaving a gap between the trim and the wall. Said cracks should be filled with paint-able caulking.

Also, some trim or frames may have holes that need filling with wood filler. Use this caulking and filling page to learn about plugging those gaps prior to painting vinyl, wood or metal windows.

Once your caulking and filling knowledge has increased come on back here to get those windows coated with paint.

Some windows require putty, reglaze them if needed, a glass repair shop will do this for you if you would like.


Those who are not comfortable using a brush be sure to mask off (with tape/paper) walls, window glass and areas etc., that you don't want painted.

Quality blue painters masking tape or medium tack works best as it dosent pull off as much dried paint as other tapes. Blue paint is expensive though.

Even so, it's a good idea to have touch up paint for any dried paint that your putting tape on. With that said, when brushing/rolling the walls after painting vinyl, wood or metal windows and trim don't worry about using the tape. Window glass may require some masking if you don't want to scrape it. Also, you will need to tape off the edges of the woodwork to paint the walls after the woodwork has dried.


After all of the cracks and holes are filled and the frame is lightly sanded, pour paint into your tray and cut can, then cover the tray with plastic. I like to set the cut can and brush on my platform ladder so that I don't have to carry it.

Old school painters frown on doing this (accident waiting to happen). If you have properly dropped a room (covered everything) you shouldn't have to much to worry about.

Start painting vinyl, wood, or metal windows by cutting in close to the window at the top part of the frame drawing the sash brush down and towards you from corner to corner. Do the same for the sides then the bottom.

Work your way out away from the glass towards the window trim or the casing edge that's touching the wall. Don't forget to do the inside corners so that the roller will cover everything.

Now, use the quick roller to paint all the surfaces that you didn't cover with the brush. If your not use to using a speed roller you might want to stick with the brush.

I use the roller because I like the even stipple look, you may not. Also, quick or speed rollers can be difficult to operate. Be sure to practice with your roller on a piece of old window trim before starting on the windows in your home.

Remove sags, runs and blobs as you see them. Let the paint dry, then fill holes and cracks you missed, let the paint dry again, lightly sand the frame, touch up with paint where there is no paint and sand those spots. Finally, apply your last coat.

If your painting vinyl, wood, or metal windows and they are the kind that open keep them open if possible until the paint dries. Otherwise you will need to use a sharp utility knife and steady hand to cut the dried paint glass frame away from the window trim.

It's also a good idea not to paint the parts of the window where the window touches other parts of itself when it's closed especially if the window tends to close tightly.


When painting sash type vinyl, wood or metal windows you may need to carefully remove the stops that hold the window in (if it has stops). A sharp utility knife or small flat bar and hammer works best for this.

After the window is removed thoroughly sand everything and paint each piece while the window is out out If needed, cover the hole from the outside with plastic or cardboard.

Once you have applied two or three coats of paint on the windows frame and the paint is dry you can replace the windows. When replacing the windows keep in mind that the stops that hold the windows in place must now be nailed so that the windows move freely with out sticking.

Use some kind of spacers if needed. Thin cardboard or playing cards work well but you will have to decide what works best for your particular windows. Once the windows are in and the stops are on caulk then fill the nail holes. Light sand and follow up by painting your caulked and filled areas.

Re-paint again if needed. When painting vinyl, wood, or metal windows with a brush and roller or touching up be sure not to get paint between the windows and stops or the windows will begin to stick again.


When painting vinyl, wood, or metal windows with a spray system. Almost any type of sprayer will work just be sure to practice with your system before beginning your project.

With that said, an HVLP (high volume low pressure sprayer) will give you the most control. Check with your local paint dealer or rental store regarding application advice and spray product requirements.

When I'm painting vinyl, wood, or metal windows with a sprayer, I prefer an airless spray system along with the smallest tip I can use with the sprayer and product being sprayed. You on the other hand will need to choose the sprayer you are most comfortable using.

A paper masking machine (expensive) will work best when spraying wood work but you can still mask in other ways. If you are not painting the walls use plastic, tape and paper to cover around the windows and inside to protect the glass.

Keep in mind that when painting vinyl, wood, or metal windows with a sprayer overspray can go a long ways so if you think your not going to get paint on an item or wall you probably will.

Before beginning your painting project lightly sand, then prime all un-painted surfaces with the recommended primer. Your local paint store sales representative will assist you in tool, equipment and product selection.

Spray from top to bottom (using the appropriate paint for the job), inside to outside. Three or more light coats are recommended and will result in less runs and sags. Let the paint dry, fill cracks if needed, touch up with paint, let the paint dry again, do a light sand, spray again. Keep spraying lightly filling and sanding until your happy with the finish.


Now that your painting vinyl, wood, or metal windows, is done and dry remove the tape (if needed) and scrape the paint from the windows (even the old stuff)if they have paint on them.

When painting vinyl, steel or other metal windows, frames, and trim you may need a special primer and paint.

If you have sash windows and are taking them apart, insure that the weights and ropes (hidden inside the window frames) on some windows are attached and working properly.

Speak to your local paint supplier, and home improvement center regarding your specific tools, equipment, painting and window product needs.

Painting vinyl, wood, & metal windows to the interior projects page

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