Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Paint Color Issues With Vinyl Doors and Windows

The color impact of white vinyl
Don't ignore the color impact of pre-finished vinyl doors and windows (usually stark white) when choosing exterior paint colors. There are issues to consider:
  • If you use neutral colors, stark white doors and windows stand out and can make the whole color plan look "wrong".
  • When the trim color is in high contrast with vinyl doors and windows, it highlights them as separate, conflicting  components, instead of a unified whole.
  • When doors or windows have a white grille sealed between panes of glass at the factory to create the look of divided lites, there's nothing you can do to change it. Keep this mind when choosing your trim color, and avoid high contrast.
  • The door and window frames can't be painted, making the look less harmonious, polished and custom. 

The white vinyl doors and windows on this house illustrate these issues. 

Stark white vinyl doesn't coordinate well with neutrals.

Grilles and frames can't be painted.

The white vinyl components stand out.

Some Solutions for Vinyl Doors and Windows

  • If you're building or replacing windows and doors, don't go on automatic pilot and choose white because you think it "will go with everything". Clearly, it doesn't! Find out what color options you have, then coordinate the color of the vinyl with the permanent elements of your house, like the roof, brick or stone, and with the paint colors you plan to use. Today you have many color options, so shop before your buy. If you want the look of divided lites, make sure the grille will be the same color as the rest of the door or window. Also, be sure to ask about the color of the frame. If they won't all be the same color, keep shopping.
  • If your house has white vinyl doors and windows, the most elegant solution is to use a trim paint matched to the vinyl. By doing that, you're camouflaging the fact that the vinyl portion is a separate component, and creating a more custom, unified look.
  • If you don't want white trim, choose a low contrast trim color. Avoid deep, rich colors like the red in the house above. 

Today's vinyl doors and windows have a lot to recommend them, including relatively low cost, ease of maintenance and durability.  Incorporate their color into the overall color plan so that they complement, instead of detract, from the appearance of your house.


  1. Vinyl doors and windows are cost-effective. They’re also great insulators and require low maintenance. This is why in spite of style contrast, I still insist on having them. It’s a good thing that contractors now have a lot of designs to choose from for homes that don’t do well with white vinyl. Thank you for sharing these tips!

    Vernie Herr

  2. You are providing good information about paint color issue, really helpful post for us. and i would like to say all these pictures are looking awesome, great job..

  3. thanks a lot for sharing this informative site, i find it very interesting and this is such a big helped for all of us.