Vinyl is a popular material for interior/exterior walls, floors, panels, window shutters, furniture, and more due to its low maintenance and inexpensive nature. As durable and reliable as it is, however, it will eventually begin to deteriorate. When it does, an easy way to give your vinyl a fresh look is a brand new paint job! This can be done by hand or with spray-paint.
Method 1 of 3:Cleaning and Repairing the Vinyl
1Buy or make a cleaning solution. You can buy all-purpose cleaning solutions for home maintenance at most department or hardware stores. Try to find a cleaner that boasts the ability to remove mildew or mold stains.
To make your own cleaning solution, mix 1⁄3 cup (79 mL) laundry detergent, 2⁄3 cup (160 mL) powered household cleaner, 1 US quart (0.95 L) liquid laundry bleach, and 1 gallon (3.8 L) water.
2Wipe down the vinyl or power-wash it outdoors. If wiping it down, gently scrub the vinyl's surface with a rag or soft-bristled brush soaked in your cleaning solution. If power-washing, be careful with the pressure settings as power-washing can damage the surface. Also be sure to avoid windows, doors, and any other openings.
3Rinse off any remaining soap/residue. If you've scrubbed the vinyl with a cleaning solution, rinse it off with a hose. If you've power washed your vinyl, you don't need to rinse it any further.
Make sure the vinyl is completely dry before moving on to the next step.
4Fill in any pores with new putty or patching material. If vinyl is outside, make sure your patching compound is rated for exterior use.
5Apply new caulk to trims, borders, sills, etc. Make sure to remove old caulk first. Again, if working outside, make sure your caulk is rated for exterior use. You'll also want to make sure it's a paintable caulk.
6Sand down any repaired areas. Wait until any re-calked or re-puttied areas are dry, then use a belt sander or sandpaper to smooth out the repaired surfaces. If using a belt sander, turn it on and lightly move it evenly across the surface of the vinyl in straight lines, applying little to no pressure. If using sandpaper, wrap the sandpaper around a small block of wood, take it in your hand, and firmly rub it across the surface of the vinyl, adjusting the sandpaper as it dulls to allow for maximum efficiency.
If necessary, apply primer to repaired areas. Primer is typically not merited unless the vinyl has completely deteriorated or has visible damage/pores. Let dry completely before moving on to the next step.
Method 2 of 3:Painting Vinyl by Hand
1Make sure the weather is right. If working outside, choose a day when the temperature and humidity is relatively low, with little wind and no rain. Paint applied in excessive heat or humidity can be more susceptible to damage such as cracking or chipping.
Double check that the weather will be right for several days, not just the first day, so your paint has time to dry.
2Select the appropriate paint. You can find paints at any hardware store and some department stores. Find a paint that's made with acrylic and urethane resins, as these ingredients are forgiving of vinyl's expansive and contractive properties.
Make sure the color of paint is the same or lighter in shade than the old paint, as darker paints retain more heat and are thus more susceptible to warping.
You'll also need a variety of paintbrushes, a paint tray, a ladder (if applicable), masking tape, and protective clothing/gear.
3Put on protective clothing and gear. Wear a facemask to avoid inhaling toxic paint fumes. Dress in a smock or old clothes that you don't mind getting paint on. Wear safety goggles to avoid getting paint in your eyes.
4Protect the surfaces around you with drip cloths and masking tape. Place some rags or old clothes below where you are planning to paint, as well as over any nearby flowerbeds, hedges, or anything else you'd like to keep paint-free. Tape strips of masking tape over any trims/borders you do not want painted.
5Fill a paint tray with your desired paint. You can find paint trays at any hardware store and most department stores. Fill the tray about a couple centimeters (about a half-inch) deep with paint. You don't want to overfill the paint tray as it will make a mess. You can always add more paint to the tray as needed.
6Dip or roll your paintbrush in the paint. You'll want a variety of paintbrush types at your disposal. If painting outside, you will work most quickly and efficiently with a paint roller brush—preferably one with a long handle for hard-to-reach areas. You'll still want some smaller brushes, however, for corners and other spots inaccessible by the roller.
7Apply your first coat. If applying to vinyl siding, paint horizontally and work your way down. If applying to a flat vinyl surface, paint in any direction you choose, as long as you cover the entire surface. Be careful not to over-paint—your first coat should be fairly thin. Applying several thin coats of paint is better than applying just one thick coat.
If using a ladder, make sure to move it regularly to avoid overreaching with your paintbrush, which can cause you to lose your balance and fall.
8Let your first coat dry. Make sure the paint mostly, if not completely, dries before moving on to the next coat. It should take no longer than 24 hours.
9Add at least one more coat of paint. Continue to apply coats of paint until the vinyl looks smooth and consistent. Two coats will usually suffice, but occasionally more coats are needed.
Method 3 of 3:Spray-Painting Vinyl
1Choose the appropriate spray paint. As with normal paint, you'll want a product that adheres to vinyl. You may also want to pick up a special nozzle for your spray paint that sprays a wider surface area.
2Protect your area. If spray-painting vinyl furniture, move the furniture to a well-ventilated area and place on top of a tarp, newspaper, or some old rags/clothes.
3Wear a facemask and other protective gear. It is especially important to wear a facemask when using spray-paint, as clouds of paint vapor will permeate the air more thoroughly and intensely than with normal paint. As with painting by hand, you'll also likely want safety goggles and even maybe a hat to keep paint out of your hair.
4Spray-paint the vinyl. Pointing your can at the vinyl, press the nozzle down and move the can back and forth across the surface of the vinyl in light, sweeping horizontal movements. Continue along the vinyl until it is completely covered.
Remember to keep your coats thin!
5Apply additional coats as needed. The first coat may be uneven, but that's all right! Let it dry, then smoothen out the paint job by applying additional coats as needed.