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To PVC or not to PVC? That is the question, and should you paint PVC?

PVC Lattice being painted

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) comes in 2 forms, Rigid & Flexible. The rigid type is what is used for construction and is more appropriately called uPVC (u stands for unplasticised). In home building and renovations, uPVC is commonly seen as vinyl siding, exterior moulding, such as around windows/doors, fascia boards, corner trim, and even as patio screen moulding like in the one I'm working on as I write this blog post.

Here are some before and after pictures of that job. The pictures on the top are the "before" and if you look closely you can see the wood strips have peeling paint, warping out of shape, and some have even fallen off.

Wood screen strips vs. PVC screen strips

Before 😡

After 🤗

You can find more information about screen repair here.

All of the screening strips were removed and replaced with white PVC lattice strips and painted to match the original color with Sherwin-Williams Emerald Exterior paint. Each 12 foot piece of PVC cost $12.23 at Home Depot. I did notice after I brought the materials home and started cutting them to size that there were 2 different batches mixed together. Some strips were way more flimsy and flexible than others, so be careful when purchasing if it is a concern of yours. Luckily, it was not an issue in this case.

If your thinking of using uPVC on your next project here are some pros and cons to think about:


• Resistant to water penetration so it will not rot.

• Highly flexible

• Easily cut or milled

• Paintable, in fact, painting is recommended since this will prolong the life of the uPVC by protecting it from breaking down over time from UV exposure.

• Can be recycled and reused up to 7 times over a period of 140 years, BUT it is debated that the recycle process is extensive and the chemical process of doing so is detrimental to the environment.


• Higher than average expansion and contraction rates due to temperature changes.

• Can become brittle over time if not maintained with a protective coating.

• Manufacturing and recycling process is not "green".

• Contains a highly toxic chemical called dioxin that is released into the air when burned.

With all this being said, you can list good and bad points on just about anything you want. We just have to make a good educated decision on what we use, and no matter what we use there will always be some kind of maintenance.

As always, call us if you have any questions or need a free estimate at 410-341-0605 or book an estimate online at

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