The Benefits of Spraying with uPVC
When we speak to people about how they can change the colour of their uPVC windows and make them look brand new, many do not know that this is possible. This just shows that in the UK, this is still a relatively new idea that is gaining wider acceptance.
What are the benefits of spraying uPVC? Firstly, you can make your windows look brand new for a fraction of the replacement windows’ cost (and disruption). Another benefit is that you can have any colour that you like on your windows. If you have the old-fashioned white windows, you can have these in anthracite grey, which will transform the whole look of your house.
Many people do not realise that if they see brand new coloured uPVC windows, they have actually been painted in the factory with the same product used for refurbishing windows.
Many decorators have moved into this market and are experienced with working on the outside of properties; they already have a good knowledge of preparation and, in many cases, have access to equipment to do the job anyway. Many will do a very professional job.
How to Get the Best Results Using uPVC Paint Spraying
If you are reading this and you realise the benefits of spraying your uPVC windows and thinking of having it done, you may be wondering what the process is. You may also be interested if you are a professional decorator and you are considering moving into this new lucrative type of work.
The process involves a number of steps.
First, the uPVC will need to be cleaned with soap and water to remove any build-up of dirt and dust. Once this is complete, the window is degreased with a surface preparation product. This is a solvent that will remove any oils or contaminants on the surface of the plastic.
The product that is being used to paint the uPVC will have a recommended degreaser which is the one to use so that you know that there are no incompatibility issues with the paint.
Once clean, you need to key the surface. A scotch brite pad or similar is used to do this. Mirka makes it called “Mirlon,” and the fine surface is green. This is very important so that the paint has a proper key and adheres properly to the surface.
Once the window is properly prepared, it can be masked. The glass needs to be masked and also the surrounding brickwork. The most common method is 12” brown paper and tape. This is cheap to buy and easy to use. Some window sprayers will remove the opening sash for ease, but this depends on the type of fixing that they have. Some are easier than others to remove.
Once the windows are all masked, they can be sprayed. Typically, a compressor and spray gun system are used to spray the uPVC windows and the paint that is used sprays very well through this type of set-up.
The paint is also quick drying and, in many cases, will be dry in minutes. This makes the coating weatherproof quite quickly and makes it easier for the window sprayer to replace any windows they have taken off.
The last process is to demask and tidy up. If you are fitting work in between the weather. This is a major issue with outside painting work.
With old-style systems and paint when repainting wooden windows in the past could take a week to complete depending on the system. Using quick-drying uPVC paints and spraying can make the process much quicker.
The term “repainting“ needs a little more clarification. If you are a customer considering hiring a professional to complete a fantastic job or a Decorator considering uPVC spraying, you need to understand the choice of coating.
Paints aren’t just paint when it comes to this type of work. Some of the best products on the market have been designed purely for uPVC and are also classed as liquid polymers. Some recommendations would be Kolorbond, HMG & Selemix, but many other paints popping up. Be aware of recommendations from decorators as regular decorators’ products just don’t cut the mustard when it comes to longevity on uPVC. These are more traditional products that won’t stand the test of time, so our suggestion would be to research the right products and test some for yourself before you go selling them to your clients. Ensure that you find a supplier that will back you should something go wrong and follow the systems they recommend.
If you are a professional decorator and you want to get into spraying uPVC windows, then what do you need to do?
We think the following: –
- Do a course. (more on this later) Here you will learn the correct processes, which equipment to buy and also how that equipment works.
- Find the right product. There are a number of paints on the market that claim to be for repainting uPVC. The choice of paint is going to impact how long your paint job lasts in the real world, so make sure you choose wisely.
- Find the right system. You need to be clear on which degreaser you’re using, how you are going to mask the windows and how you are going to access the work. For example, are you going to use ladders or a cherry picker?
- Test your system and products. Most decorators do this on their own house. That way, they can keep an eye on the product and see how it performs over time. It is also good to test your systems for future work pricing.
- Work around the weather. Suppose you want to build a successful decorating business that can be flexible with our fantastic UK climates. In that case, we suggest finding another speciality to add to your business that works well during the winter months and when you can’t get on the outsides. Kitchen resprays seem to be the most popular among other uPVC sprayers.
Here are some resources you might find helpful
There are many resources that could help you, but here are some of the best we could find for you.
We do not do a dedicated uPVC spraying course as yet. However, our “Fine Finish” course looks at the spray equipment that you would use to spray uPVC, including HVLP turbine systems and compressor and spray gun. You would learn how the equipment works, how to set the gun for a range of products, and how to spray in various situations.
The added benefit of the Fine finish course is that it transfers perfectly into kitchen resprays as the same technology is used. Although the paints are different, the education on understanding paint and the key characteristics are the same. We also cover how to use a compressor & gun set up and HVLP ( high volume low pressure ), which is perfect for residential kitchen resprays. When you understand how these systems work, you now have the tools & experience to stay busy all year long, no matter the weather.
We also have the “kitchen & furniture on-site spraying course”, which is a strong consideration if you are serious about adding this extra service to your customers. The crazy thing is that you’re already there, so educating your customers on this service is a no-brainer. This course uses airless sprayers, which is slightly different but a great addition to your business and expertise as a decorator.
Once you have bought the equipment, we have found that it is good to know where else you can use it; it’s not just great for uPVC spraying.
We have courses at a number of locations in the UK and depending on where you are located you are never too far from one of our training centres. The location of our centres is as follows; –
Scotland – Glenrothes
England – Preston (North West), Edenbridge (South East) and Exeter (South West)
Ireland – Castlebar, Co Mayo
Conclusion – The impact that training can have on your business
What impact will training have on your business?
First, you will be able to demonstrate to your customers that you have done recognised training (Both our “Fine Finish” & “ kitchen respray“ courses are City and Guilds assured), and this will give them confidence that you are the right person for the job.
It will also give you the confidence to know that you understand the equipment, you are using it correctly and how to make them really profitable additions to your business.
We have found that decorators who try and learn how to spray by trial and error can waste valuable time getting up to speed and make expensive mistakes. Could you imagine how painful it would be to rectify a whole set of windows or a kitchen because “ you had a go“?
The course can pay for itself in the first week simply because you are not making big mistakes, your customers love the service and won’t be able to stop telling all their friends & neighbours. You can’t beat a bit of curb appeal.
Another reason is that you will learn which equipment to buy, who are the market leaders and which equipment is the best value for money. It is quite easy with spray equipment to spend thousands of pounds only to discover that you could have spent less and gotten a more appropriate system. We can confidently suggest the right set-up & supplier as we have spent years making all the costly mistakes ourselves, so you don’t have to.
Finally, one of the things that we offer with all our courses is ongoing support; once you get out there in the real world and start applying what you have learned, you can ask the questions that you need to know they arise. This is a valuable service as it is very difficult to get good quality advice when it comes to uPVC spraying. If you choose to do training, we strongly suggest you choose a company that will offer you this ongoing support.