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 ...and thanks for stopping by. I'm Claire Douglas,  DIY and home interiors writer specialising in money-saving and creative home interior projects. I've spent years developing my 'bespoke on a budget' approach to DIY and home interiors and I love sharing all my tips and tricks in tutorials and posts here on my blog, in articles I write for some of the leading titles, in the press, on Instagram, Tiktok and my online course

  • Claire Douglas

Can you paint uPVC doors? That'd be a yes!

Updated: Mar 8

Budget uPVC door transformation with paint & reeded glass film

If the question “Can you paint uPVC doors?” has ever crossed your mind, then you’re in the right place. Spoiler alert: Yes, you can & you’re going to love the uPVC door makeover I’m bringing you as evidence!

I loved transforming this sad old white uPVC door in our kitchen, and as you will see from the pictures, I have painted it twice, once for each DIY kitchen makeover I did! (I'll put links at the bottom for the posts about the rest of the budget kitchen revamp projects, as some might be of interest).

You will need:

materials for painting upvc
materials for applying reeded glass film


  • Cleaning fluid

  • Multi-surface or uPVC paint

  • Wood moulding

  • Strong glue suitable for glass

  • Paintable decoraters caulk

  • Reeded glass film (Optional)


  • Saw

  • A sponge

  • Sandpaper with various grits

  • A spirit level

  • Tape measure

  • Scissors

  • Paintbrush

  • Caulking gun - read how to use one here

  • Glass film install kit (if using glass film)

How much will this door upgrade cost?

APPROX £50 - £150

The most cost-effective way to complete this makeover is to simply paint and add the Crittall detailing. If you have room in the budget, for £100, you can apply a glass film to the door to really elevate the final look. I used reeded glass film which also helped hide the grot spot behind the door!

How long will it take?

A Day or two

You could complete this in a single day if you apply the first coat of paint early enough to allow for sufficient drying time before the final coat(s). The process will be quicker without the addition of glass film

What paint did you use on uPVC?

The first time I painted the uPVC door, I used this Rustoleum multi-surface paint in black. It covered really well and held up to the wear and tear of family life. When I did the second budget kitchen makeover, I decided to paint the door to match the kitchen cabinets and drawers that I had painted, so I used leftover Rustoleum kitchen cabinet paint in Shade Tea Leaf (a cool greeny-grey).

How to transform an old uPVC door with paint & reeded glass film

1. Get cleaning!

Clean the door frame and glass, this is particularly important if you are planning to add glass film as you don't want any dirt trapped underneath as it will show though.

painting a upvc door

2. Key the surface

Keying is just a fancy way of saying 'rough up' the surface a little by lightly sanding. This is to help the paint adhere to the uPVC. Use sandpaper sheets if you don't have a sander, use a fine grit so as not to mark the surface with deep scratches. You can read more sanding terms and info here.

3. Apply painter’s tape

Apply painter's tape around the edges of the door frame, lock, handle and hinges. Read this post here about why you want to use painter's tape and not standard masking tape.

painting a upvc door

4. Apply paint

Apply the first coat of paint to the uPVC. Don't worry if it looks a bit naff and doesn't cover brilliantly, the subsequent coats will go on much better. Allow sufficient drying time and apply 2-3 coats in total. You can read more posts about painting here.

painting upvc door

5. Apply glass film

If you have opted for glass film, apply following the manufacturer's guidelines. This will usually involve the following steps;

  • cut to size (allow extra)

  • apply fluid to the glass

  • position the film

  • apply firm pressure

  • removing trapped air bubbles with a squeegee

painting upvc door

6. Glass film finishing

Once the glass film is sealed against the glass, cut it down to fit using the green card squeegee and ‘snap off knife’. Once the film has been trimmed, continue to remove the remaining water up to the edges of the pane. Use a cloth to dry the edges once the water has been removed.

painting upvc door
painting upvc door

7. Prepare the Critall strips

Choose your Critall-style formation, then measure the door to determine the length strips you'll need for wood mouldings. Cut the moulding strips and sand the sawn ends until smooth. Paint the strips with 2-3 coats, allowing them to dry in between.

8. Attach painted strips

Arrange the pieces on the door in their designated positions for a final inspection before applying glue. 

Place the glued strips onto the door, aligning them before pressing hard. Use a spirit level to confirm that each piece is spot on level. You don't want the overall look to be let down by a wonky piece of trim! Allow the glue to fully dry before using the door.

painted upvc door

9. Finishing touches

Once everything is dry, check for gaps or visible joins in the moulding strips. Fill it with paintable decorator’s caulk and paint it for a smooth and professional look. The more time and effort you spend attending to the little details, the better the overall look will be on the door. 

Once complete, get ready for people to ask you regularly where you bought your reeded, Crittall door from - as no-one will believe its a super affordable and achievable DIY project

Where next?

See below for some related posts...

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