The coloured UPVC you can buy online is coloured through one of two manufacturing processes: either pigmentation is used to permeate through the UPVC, or coloured foils are baked onto the UPVC surface at the factory.
The extra steps involved in creating coloured UPVC mean it is more expensive than bog standard white UPVC. However, coloured UPVC is more desirable in most settings, leading to healthy supply and demand.
The most expensive coloured UPVC units have 100% colour permeation, which is achieved with coloured plastic. Rather than use white or natural pigment, a different pigment such as black or grey is used to give the UPVC colour.
Because they are expensive, coloured plastic UPVC units are only considered for higher-end projects. There are cheaper options available.
Another manufacturing process sees coloured foils baked onto the surface of the UPVC, melting into the substrate to form a bond. This process means the UPVC won’t be coloured throughout but only on the surface.
Foils are mainly used to give UPVC windows and doors a textured finish, such as a wood grain or brushed metal appearance.
UPVC can be spray painted with a convincing finish. UPVC that is spray painted appears to be manufactured in whatever colour it’s painted in. The paints used are solvent-based, so an extremely durable coating can be achieved.
Spray painting is the best way to change the colour of existing UPVC because it is over 50% less than the cost of replacement.
Which is the best way to colour UPVC?
From a manufacturing perspective, coloured plastic creates the best end product because it achieves 100% colour permeation.
However, coloured foils are just as convincing and can be used to create textures that pigmentation alone cannot achieve.
When it comes to changing the colour of UPVC, spray painting is the best colouring technique. Spray painting is a contactless paint technique that leaves behind no texture such as brush marks and roller marks. Painted UPVC surfaces are smooth to the touch and appear to be a 100% solid colour, even though they are only painted.