What makes 'vinyl safe' paint vinyl safe?

latimoreFebruary 22, 2011

I am researching paint systems to use on my vinyl shutters and want to paint them a very dark green (like BM Essex Green). They are faded dark green right now. Most have been on the house for 10+ years, but a few will be new because I'm replacing some existing ones that are inappropriately sized.

Sherwin Williams markets products with "VinylSafe technology" - the description makes it sound like this is a characteristic of the color, not the paint, as it is available in a couple of their lines.

Does anyone know what makes these products "vinyl safe"? I read elsewhere (old posts on this forum) that it is the omission of black pigments. If that is the case, wouldn't any full spectrum paint (i.e. Ellen Kennon) be considered "vinyl safe"? Or does the "vinyl safe" characteristic come from an additive that is mixed into the paint?

My plan is to clean the shutters well with TSP, sand a little (patch screw holes), prime with XIM Plastic & Vinyl Primer and let that dry really well, and then apply topcoats.

I'm trying to figure out:

A) which type of paint will be best for the top coats (brand, type, finish, etc.)

b) if this XIM primer is the best product for this application or if there is something else out there that I should consider

B) how to get the very dark green color I am looking for without causing warping or peeling because the paint will be darker than the original color. Is this possible?

Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you!

Here is a link that might be useful: Sherwin Williams Vinyl Safe Colors

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Lori A. Sawaya

In theory, yes.

Technically, no.

Difference is SW has done the appropriate testing and established color standards for their color vinyl safe formulas.

Interior you can monkey around quite a bit with colorants before you compromise the integrity of the product. Still, it is possible to go too far. Which is one of the reasons I am so dead-set against the notion that formulas can be cut by percentages, etc. But that's another discussion.

Exterior - that is no place to mess around. Bad crap can happen if you try to get cute with color.

Significant testing is done for light-fastness and UV stuff and a bunch more things I don't understand. I just know it's all important and following the rules to the letter with exterior color specs will keep you outta trouble.

So, yeah, SW took out the black. Which means the color is not going to absorb energy like it would if it had black colorant - but that's not all they figured out and calculated and made allowances for.

There's more to it than that. Whatever they say are vinyl safe colors and how they say they have to be mixed is the way it has to be. No wiggle room on this one.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 1:02PM
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Thanks, funcolors. Are you aware of any other manufacturers who have vinyl safe lines or is SW the only option?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 1:35PM
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Lori A. Sawaya

SW is the only one I am currently aware of - others could be out there.

Might not be labeled "vinyl safe" but the product might exist that does the same things -- just that marketing department is calling it something else. Like UV wonder coater or something.

If you don't want to go with, SW just start inquiring with "real" pro paint shops.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 9:36PM
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If you've got that XIM primer, you've won that battle.
It's a good one!
Just make sure everything's cleaned and dried b4 priming/painting.

Hmmmm...I'm wondering HOW a deep green like that can be made without black?!?!? I don't see how it's possible. Brown can be used, BUT...it gets ugly in a hurry!

To ME..."Vinyl safe" mainly means not getting too Black with your color. The blacker something is, the hotter it can get, which can warp some plastics.

>>> With that primer, you're golden to use ANY good Exterior Latex in at least a Satin sheen.
>>> UV protection comes mainly from the paints' binder-resin. Better paints withstand the Suns'-blasting better.
>>> The paint/primer system ITSELF is the UV protection!
>>> COLOR mainly affects the HEAT build-up/possible warping.
>>> FADING will always be worst on the S & W no matter WHAT you do though.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 12:50AM
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I made the happy discovery when I took the first shutter down that they were originally black, and had been painted before. So I understand, and the paint guy confirmed, that I'm not limited in my color choices. I decided to go with the XIM primer and SW Resilience paint. Thanks so much for taking the time to help me - now off to start the project!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 3:35PM
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