Longevity of dark finishes on vinyl and fiberglass windows

restorephotoSeptember 13, 2010

We're getting ready to begin replacing windows in our 1939 home. However, the first two windows we'll replace are south-facing with little mid-day shade One is a 10' bow (1950s vintage) and a 10' casement (1980s vintage). I'm looking at either fiberglass or high quality vinyl windows. I'm assuming we'll be here another 10-20 years.

It seems that our color preference might be the deciding factor. The house is red brick with a fairly dark blue color for the trim. We wanted to keep the trim color dark and would be happy with the "Forest Green" that's available for some windows except for the fact that there may be fade problems. I've read that the dark vinyl can be buffed and restored to a great degree. I've also read that one company's (was it Andersen?) "Forest Green" on their aluminum clad replacement windows can NEVER be painted. This was a year or more ago that I read this and saw references to AAMA specs.

I've read the comments in other threads about the Soft-Lite foil laminate, but don't know how that compares to the alternatives.

Are there industry specs for vinyl and fiberglass exterior color fading? Which, if any, of today's available dark finishes have been around long enough to gauge how well they'll hold up longer-term?


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Windows on Washington

An aluminum clad window can be painted.

The real world examples of darkly painted vinyl windows is scarce from slim to none. That being said, they do have weatherization projection data on that finish to indicate that they will survive comfortable in those type of conditions.

If you can get an exterior foil as an option, I would always go that route, however, no one that I know has a Forrest Green foil.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 3:39AM
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Soft-Lite is the only window I've seen so far that has a foil laminate option, but then I'm just getting started with my research. Are there others?

Soft-Lite does have a dark green, but we're not wedded to any particular color yet. We prefer to stick with a dark color. A dark brown would work, but the dark green would be our preference if available from the manufacturer we ultimately chose. The durability of the finish is more important than the color. We need to know it's going to endure more than ten years; hopefully, 20 years, if at all possible for a dark color.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 5:56AM
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Windows on Washington

I don't think Soft-Lite has a Forest Green foil but I may be mistaken.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 2:53PM
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