painting PVC trim boards (which brand of PVC to use and which primer)

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Aug 20, 2012
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I am in the process of repairing/rebuilding some of my parents front porch that termites had for lunch. They did a phenomenal amount of damage without any visible symptoms from the outside.

The old wooden porch was covered with vinyl and aluminum trim some years ago. This made me nervous at the time because I didn't like the thought of leaving all that old termite and carpenter ant food hidden behind vinyl where anything could be happening without it being visible. At any rate, I had to cut away some of the aluminum flashing because the trim boards the flashing was covering had been eaten away. I am going to have to replace some of that and I don't have the tools or experience to re-do the gray aluminum wrapping that was done by the siding folks. I think I would rather replace the trim with PVC anyway but I will have to paint it as it seems as if colored PVC trim is hard to come by (though I have seen it).

A few years ago I re-did a basement door and the frame. I removed to wood trim and covered the wooden frame with about 3/8" PVC that I had milled down. I used Liquid Nails Fuze-It and small finish nails to glue the PVC to the wood framing. I also used PVC cement to glue together the corners where PVC boards met. I then filled the nail holes and painted it. I used Rust-Oleum clean metal primer over the PVC, painting a coat and letting it cure for about 3 days before sanding and adding a second coat. I applied 3 coats of primer and then 3 coats of Rust-Oleum oil base semi-gloss white enamel with the same cure and sand between coats. This was in the middle of the pandemic, so I more or less used the paint I had on hand. This turned out very well. It looks great and after several years, there is no sign of any kind of paint wear at all.

I think I will repeat this process but will get a color matched DTM enamel from Benjamin More for the top coat since the only gray Rust-Oleum has is far too glossy.

I have a few questions.

I believe that I used the inexpensive Veranda brand of PVC from Home Depot on the door frame. I knew I was going to paint so I didn't bother with the shinier AZEK that you might get away without painting. I do find that AZEK is sturdier and much less "wet noodle" floppy than the Veranda. Do folks here have a preference for a brand of PVC that is going to be painted? I could get the AZEK, or the Royal Building Products brand from Lowes, if that would be better. The prices are not that much different at the moment. I think that the shiny surface on the AZEK would make it harder to paint but I have never tried it before. I have only used AZEK for applications I knew I wasn't going to paint.

I am very happy with how the paint adhered starting with the clean metal primer. Clean metal is one of the very hardest surfaces to get paint to stick to and I find that clean metal primer will stick to most anything. Even so, I would like to know what folks here use if it is something different. My door frame has held up very well well for several years, but that isn't very long as of yet. If it looks the same after 10 years, I will be more completely sold than I am now.

As for filling nail holes and cracks, I remember getting a 2-component PVC filler at Lowes some years ago when I did a basement window. It was basically liquid PVC (some kind of epoxy) and it filled in holes and seams. When it cured, it looked just like the PVC and made the seams disappear. The last time I looked for it at Lowes, they had no idea what I was talking about. Does anyone know what this was and where to get it?
Thanks very much for the help,