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Top 10 Questions about PVC Trim

1. Does PVC trim require a primer?

A primer is only needed if you want the paint manufacturer’s warranty. Excellent adhesion can be achieved by properly cleaning the board before applying a topcoat of paint to PVC trim. (Refer to painting guidelines in the Versatex contractor handbook for more information on painting PVC trim.)

A Note from the Publisher:


If you are sensitive about articles that seem to favor a particular manufacturer, then DON’T read this one!! It’s written by the President of Versatex! But after years of experience, I’ve found that some manufacturers know more about their products than anyone else; if a carpenter wants to learn the best way to install a product, sometimes the best source of information is the manufacturer. In the future, look for more carefully-screened articles from manufacturers.


2. What type of paint do you recommend for coating PVC trim?

Just about any 100% acrylic latex, or 100% acrylic latex with a urethane additive, can be used to achieve superior coating durability and flexibility. Lacquers are not recommended with PVC trim because lacquers are a more brittle coating, and will not flex with any movement in the PVC trim. Paints like Duration by Sherwin Williams, Manor Hall paints by PPG and Moorelife by Benjamin Moore adhere well to PVC trim.

Paint on PVC trim will last three to five times longer than paints on wood or wood composites due to the absence of moisture in the substrate. Sherwin Williams also offers a field-applied coating under their “Green Seal®” product designation. Kem Aqua® BP Enamel is a water-reduceable polyurethane, acrylic topcoat that offers fast dry times and no critical re-coat times. Due to its excellent adhesion properties, it is an ideal coating for Cellular PVC.

3. Can PVC trim be painted dark colors?

Only light-to-medium colored paints—with a light reflective value of 55 units or greater—should be applied to PVC trim. For example, using paint with an LRV below 55 units will void our product warranty. LRV is measured based on color and its ability to absorb heat. Thus, an LRV of zero (0) is black, and an LRV of one hundred (100) is white. Don’t assume the paint is a light color. We have had cases where contractors believed that the paint they used was a light beige, only to find out it had an LRV in the 20s or 30s. Consult the paint manufacturer for the LRV of your paint before applying it to cellular PVC trim.

4. How long does it take the paint to cure on PVC trim?

That depends on the weather conditions. Warm/dry weather, or warm/humid weather, will allow the paint to cure faster than cool weather. It can take up to 30 days for paint to fully cure on PVC trim, because PVC trim is impervious to moisture. For the paint to cure, the moisture must evaporate through the surface of the coating that has skimmed over from drying.

5. What is the best glue for joining two pieces of PVC trim? What is the best glue for bonding PVC trim to wood? How about metal?

We recommend PVC pipe glue with solvent for bonding the ends of PVC trim boards to themselves (Weld-On 705 by IPS, TrimTight by Trim Glue, Inc. or Christy’s Red Hot). Be sure the PVC pipe glue has sufficient working time to allow you to apply the glue and push the boards together before it cures.

If you are looking for more of a structural bond at shiplap or scarf joints, miter cuts (window surround), or for gluing sheets of PVC trim, we recommend PVC TrimWelder. For bonding to wood, we recommend Liquid Nails Sub-Floor Adhesive or Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive. For PVC trim to metal, PVC TrimWelder Adhesive works best.

There are three types of PVC TrimWelder Adhesives. Slow and Fast Cure for field joints and small glue-ups, and Laminating Grade for sheet glue-ups. Slow Cure should not be used at temperatures below 40°F. Remember to apply any adhesive to only one bonding surface, thus allowing the adhesive to penetrate into the cells on the other trim piece.

6. What is the best fastening system for PVC trim that also hides the fastener head?

The best overall system for securing PVC trim is the Cortex Concealed Fastening System. It combines the advantages of using screws (strong connection) with the PVC trim tapered plug that fits into the hole created by the screw, thus eliminating the need for fillers or sealants to fill the nail holes. When comparing the cost of this fastening system to nails, keep in mind that you won’t have to go back over the trim filling in the nail holes.

7. What are your recommendations for dealing with expansion and contraction?

Use 8d stainless steel annular shank nails, or screws that are designed for wood trim, and are long enough to penetrate the solid substrate a minimum of 1 1/2 in. Simpson Strong-Tie makes an 8d nail with a 7d head in a 12-gauge thickness, available loose or collated, allowing it to be gun-nailed. The nail is called the “Trifecta.” It is half annular (tip) and half ring-shanked, and made from 316 stainless.

Screws are better for limiting the thermal movement of the trim. Allow PVC trim to acclimate to outside temperatures before installing. Bond PVC trim joints to prevent separation. Be sure to allow adequate expansion and contraction space at the end of long runs. If possible, decrease the on-center spacing between fasteners to 12 in. or less, and bond boards to substrate when practical.

Where you have an expansion joint, leave a full 3/16-in. gap when installing on a day where temperatures range from 30°F to 40°F. Leave a gap just large enough to accept a bead of sealant, or no gap at all (adhesive bond), when installing on a day when temperatures range from 80°F to 100°F. Shiplap joints are superior to scarf cut joints, especially on long runs.

If practical, install long runs of trim when the outside temperature and the temperature of the PVC trim board is 55°F to 65°F, in order to minimize thermal movement in the trim.

8. What is the best way to secure PVC trim to masonry?

Trowel the masonry with a sealant or adhesive to provide a level surface to accept the PVC trimboard. Then secure the trim to the masonry with Tapcon masonry fasteners.

9. How do I seal the open cells if I cut the PVC trimboard? Also, how do I clean PVC trimboards?

Handle PVC trim as you would a piece of premium lumber. Be careful not to damage the visible surface of the board. To seal cut edges or clean a cut edge that has gotten dirty, sand them with 320 grit sand paper, and then wipe the edges with Acetone—this will help to re-seal the cells.

To remove dirt and grime from the visible surface or edges of PVC trimboard, use Soft Scrub with Bleach, one of a variety of Clorox products (Clorox Outdoors, etc.), Mr. Clean Magic Erasers® with a little water, or Corte Clean, a composite deck cleaner that has been found to clean cellular PVC trim. As with any new product, try the cleaner in an inconspicuous area before cleaning the trimboards on your project.

10. What are the recommended sealants I should use with PVC trim?

As with adhesives, look for products that contain some type of solvent. NPC Solar Seal #900 Sealant/Adhesive in Trimboard white #111 has been found to be one of the best sealants for sealing and bonding PVC trim to itself, as well as many other substrates. Other recommended sealants include Quad and EP-1000 Enhanced Polyurethane by OSI, and Geocel 2300, or other polyurethane sealants. Do not use silicone sealants, as they are not compatible with cellular PVC trim.


61 Responses to “Top 10 Questions about PVC Trim”

  1. David Stuack

    I have found that “Spray Nine” works great for cleaning PVC. Once in a while I will use paint thinner to get off small stubborn black marks.

    The big question I have concerns filling the nail/screw holes left after installation of the PVC trim boards. Because most people just want the PVC left it’s natural white ( and so avoid painting) it would be nice if someone made a white nail/screw hole filler that wouldn’t turn yellow. Any suggestions? Thanks.

    • John Pace

      Good afternoon David:

      The very best solution for filling nail holes is the Cortex screw and plug. FastenMaster sells the screws and plugs as a system with a bit that countersinks the screw to just the right depth to accept the tapered Versatex PVC plug. Visit the FastenMaster website to find a dealer in your area. There are other companies that offer a stainless steel screw with a painted white head. A couple examples of these are Headcote and Simpson Strong Tie. Also, check out Simpson Strong Ties, white painted Trifecta nail it comes in 316 stainless. If you click the following links, you’ll be able to download some info on the Headcote and Simpson stainless steel screws with painted white heads along with a flyer on a white painted Trifecta nail offered by Simpson Strong Tie.

      I hope I have answered your question and thank you for the info on cleaning Versatex trim.

      • Blake

        I would think if you dont have immediate access to the cortex you could use a small tapered plug cutter and use the screws (countersunk) you have on hand.

        • John Pace

          You are correct. Many contractors still make their own plugs but for those who would rather buy them there is Cortex.

  2. Matt

    This is a very informative article. I wish I had this last year … wondering if my previous PVC project will hold up, as I didn’t use any glue. I used a plastic putty to fill my screw holes and then sanded flush, hoping that seals properly.

  3. Keith Preston

    I read with interest your admonition to not use silicone sealant on PVC trim. My PVC deck is sealed with GE Silicone I to the house stucco and I suspect the bond to the PVC will not be durable. It bonds better to the stucco. What sealant would you recommend for this type of joint? Polyurethane glue (Gorilla glue) bonds very well to PVC but it is (1) brittle and (2) (I suspect) degrades in UV.

  4. Cory H.

    A very good article, I just wish I had found it a few days earlier as I also didn’t think to glue my ends together. Also appreciate the disclaimer at the beginning of the article stating who it was written by. Wouldn’t it be great if every news article you read was this up front and honest about their agenda?

  5. adam

    So can water penetrate the open cells? I had to rip down some pvc brick mould for exterior window trim and I’m hoping I didn’t screw it up. I just siliconed all the edges…

  6. John Pace

    Cellular PVC is much like a honeycomb. If you examined it under a microscope it will look like an array of cells in a random geometric pattern. When you cut, rout, mould or mill cellular PVC, you break open a layer of these cells but you do not affect the integrity of the entire cell structure of the cellular PVC board or sheet. This is why cellular PVC is basically impervious to moisture and has a moisture content value of less than 0.5% when tested in accordance with ASTM test methods. So to answer your question no water will not penetrate cellular PVC because the cells are not openned throughout the thickness just the surface cells that you cut are open. As for the sealant you used, I would recommend you stay away from silicones in the future. Although some commerical silicone sealants will stick to cellular PVC when a primer is applied most over the counter silicones that you buy at your local lumber dealer will not. The best sealants for cellular PVC are polymer based sealants containing a solvent. To determine if a sealant contains a solvent check the inside lining on the tube if it is a thin metal/aluminum wrap and if the cap is also metal then the sealant contains solvent. Examples of good polymer based sealants with solvent include Solar Seal #900 by NPC Sealants and Quad by OSI. We like the Solar Seal #900 for a few reasons it is as much an adhesive as a sealant, it stays flexible for decades and it carries a warranty that I believe is either 15 or 20 years. Check with the manufacturer on the length of their warranty and availability in your area. You can find them on the Internet. Just Google NPC Sealants.

  7. Mark

    I have a job where I have to double up the thickness of the trim by using two 1x boards laid one over the other. To minimize thermal expansion, should I cement them together or will that exacerbate the problem? Thanks

  8. John Pace

    Laminating two boards together is a very common practice and has no affect on the potential thermal expansion and contraction of the board. I also wanted to let you know that Versatex produces a true 1 1/2″ board and sheet. F you want to eliminate the material, labor and time to laminate two pieces of 3/4″ you might want to consider this new product thickness.

  9. Tom

    I’ve read conflicting advice on cutting PVC trim and would appreciate anyone’s input. For circular saw blades some say to use a tooth count of about 40 (to avoid heat build up) while others say to use a 140 tooth blade (to ensure a clean cut). Insights on saw blades most appreciated as I’ve got about 500 feet to install next week. Thanks.

  10. John Pace

    The answer is simple. The fewer the teeth on the saw the better. We recommend a carbide tipped blade with 32 teeth. However, 40 teeth will be just fine. The more teeth the greater the frictional heat build-up in the cut causing you to melt and potentially burn the cellular PVC.

    Let me know if you have any other questions concerning the installation of cellular PVC trim.

  11. Tony Carey

    Hi I have a composite door about three years old, and the outside lamination is beginning to separate in three locations about two inches long each. Which adhesive would you recommend for repair the temperature range in Ireland is minus ten to 30 degrees centigrade. Any help would be greatly appreciated. The door is a Palladio door manufactured by Profile developments.

  12. Russell

    John, what is wrong with using a silicone sealer to bond a long yet thin trim board (with those fake wood grain paper finishes) to a sheetrock wall? Silicone should hold tight — and– some day be removeable, without tearing into the wall as a glue will, and it likely will come off the wall in one piece, to allow use of the trim board again someday (once the back side is cleaned up and flat again).

    • John Pace

      Silicone sealants or sealers are not compatible with cellular PVC and will not hold a board or sheet to a sheet rock wall. In fact I’m not sure what I’d use to hold cellular PVC trim to a sheet rock wall. No matter what you use as a base sealant, you still need to mechanically fasten cellular PVC to the frame of the wall.

    • John Pace

      Yes you can definitely use cellular PVC trim and sheet indooors. Just because most contractors use it outdoors doesn’t limit its application. I have seen cellular PVC used in foyers, hallways, mud rooms, bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements and garages. The only recommendation I have is check with your building code official to see if there is a maximum amount of cellular PVC you can use inside a home. Typically it is listed as square feet per room. I don’t think you’ll exceed the maximum allowable value but just to be safe I’d ask my code official.

  13. Jim Morrison

    I have a 1/8″ gap between 2 strips of pvc trimboard used as a drip cap above my windows. The carpenter & I used various caulking to seal it but they fell out. I have now used Ultima Caulking Sealant but when the hot sun beats down on it the caulking expands out of the crack. It stays intact but rises up about an 1/8″ out of the crack. When it cools off it goes back to its original shape but the process occurs again when it heats up again. Should I be concerned over this? Thanks

  14. John Pace

    Good morning Jim:

    First please call me John. Sir sounds too old for me.

    As I read your e-mail below, my first question is why are you getting so much movement between two boards used as a drip cap above a window? What are the lengths of the boards and what type or nail or screw was used to install the PVC trimboards? Do you happen to know what the temperature was when the boards were installed? That information will allow me to determine why the boards are moving?

    Now on to your questions. Ultima Caulking Sealant is a compatible product that will bond well to cellular PVC. The reason is because it has a solvent base that chemically breaks down the PVC and fuses to the trim. Other caulkings that are similar to or better than Ultima are NPC’s Solar Seal 900 and Quad by OSI.

    The sealant is moving up and down as the PVC trimboards expand and contract. There is no need to be concerned about this since you used a good caulking/sealant in the joint. The reasons the other caulks fell out is most likely because they were not solvent based. The way you can tell a the difference between a tube of sealant that has solvent in it and one that does not is by the tube and plug. If the tube and plug in the tube is plastic the caulking is not solvent based and will not bond to cellular PVC trim. If when you look at the bottom of the tube and see a metal foil lining the inside of the tube and a metal plug, you know the caulk/sealant is solvent based and will give the best bonding results with cellular PVC.

    In the future, to minimize movement between the two boards I would use a better nail (8d), or screw (Cortex screw and plug system). How I apply the caulk would depend on the time of year and the length of the run. In your instance, I can’t imagine the run was more than two boards (36′). If this was the case and with proper installation, I would have ship-lapped the ends of the boards and glued them together. I did a project this past summer on my home where the trim run was roughly 33’long. The install temperature was probably around 70F, the low reached -16F in Pittsburgh for a couple of weeks. The gap in my trim never got to be more than 1/32″ or less. Interestingly the gapping in my Miratec and wood trim was as much as 1/8″.

    Let me know if you have any further questions concerning cellular PVC trim.

  15. debbie

    What should I have used to fill in the screw holes in my pvc trim? The chalk my carpenter gave me turned yellowish even after I had it painted.

  16. John

    If installing cellular PVC trim with screws, I’d use Cortex screws and plugs it eliminates the need and use of nail hole fillers. If you plan on painting the trim, use any vinyl spackling. One type that is commonly used by contractors is Crack Shot by DAP. You’ll find it at any local lumber dealer location. Are you sure the yellowing is from the caulk? My concern is the contractor used galvanized screws and the galvanizing has peeled off exposing the steel screw which is now coroding. I’ve seen this happen before. If the issue is truly the caulking yellowing, it must be a very poor performing sealant. The best sealant for use with any cellular PVC trim is NPC’s Solar Seal 900. It is both an adhesive and sealant with excellent long term flexibility, weatherability and paintability. It also bonds exceptionally well to cellular PVC trim and comes in a wide array of colors.

  17. BrentF

    I scanned through the various Q & A of this thread, but didn’t see an answer to this:

    I have Versatex cellular PVC trim on the exterior of my cottage. Last winter one of the trim boards sustained a fairly deep gouge (3/16″ deep) from a falling tree branch. This trim board would be very difficult to replace. What can be used to repair this gouge?

    Thank you.

  18. John

    Good morning Brent:

    A small ding or dent can be removed with a heat gun. It will activate the residual foaming agent in the cells of the product and cause it to raise much like a cake repairing these small dimples or dings in our trim. In your case, a 3/8″ gouge is most likely too deep to raise up using a heat gun but you may want to try it first beofre filling the void. Any filler you use is going to require you to paint the boards since no filler is an exact match to our trimboard or anyones trimboard for that matter. Here are some possible fillers. TrimWelder by Extreme Adheisves, PVC TrimWelder Nail Stick, vinyl spacklings like DAP’s Crack Shoit and others and even Bondo. Although I’ve heard both good and bad results using Bondo as a filler with cellular PVC. You can find any of the above products on Google. Good luck and thanks for using Versatex PVC trim.

    • BrentF

      Thanks John for your fulsome answer.. The gouge is 3/16″ deep and not 3/8″, so my chance of success with the heat gun approach is better than otherwise. I will certainly try this approach. Sounds like the cellular PVC equivalent of using a steam iron to fix a gouge in wood.

      One question: Is the heat gun likely to cause discoloration?

  19. John Pace

    Not if you do it correctly. Just wave the heat gun or commercial hair dryer over the spot you are trying to raise. Don’t put it in direct contact with the Versatex trim. You should notice results in less than one minute. If not, then you’re going to have to use a putty and most likely paint the board.

  20. Steve Wailes

    I plan on using 1×8 PVC boards as a ledge, 2 sides of an old clawfoot tub, sloping slightly into the tub. I will need to cut the board into a curve to match the tub (likely using a jigsaw on slow speed). Edge will be rough sanded with a belt sander on slow & finished with 320 grit by hand, and the new finished edges resealed as you’ve mentioned 2012 article.

    1) What tpi (tooth per inch) jigsaw blade would your recommend for cutting the curve?
    2) Can a Router be used to:
    2a. provide a drip kerf on bottom edge of new curved edge, &
    2b. provide a rounded-over edge on the top side, say 3/8″ rad.?
    3) I will be bonding various pieces together with PVC pipe solvent/cleaner & cement, but want to seal the edges to an existing old lath & plaster wall. I’ve used a polyurethane sealant (ie Vulkem) to seal PVC Trim on exterior projects in the past, seems to be holding up well, & wondered if it would work here?

    I would appreciate your response directly to me, but you’ve my permission if you wish to include in the questions attached to the article. Thanks in advance. steve

    • John Pace

      In response to your questions:

      1) The fewer teeth per inch the better the cut. When you run jig saw blades with an increased number of teeth per inch you create a lot of frictional heat which tends to melt the board and cause a very rough cut. It can also lead to the trimboard fusing together behind the cut. I can’t speak to the exact number of teeth per inch but I’d start with a 10 TPI blade and adjust up from there.

      2) Yes a router can be used to create the cuts mentioned in your e-mail below. The key to successful and smooth cuts is sharp router tools preferably carbide, the more flutes on the router bit the better the cut, securing the trim piece during routing to prevent surface chatter in the cut and good dust extraction to prevent heat build up at the router bit which can lead to a pulling and a yellowing of the core.

      3) Polyurethane sealants work well with all cellular PVC trims. The urethane chemistry is very compatible with PVC. Keep in mind urethane sealants are activated by moisture. If you like Vulkem stick with it. Other good sealants include Quad by OSI and Solar Seal #900 by NPC Sealant. However, both of them are solvent based and may not be practical for indoor applications like yours. Another one to consider is the new Quad Max by OSI with is not solvent based and works as well as if not better than polyurethanes.

  21. J

    Can versatex be bent to accommodate a circular patio? Thank you for your helpful information.

    • John Pace

      Yes Versatex can be bent to accommodate a circular patio. Can I assume you are bending it the easy way along its length? It is not only used to trim a curved paver or brick patio, it is also used as a concrete form for curved sidewalks and patios. Typically you can curve it along the length or what we call the easy way without heating the board. If you need to curve it across the width of the board, or the hard way, you’ll need to heat it to roughly 300F, hold it at that temperature for 20 minutes until the trimboard is as flexible as a cooked spaghetti noodle and then bend it around your form.

  22. paul

    what product should be used to fill small 18ga nail holes in pvc trim ?….the painter expects to use the same product he’s been using for years in wood..thanks paul

    • John Pace

      Are you planning to leave it as is or paint it? If you plan to paint it you can use any vinyl spackling or putty such as DAP Crack Shot. Wood fillers are not recommended. Also checkout Extreme Adhesives website. They have two products PVC Nail Eraser and TrimWelder nail stick that are very good nail hole fillers. You can buy these on line at their website or call them to find a local dealer in your area. The reason I asked the question about painting your trim is because I’ve never found a nail hole filler that is a perfect match to any cellular PVC Trimboard.

  23. Rick

    Great information thank you.
    I am preparing to trim a new shed with Veranda from HD. My plan calls for 1x4x8s for the corners. I have read articles telling me the best approach for creating the corners is to rip a 45 degree angle lengthwise on both trim boards and glue them together, using tape to hold together the two pieces until the cement hardens. Traditionally a woodworker, my experience tells me to rip one board 3/4 of an inch narrower than the other, and then glue and nail them together. (Hopefully that was clear).
    Can you suggest the best approach in your experience for putting together 2 boards to make a corner trim?

  24. John Pace

    I’ve made some corners before myself. Assuming you are using 1x boards, the easiest way is to rip a 3/4″ strip off one of the boards, use a solvent based PVC cement (like Weld-On 705) and pin nail them together to provide enough pressure for the glue to make contact with both boards assuring a good bond. If this were a historic house, you would be required to build a corner that way because that is how they did them in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. Some people don’t like the exposed edges of the boards when you butt them like this. One way to solve this problem is to hit those edges with some 220 or even better 320 grit sand paper. It will make the rough edges smooth like the surface of the boards. Other carpenters have tried making them by cutting a “V” grooving down the center of a board (they will first put a strip of tape down the length of the board at the center point. This tape is to hold the board together should you cut too deep), applying the same solvent based PVC glue in the center of the “V” groove and bending it at the apex. They will use a Velcro strap to hold the corner together while the glue dries. The type of corner you fabricate is left to the carpenter/contractor. Obviously, the second method is more time consuming and if not done correctly it could mean a poor looking corner that is not acceptable to your customer. However, for those who have mastered the second fabrication option the finished corner looks great. I hope I’ve answered your question. Good luck!

    Hopefully next time you’ll try Versatex instead of Veranda PVC trim.

    • Blake

      I too made my corners by grooving with a router. I set the router about 1/16 (ish) less than the thickness of the board. I used pvc cement and a few spots of that instant glue with the spray activator. It worked like a charm. I made a simple column the same way for three of the corners. The fourth corner i machined first by rabbeting one edge to about 3/16 – 1/4 from the edge. On that joint i used the instant stuff on the whole thing. Im too impatient to wait for curing. It was awesome. The fourth corner was then rounded over with a 1/8″ roundover bit. This made it look very similar to the other corners. Also the seam was off to one side where it isnt noticed like it would be if in the centre of the mitre. Corners were glued with pl premium to the substrate (more pvc) and cortex screwed sparingly. I also glued all but corners with the instant cement. You want to be sure not to get any on the faces of your work. Painters tape or some cover isnt a bad idea. If you research and make some test pieces you can save yourself and your customers some big issues.

  25. Rick

    Just caught your title :). It turns out you have an Elite Partner Level Dealer not so far from me. I’ll make the trip and look at the Versatex product. Thanks for the professionalism.

  26. Pat

    Regarding the filling of smaller nail holes say from a finish nail or trim screw , I use a white crayola crayon warmed to have it soft to push into the holes and then rubbing it clean with a towel or finger nail works just as well depending on the amount you apply. I use Tanza and typically the wood grain side which tends to have a slight gloss which lend well to the crayon. The matte side isn’t as concealed but it is a good solution to an issue. I used to use a white Minwax nail hole filler but it never matched so that didn’t last. Well hope this helps someone plagued with little black spots.

  27. Steve

    Continuing the cornerboard discussion, I plan to create corners with 5/4 PVC with 90 deg butt joints using plastic biscuits, pvc cement and clamping. My longest corner is 24′. Any concerns using biscuit joinery here?

  28. John Pace

    Your entire approach to the fabrication of your corners is spot on. If you’d like to use plastic biscuits, Versatex produces it own #20 biscuit. Good luck.

  29. Steve


    Moving down from the corner board I’m trying to decide between installing a starter skirt board or a water table molding on top of 5/4 trim. Versatex pictures show the skirtboard butting up to a cornerboard vertical edge. I have not found pics of Versatex or other manufacturers water table corner details. My understanding is historically a corner would drop on top of such a water table detail, but with the starter fin on the top of the Versatex water table, it doesn’t seem like it was intended to have the corner on top of the water table. Do you recommend butting the water table against the corner vertical edge?

    Another question. You seem enamored of Solar Seal 900. What about Lexel?

  30. Judi

    Hi John,
    I wish I had seen this information before I started my job. I have mahogany tongue and groove – stairs….I used the pvc trim board for the kick plates. I got some hard wood stain on the pvc boards. What can I use to clean it, as I would do not want to damage it. The stain is water clean up (not as easy as it sounds).

    Thanks so much for any assistance!

  31. John D. Pace


    Not knowing the amount of stain on the trim, I’d recommend three possible solutions. The first cleaner I’d try is soft scrub with bleach or any cleaner with bleach. If this doesn’t work try a solvent like acetone. You can find this at any hardware store or lumber dealer location. If all else fails, sand it off using a 100 grit sandpaper to start and stepping down to a 220 and then a 320 grit to remove the stain while also smoothing the sanded surface of the trimboard.

    Hope this helps


    John D. Pace, PE
    President & COO
    Wolfpac Technologies, Inc.
    400 Steel Street
    Aliquippa, PA 15001
    724-316-9523 (cell)
    724-857-1111 (office)

  32. Kathy

    John ~
    I used Veratex T&G boards for siding a gazebo and other misc. trimming. Love the result!
    Now, would like to use Versatex sheets to build an 8′ tall privacy fence. What is recommended product and placement for expansion/wind/bitter cold brittleness?/etc. On the Minnesota/Canada border with +95 summers, -40 winters, and far colder (strong) windchills. Any suggestions?

  33. Sandy

    We are installing trim around our windows with the brick mold that has the J-Channel attached. How do you correctly miter the joints of the corners?


    • Earl

      Hi Sandy,
      Have you seen a reply yet about your J-channel brick mold? I just ordered some to redo my exterior door frame and am anxious to find out not only how the miters turned out but how you liked the results. Are you using it with vinyl siding? Is the J-channel too deep for vinyl or did it look ok? Thanks.

    • John Pace


      This is a question better suited for Gary Katz or one of his fellow contractors.

  34. Steve

    Are there any suppliers of white painted nails that can be used with a nail gun? Building a house and carpenter wants additional $3,300 to do screws and plugs… I am not painting trim.

  35. John Pace


    Although you might find a nail with a painted head, the problem is keeping the paint on the head when the nail is shot from a gun or pounded into the trimboard. Once the paint comes off you now have to look for a nail hole filler and I can tell you no nail hole filler is an exact color match to any PVC trimboard. Another option if your not willing to use screws and plugs is just a white headed trim screw. It will be less expensive than the screw and plug but more than the nail. Simpson Strong Tie, Headcote by Starborn Industries, and possibly GRK all make a stainless steel trim screw with a white head. Based upon my experience in the field your carpenter was correct in choosing the screw and plug system. It is the best means of securing cellular PVC trim to the frame of a home, it gives you the best overall aesthetic appearance, and provides the greatest holding power. We have specific cases where this system survived hurricane Sandy without the trim pulling away from the home or becoming lose from the hurricanes negative wind pressure. Plus you never have to worry about the screw holes or the color of the plugs since they are made from the same material as your trimboards. Good luck with your project.

  36. Jason C

    We have indoor support columns with PVC wraps. After much abuse from the little ones in the house, the paint is chipping away on the endcaps. It appears as if, when they were installed, there is a thin layer of drywall or some filler covering the cap and pole under the paint which will need filled in before I repaint them. Is there a good material to use for this?


  37. John Pace


    There are several filler and bonding materials compatible with cellular PVC. If you are looking for a very durable material that is stronger than the PVC trim itself, I recommend you consider Extreme Adhesives, TrimWelder. It is a two part epoxy that cures to a hardness equivalent to an acrylic sheet. It has exceptional bond strength to cellular PVC and comes in white. If all you are looking for is a filler that will bond to cellular PVC but not have the hardness or durability of TrimWelder, you can use just about any vinyl spackling sold by your local lumber dealer. One spackling that we recommend is DAP’s Crack Shot.

    Good luck!

  38. Noah woodruff

    Mr. Pace,
    We have been asked to look at fixing some long runs of pvc fascia which split last winter. They actually sheered across the width, not at a joint, due to the cold. In the summer the jagged cracks all but close. However, as the temperature goes down the gaps increase. Up to 1/2″ at the worst. We have emailed azek and kleer for advice. They suggested adding screws and caulking the joints with a pvc joint caulk. We did both but with no real remedy. We have also tried kleer’s nail stick filler, also with no real success. Short of removing the entire fascia, is there a fix? We have thought about cutting out the cracked section, maybe 6″ on each side, and replacing that section with a shipped laped patch. Does that seem like it might work? Thanks for the help.

  39. Ron

    To protect the joints on the top our sub kitchen sink cabinet doors, we need to install a drip edge below the sink. Wood is not a good choice….I believe pvc board is the way to go. Sherman williams can match the cabinet manufacturer’s off white color. The board will have rounded edges and perhaps decorative routing. What do you recommend to ensure water will not raise the paint.


  40. John Pace

    Ron, I’m assuming you plan to rout or mould the PVC trim piece to produce the rounded edge and decorative routing. If my assumption is correct, here is how I would prepare the PVC trim piece for painting. To minimize the size of the cells for painting, I would sand the trim piece after it has been routed with 320 grit sand paper. I would then blow off any residual dust on the routed piece and wipe it down with a wet rag. This should give you a very smooth finish after painting. Paint adhesion to PVC, when tested in accordance with ASTM test protocol, is excellent and equivalent to that of paint on a pine board. Paint on PVC lasts 5 times longer than paint on wood due to the absence of moisture in the PVC trim. Your issue will not be with the substrate but the paint. The paint manufacturer needs to specify a paint that will perform in a high moisture environment. If such a paint exists you should not have any paint adhesion issues. Good luck.

  41. Tony

    We sometimes make one piece CNC routed exterior shutters from Versatex. Can these shutters be painted dark colours since they are basically free-standing isolated units? Why is it suggested that Versatex not be painted dark colours?

  42. John Pace


    Millwork shops and fabricators across the US have made one piece shutters and painted them dark colors with much success. The key is to use heat reflective paints from companies like Aqua Sur Tech, Benjamin Moore (Vinyl Select) and Sherwin Williams (Vinyl Safe). Shutters made from multiple pieces have a tendency to open at the seams if painted certain dark colors like Black, Forest Green or Cocoa Brown. The reasons dark shutter perform even when painted a dark color are because they are free standing, as you mentioned, and also the fact they are not very long or tall. All cellular PVC trim producers do not recommend they be painted dark colors. It’s not just a Versatex thing. If they don’t say it in their installation guidelines check their warranty. The reasons we do not recommend Versatex be painted a dark paint color are these: 1) Cellular PVC trim, no matter the manufacturer, has a heat distortion temperature of 140 to 150F. This is the temperature where cellular PVC begins to lose some of its physical properties. If you use an embossed or textured finish on your PVC trim board the pattern may disappear when the board reaches the heat distortion temperature. 2) Coefficient of Thermal Linear Expansion. The amount of expansion or contraction of cellular PVC trim is directly proportional to the length of the board and the difference between the install temperature and the max and min temperatures the project will reach after installation. It is best to try to minimize the max. temperature. Painting the board a dark color makes it more susceptible to excessive expansion and potential buckling on the wall if it is a long run of trim (i.e. fascia, frieze, rake). In my opinion a long run is 3 or more boards. I hope I’ve answered your question. John

  43. Bille

    I am replacing some wood posts and bottom wood ledge on my second story balcony due to dry rot. The balcony has glass panels. Am also replacing the vertical and horizontal 3/4″ quarter round molding holding the glass. Would like to use PVC molding if at all possible due to the non-dry rot capability. Is it appropriate to use a air nail gun to fasten the PVC molding to the wood post? If so, is there a max gauge I should use? Am afraid the gluing the molding to the posts and ledge will not be sturdy enough to hold the glass securely and screws may be too big. Also, since the posts are white and I may have to paint the moldings to match, what paint should I use and what type of sealant should I use for the 90 degree seams in the corners? Thanks for any advise.

  44. John Pace

    Per your questions, yes it is appropriate to use an air nail gun to fasten the PVC moulding to the wood post. Use an 18 gage or 16 gage trim nail. Test the nail gun and nail on a scrap piece of quarter round first to make sure you have the right setting so that you don’t damage your moulding trim. As for paint use any latex acrylic paint or a latex paint with urethane. Sherwin Williams Duration, Benjamin Moore Regal are just two water based paints that I’m familiar with. There are many more that bond well to PVC trim. When it comes to sealants, there is only one I recommend, NPC Solar Seal 900. If you can’t find that brand use Quad by OSI or Geocel 2300 they are close but in my opinion not to the performance standards of Solar Seal 900. Good luck with your project.

  45. Marc Myerson

    A friend wants me to fix a pic molding to painted drywall in her bathroom as a crown molding. Can I use a double sided tape as she does not want to paint or see nail holes?

  46. Gary Hardina

    Hi John:

    We built a new home in 2009 extensively using Azek smooth trim boards throughout the exterior of the house. We also used the Azek molded trim around windows and sills. The main exterior siding is Hardie Board. We did paint all of the trim. All of the trim and window surrounds are now in pretty bad shape after 6 years with the caulking having cracked and separated on just about every joint. Our builder attempted to use various sealants and bonding products recommended by Azek to fill in the joints several times over but none have held through the winter months. Our house exterior is now a mess of failed joints. Our builder says that Azek has refused to provide any further assistance other to say that their installation procedures have changed since our house was built and that there is nothing wrong with the product. Other than replacing all of the exterior trim with another product, is there a something new on the market available that can be applied to the joints that will not crack and pull apart during cold weather months?

  47. John D. Pace

    Hi Gary:

    Although you didn’t use Versatex, I’m happy to help you with your problem. One aspect of our business that separates us from the competition is our analysis of complementary products to enhance the performance of our trim. We have tests numerous sealants with our cellular PVC trim and the one that in our opinion outperforms them all is Solar Seal #900 sealant/adhesive produced by NPC Sealant in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. I recommend their color #111 which is a match to our trimboard but should also be a close match to your Azek trim. What I like about this sealant/adhesive is it’s solvent based which gives you better bond strength than a pure sealant but with the flexibility of your better sealants. I live in Pittsburgh and built an outdoor living area with Versatex Trim including the outdoor cabinetry. I used Solar Seal #900 for the joints between our brick home and the trim. Temperatures reached -18F last winter and the sealant performed as expected with no cracking or pulling apart at the seams. I recommend you call them to find a local supplier in your area. Their telephone number is 708-681-1424. You can also e-mail them at Good luck.


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