Aluminum & Vinyl Siding: To Paint or Not To Paint, That is the Question?

Did you know you could paint aluminum and vinyl siding?

house with siding

Depending on where you live, many home exteriors are finished with aluminum or vinyl siding. Unlike wood, these substrates are significantly more rigid and long lasting and hence there are generally less reasons to paint these sidings. But these substrates over time do and chalk and grow mildew and algae. As a result, aluminum and vinyl siding provide a great opportunity for painting.

Some things to keep in mind:

1. It’s easy: in most cases simply power washing to remove dirt, chalk and/or mildew is sufficient to prep the surface for painting. For mildew removal, washing with a mild bleach solution is recommended.

2. Adds real value: Painting transforms an otherwise dull exterior to a fresh colourful finish. This is important not only from the standpoint of “curb appeal” but it can also provide great creative satisfaction.

3. It works: Top quality 100% acrylic paints deliver good adhesion and durability on aluminum and vinyl siding.

ALUMINUM SIDING

Most people are unaware that weathered aluminum siding is an excellent surface for painting. A new coat of paint allows the home or building owner to change the colour of the siding and to revitalize a dingy and dull appearance, without the substantial expense of re-siding.

Weathered aluminum siding frequently suffers from excessive chalking. As a result, it is important that you prepare the surface properly. Remove chalk by power washing, or hand-scrubbing, followed by a thorough rinsing. It is often difficult to remove all of the chalk from this substrate. If the surface is still chalky after two washings, apply an exterior high quality 100% acrylic primer.  Any white oxide on the aluminum should be removed with a non-metallic scouring pad. Prime any bare aluminum with a latex corrosion-inhibitive primer recommended for exterior aluminum.

For the paint itself, a quality 100% acrylic flat is best. Because of the stability of the surface, this type of paint, properly applied, will last.

As for applying the paint, spray application gives the best appearance on this substrate. However, brush or roller application can give acceptable results also.

contractor working

VINYL SIDING

People often question the idea of painting vinyl siding. After all, vinyl siding is “maintenance free,” and “vinyl is final!”

Here are points to remember about painting vinyl siding:

Freshening the Appearance – Vinyl siding does deteriorate to a degree as it is exposed to the elements. It will chalk and thus fade, particularly on sunny, southern exposures. A quality paint job will make it look as good as new.

Changing the Colour – People are not always conscious of this benefit of painting. A home or building owner does not have to live with the original colour. A quality paint job offers the opportunity to change the colour.

Colour Choice – Vinyl siding tends to buckle and warp if it gets too hot. This warping can be irreversible and ruin the siding. The heat absorbed from sunshine by a dark colour is enough to cause this to occur. This is why vinyl siding is generally not available in dark colours.  When painting vinyl siding, a good rule of thumb is to paint the siding no darker than its original colour. White, off-white and light pastels are generally appropriate.

Surface Preparation – Vinyl siding is one of the easiest surfaces to prepare for paint. Simply remove any dirt or chalk by scrubbing and rinsing or by power washing with plain water. If any mildew is present, remove it with a bleach-and-water solution and rinse.  Priming is not generally required with use of a quality exterior latex paint.

Paint Choice – “Siding – Re-Nu” A quick drying, extremely-resistant finish for repainting weathered vertical vinyl siding. Quality exterior 100% acrylic latex paints adhere well to weathered vinyl siding, given good surface preparation. A satin finish will provide a crisp “new-siding” appearance.

Note: Oil-based paints should not be used on vinyl siding.

Question: Do you have any tricks for improving the exterior of your house on a budget?

Content of Article from Paint Quality Institute, P.O. Box 1348, Philadelphia, PA 19109, U.S.A.

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Written by Gwen Prince

Gwen Prince

Gwen Prince, Colour Stylist for General Paint, has 21 years in the colour and paint industry. Colour is her passion and she is a self proclaimed paint geek.

5 thoughts on “Aluminum & Vinyl Siding: To Paint or Not To Paint, That is the Question?

  1. How do you suggest applying paint to vinyl siding. Also, you mention vertical siding, but do the same recommendations apply to horizontal vinyl siding? Can I use one of your solid colour stains on my vinyl siding? Thank you!

  2. Hi Margie. To apply paint to vinyl sidings, you can either roll or spray on the paint. The solid colour stains wouldn’t be the best paint to use for this project, we offer a great product “Siding Re-Nu” or a good quality exterior latex. And yes it would apply to vertical or horizontal vinyl siding. Happy Painting! =)

  3. Okay, yes I read about the Siding Re-nu product in your blog. Awesome! I’m trying to possibly match to the Monterey Grey that I’m using for trim. Is there somewhere online where I can see the available colours for the Siding Re-nu product? Also, it seems that it could be challenging to roll the paint under the turn-back on each piece of siding (hope that makes sense!). Would a brush work for this part?

  4. Hi Margie, yes a brush would work! The Siding Re-Nu coming in 2 bases, we recommend not to paint it darker then the siding is already, as it might warp. There isn’t anywhere online to see the colours, but they will be happy to show you in store!

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