How to Avoid Problems Painting Aluminum and Vinyl Siding

Return the Beauty and Luster to your Home’s Vinyl or Aluminum Siding

By Mark J. Donovan

The Sun’s ultraviolet light can wreak havoc on aluminum and vinyl siding making it look dull and faded. Painting aluminum and vinyl siding is possible however some upfront work is required. Proper cleaning is essential to avoiding problems painting aluminum and vinyl siding. If you run your fingers over old aluminum siding, you’ll notice a chalky substance on your fingers. Likewise mold and mildew growth or dirt that is not first removed from aluminum or vinyl siding will also cause freshly applied paint not to adhere well.

As a result, if paint is applied to non-cleaned vinyl or aluminum siding, within just a short period of time the paint will begin to peel and flake off.

To clean house siding start at the bottom and work your way up the siding using a pressure washer. Use an off the shelf house siding cleaner or TSP. Also make sure to use a low pressure setting on the pressure washer and aim the pressure washer wand in a downwards direction to not inject water up underneath the vinyl or aluminum siding. Also be careful around the door and window frames.

If you plan to repaint vinyl coated aluminum siding or vinyl siding, also use a surface de-glosser solvent to clean the house siding. The de-glosser will remove any surface shine and help the new paint adhere better to the house siding.

When painting aluminum or vinyl siding, make sure to use an airless sprayer versus a paint brush and/or roller. Not only is spray painting the aluminum or vinyl siding faster, it will also achieve a more professional result. You can rent paint sprayers at most home improvement centers. Also, make sure to use the right type of sprayer for the type of paint you plan on using.

Latex paints work best for exterior house painting projects as they expand and contract better with temperature changes. Make sure to use the highest quality latex paint you can find so that your paint job will hold up for years to come.

Prior to actually painting the aluminum or vinyl siding you’ll first need to apply a primer to ensure maximum paint adhesion. Don’t spot prime. Instead apply primer to all of the house siding for best results. You can also use a latex paint additive, such as Emulsa-bond, with the first coat of paint applied, to double as a primer. Emulsa-bond is ideal for chalky surfaces such as aluminum siding and will help to prevent paint peeling. Mix one quart of Emulsa-bond to every gallon of paint.

After applying the primer and base coat of paint, and allowing time for them to fully dry, apply a top coat layer over it. In some cases you may also want to apply a second top coat layer.

How to Avoid Problems Painting Aluminum and Vinyl Siding

So if your aluminum or vinyl house siding is looking faded and dingy don’t live with it, repaint it. If done right, by first thoroughly washing and then applying a primer or bonding agent additive, your freshly painted house siding should look beautiful and hold up for years to come.

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