Many houses now have aluminum or vinyl siding fitted, and though they are practical and inexpensive exterior finishes, they can look terrible if not looked after. Painting these finishes is not as straightforward as wood, but it can still be done by most people. This article will show you how to paint your aluminum or vinyl siding, and show you how to make your home look new again.
Before painting your siding, you will want to make sure it is in good condition. Painting over faulty sidings only puts off future work, and makes the situation worse. Look for loose parts of your siding and re-fix, nail heads and fixings should be flush to the surface, and any rotting wood or excess moisture under the siding should be addressed. You also need to see if there is any mold or mildew on the surfaces and treat as necessary.
Washing your siding is vital, and using a mixture of water, chlorine bleach and washing detergent, is a great way to remove all the grease and grime, as well as tackling the mold and mildew. Once the siding is clean, you must remember to rinse off the residue from the cleaning agents and allow ample time to dry. Though many people use a power washer to clean their sidings, I think these can cause you headaches later on, especially if you are not careful around the edges of the siding. A ladder, some sponges, rags, and some time, will get you a perfect result with no possibility of damage or mishap.
I would always recommend applying a primer to any painting work you do, and painting an aluminum or vinyl siding is definitely a time to use primer. You will need your finishing coat to stick to the surface, and this does not always happen for the amateur painter. Using an acrylic bonding primer means that your finishing coat has the perfect chance to adhere, and last you for years to come. The last thing you want is for your paint to start peeling after a few months and having to start again. Take my advice and apply a primer.
You should be applying an acrylic finishing coat (the best quality you can afford) and you will have a choice of finishes. High gloss finishes can reflect too much sun, and actually be dangerous, and this is why I would suggest an eggshell finish. Egg shell finishes still have some gloss, but do not reflect the sun as much as the high gloss finish, and are often easier to keep clean. You will need to be aware of the color you are using on your vinyl sidings as some darker colors will make the sidings warp, and the best approach is always to talk to the manufacturer before starting the job; though light colors are generally not a problem. There is no problem with aluminum, so you can paint the color you want.
You have 3 methods you could use for the application of the paint: Spraying, brushes, or rollers. Which one you choose will depend on your skill set and personal preference, though as a rule, spraying should be left to somebody with experience; leaving brushes and rollers. Rollers are a very fast way to apply your finish, and there is a possibility that you can do all of the work from the floor. You should avoid sponge rollers and go for a lamb’s wool version, and I would also suggest using a short roller to fit into the siding folds. Brushes may not be as fast as a roller used from the floor, but I believe they give a better finish and are very easy to use. You will need to use a synthetic bristle for the acrylic paint, and a brush that is 3” will give you much less brushwork than a 2” one.
The last thing that I would say is avoid painting on very hot days as the paint will dry too fast on a heat absorbent material such as aluminum. To overcome this you can use an additive to stop the paint drying so quickly, but I would still try to avoid working with a hot surface anyway.
By: Neil Purnell