How to Paint Aluminum Siding
Aluminum siding is a popular exterior siding choice because of its effective insulating results and relative low maintenance.
If your home has aluminum siding, there’s no need to replace it but simply clean and repaint when it starts to look chalky. A quality paint job that is well maintained can last up to 40 years but most homeowners see closer to 10-20 years.
In this article, we cover some commonly asked questions along with a few valuable tips to help you learn how to paint aluminum siding.
How do you know when it’s time to repaint aluminum siding?
Do you see some flaking paint? Is the color faded and not the same as it used to be? Do you have mildew or other grime starting to show up? Are you looking to increase curb appeal with a new, trendy color? If so, it might be time get that project started.
Can I paint aluminum siding?
Of course you can! The key is a good primer that sticks well to the siding as well as creates a great surface for the new paint to adhere.
How big of a job is repainting my house?
Repainting your aluminum siding can be a pretty overwhelming task for any homeowner. Exterior painting is often done by professional painters because of its magnitude and sometimes the need for some special equipment.
How to paint aluminum siding
Like every other home improvement project, repainting your aluminum siding requires some time, lots of hard work, and the right supplies. Make sure you inspect the job first and create a plan to get it done right.
Step 1: Inspected the exterior
Are you simply repainting? Do you want the same color or something new? How much repair is needed? Do you need to rent scaffolding or will simply a ladder do? Do you want to use a paint roller or sprayer? Make sure to inspect the entire exterior of your home and compile a comprehensive list of the repairs that need need done, whether or not you will need equipment, and which colors would suit your home best.
Step 2: Prep the project
Any good final project needs to start strong. The preparation stage makes a huge difference so take the time to do it right. Older, peeling paint needs removed with a paint scraping tool. Scrub off any mildew or other grim with a 5 parts water 1 part bleach mix. Inspect the existing caulk to see if that needs replaced as well. Do you have bushes leading to this mildew growth? Consider removing them or at least thinning them out. Finally, give the entire exterior a quick wash removing dirt and creating a clean painting surface. Remember to let the aluminum siding dry completely before moving on.
Step 3: Priming the siding
Once you’ve cleaned and repaired the siding, tackle priming. This is a critical step because you need something the paint will stick to on the metal wall. Make sure it’s an exterior primer for aluminum siding, not any primer. Gather your drop cloths, ladder, paint rollers or sprayer, and paint before you get started. And watch the weather so you have a good dry day to work that’s not too humid, between 40-50% is good. Don’t forget to factor the necessary drying time into your project window. Some primer wants a solid 4 hours of drying time for best results.
Apply the primer (and paint) in the direction of the siding, typically side to side but sometimes it does run vertically. As you work, watch for paint drips and go back to clean them up before drying. This will be harder on hotter days since the primer/paint will dry faster.
Before moving to painting, check to make sure you are happy with 1 coat of primer. It should be okay but older aluminum siding that has never been repainted might soak up the primer more than you realize. You also might need a second coat to go over the repairs if they were extensive. If 1 coat of primer gives you a blotchy or uneven result after drying, it would be a good idea to apply a second coat. If your surface looks clean and smooth, move onto painting.
Step 4: Painting aluminum siding
Always the most fun part of the job! This is where you get to start seeing the vision really come together after all the hard work. No matter if you are simply repainting the same color or creating a new look with a new color, this stage is exciting.
100% acrylic exterior paint is what you need to pick up. Also, choose a lower gloss finish such as a satin helps hide irregularities and generally looks best when repainting aluminum siding.
Apply paint with a roller or spray along the direction of the siding. If you choose to spray, finish a section and then back roll. This is simply going over the section with a roller for a more consistent finish.
It’s looking great! Wait for it to dry and decide whether you need a second coat or not.
How to keep your aluminum siding looking great
Depending how much dirt comes from traffic or general dust, aluminum siding does need cleaned. After putting all that work into this great project, add a quick cleaning to your yearly to do list. This will help keep your aluminum siding looking great for many years.
How can Heiler Painting can help?
As professional residential siding painting experts, we know how to get the job done and are excited to add value to your home. How can we help you with this project?
- Big project: painting an entire home is a big task. It demands purchasing a large amount of paint and supplies, using ladders and perhaps scaffolding, and you can’t just stop working on it part way through.
- Time consuming: painting aluminum siding is typically a multi-day project. It begins with prepping the exterior and allowing multiple coats of primer and paint to dry.
- Curb appeal: you want to get this right! Everyone looks at the outside of your home.
- Moving or just moved in: often people consider repainting during a moving process. Whether you are moving out or moving in, repainting your siding is a just one more task to add to an endless list.