Should You Paint Aluminum Siding?

Aluminum siding is a popular choice for home exteriors—and for good reason; aluminum siding promises durability, style, and little maintenance.

As more homes and businesses with aluminum siding age, people are starting to wonder whether they can paint their siding or whether they should replace it. In this blog post, we will tell you everything you need to know about your aluminum siding, including whether you can paint it.

After years of wear and tear, your aluminum siding may start to look tired. The finish on factory-made aluminum siding can start looking chalky after extensive time in the sun and rain. The paint may chip and peel, revealing the bare metal underneath. And, when aluminum is exposed to air, it undergoes a chemical reaction and oxidizes. As a result, your aluminum-clad home may look less than ideal.

When this happens, you may be left wondering whether you need to replace your aluminum siding or give it a fresh new coat of paint. Most homeowners jump to the assumption that they cannot paint their siding, so they need to replace it. This assumption is untrue.

You can paint aluminum siding. The trick is that you need a special kind of paint to stick to the aluminum. 100% acrylic latex paint is the type of paint for the job. But, before you start painting, you need to figure out whether your siding actually needs to be replaced.

Toronto siding contractor on cherry-picker installing grey aluminum siding

How To Tell If Your Should Paint Or Replace

Aluminum siding is one of the most durable siding materials. When it is properly installed, homeowners can expect their siding to last at least 40 years. This is substantial as vinyl siding and wood siding which have a lifespan of anywhere from 20 to 40 years.

While aluminum is incredibly durable, it can be damaged or weakened. Our expert siding contractors recommend that you replace your siding if there are any areas with dents, cracks or breaks.

If your siding looks like it’s in relatively good condition, it may just need a new paint job.

How To Paint Aluminum Siding

Once you’ve decided to paint your aluminum siding, you’ll need to gather the necessary materials.

What You'll Need:

What Kind of Paint Do You Need?

Since aluminum siding paint is very particular, you may be wondering what acrylic paint you should buy. We highly recommend Sherwin Williams primer and paint for painting aluminum siding. Their aluminum siding paint comes in a variety of shades and is durable enough to withstand extreme temperatures, rain and direct sunlight.

1. Clean the surface

The first step in the painting process is cleaning. Aluminum siding paint will stick best if the surface is clean and has a smooth finish.

If there is any peeling paint, start gently sanding the surface area. The chipped paint should come away relatively easily with sandpaper or an abrasive sponge.

Then, fill a pressure washer with a mix of water and household bleach. The combination of cleaning products and the power of the pressure washer will help remove dirt. If you do not have a pressure washer, use a garden hose, bucket and scrub brush.

You are ready to paint aluminum siding once it passes the white glove test. You will need to wipe the surface with a white cloth and ensure that no dust or dirt comes off.

Exterior of Toronto home with painted wood siding

2. Prime the siding

After you have cleaned the aluminum siding and let it dry completely, you can start priming. Place some drop cloths around the area and get to work.

Oil-based primer will not stick on aluminum siding. Latex primer that is self-etching and designed for metal is the best option. This type of primer cuts through any oxidation and sticks to the aluminum surface to create a strong bond. We recommend that you apply two coats of primer to create a suitable base for your paint.

3. Paint

Next, it is time to begin painting!

Aluminum siding paint can be applied using a brush or spray. We recommend painting aluminum siding with a spray because it is much faster and will ensure an even coat.

You will need to apply at least two coats of paint to help the paint stick. You will need to wait at least two hours before you add a second coat to make sure the paint dries completely.

4. Let it dry

Once you’re finished painting, you need to let the paint dry. Most latex paint takes at least one hour to dry. Take some time to clean up and rest after such hard work.

After the paint is dry, you can admire your newly painted home. Your aluminum siding will look as good as new!

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