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How to Paint Vinyl Siding

Changing the color of your siding is one of the easiest ways to give your home a fresh new look, and if your home has vinyl siding, you’ve probably wondered if painting it is a good idea. 

Can you paint vinyl siding? Yes, and in this article, you’ll learn how to paint vinyl siding on a house and find out why it could be the best move you make to enhance your home’s curb appeal.

Understanding Vinyl Siding

One of the disadvantages of vinyl siding is that it starts to fade near the end of its lifespan. Structurally, your vinyl siding may be in fantastic condition, but when your home’s curb appeal starts to suffer, it’s time to look at your options. 

What is Vinyl Siding?

Vinyl siding is the most common type of siding material used in the United States. It’s remained popular for decades for several reasons. It’s low maintenance, easy to install, and comes in a wide range of colors. It’s also cost-effective since it can last between 20 and 40 years.

Sometimes called plastic siding, vinyl siding is made from polyvinyl chloride or PVC. It’s designed to be durable enough to withstand heavy winds yet flexible enough to resist temperature extremes. It’s also decay-proof and insect-resistant.

Innovations in manufacturing have made modern vinyl siding less likely to fade, but if it is several years old, or you live in an area with intense UV rays, painting it is a great way to extend the life of your siding.

Benefits of Painting Vinyl Siding

If your siding is in good shape and you have a custom color that you want to try, painting your vinyl siding may be a viable option. Painting exterior vinyl siding has several benefits beyond the aesthetic appeal of a brand-new color, including cost savings, enhanced curb appeal, increased property value, and time savings.

Why Painting Vinyl Siding Matters

Vinyl siding is popular because it’s low maintenance, but that doesn’t mean “no” maintenance. Regular maintenance of your vinyl siding ensures that you protect your investment. For some homes, that can mean painting your siding to ensure it lasts longer.

The Importance of Maintaining Vinyl Siding

You can potentially save thousands of dollars by extending the lifespan of your siding. It will last up to 12 years when done right. 

And, if you calculate the cost of siding your home and find that it’s outside your budget for the next few years, painting it will preserve your home’s aesthetic appeal until you can afford new siding.

Another reason to paint your vinyl siding is if you’re having problems with mold or algae growth. A fresh coat of paint is resistant to mold and mildew and will keep your home looking fresh and clean.

Best Paint for Vinyl Siding

sherwin williams emerald exterior acrylic latex

Technological advancements in the paint industry have been surprisingly good. Modern tech has made paints that can purify your air, collect solar energy, and disinfect water. So, it’s not surprising that quality paints will adhere and withstand the expansion and contraction of extreme temperatures in various climates. 

According to the experts, the best paint for this material is one that contains acrylic and urethane resins. All major manufacturers make paint specifically for vinyl siding. Sherwin-Williams, Benjamin Moore, and Behr have excellent products to choose from. 

It’s wise to choose light-colored paints that won’t absorb as much heat, which causes the resins in the paint to break down. 

Benefits of Painting Vinyl Siding

Homeowners with vinyl siding are often faced with a difficult decision when their home’s exterior loses its luster. Should you replace your vinyl siding or paint it?

Painting is much more affordable than replacing it, and if you paint it yourself, you can save even more money. There are also time savings to consider because painting your house only takes a few days while replacing the siding takes one to two weeks.

Before deciding, take a closer look at the benefits of painting. 

Improved Curb Appeal

painting house to improve curb appeal

If you have weathered and worn vinyl siding, you can enhance its curb appeal simply by painting it and changing the appearance of your home. Choosing to paint also allows you to select a completely different color scheme and revitalize the appearance of your entire property.

A fresh coat of paint on the exterior of your home increases your property value. You can accent intricate architectural features with different paint colors and repaint your doors to further refresh your home’s appearance. 

Extended Lifespan

The protective coating layer on your old vinyl siding is probably long gone. Adding a layer of quality vinyl paint will help extend its life and protect it from further degradation. The additional paint layer will protect your siding from all types of weather-related damage.

Weather Resistance

The forces of weather that your home’s exterior is subjected to can cause various types of damage. UV rays, temperature extremes, and moisture can wreak havoc on your home’s exterior.

Select a lighter paint color if you’re worried about the heat damaging your home’s exterior. Because light colors reflect heat rather than absorb it, your siding is less likely to be warped or cracked when the mercury rises. 

When to Paint Vinyl Siding

Understand when to paint vinyl siding by discovering what to look for and learning about the ideal weather conditions to paint in.

Signs Your Vinyl Siding Needs Painting

faded and algae-covered vinyl siding
Faded and algae-covered vinyl siding

Knowing when to paint is essential to get the most benefit from your investment. Here are some factors to consider to determine when to paint.

Age of Siding

Vinyl siding is designed to last 20 to 40 years or more without a lot of maintenance. If it’s brand new, it may not be worth painting, but if it’s too old, it may be better to replace it. 

Fading and Discoloration

If your vinyl siding is over 10 years old, it could be faded or discolored. Some parts of your home may be a slightly different shade than others, and painting it will extend the life of your siding.

Change in Color

Are you looking for a fresh new look? Changing the color of your siding is reason enough to paint your vinyl siding. You also might want to choose a lighter color if it’s too dark, causing your house to heat up in the summer.

On the other hand, if you live in a cold climate, you could choose a darker color to take advantage of the benefits of passive solar heat.

Ideal Weather Conditions

The best weather for painting over vinyl siding is when the temperature is between 40° and 90°F (4° and 32°C). Choose a slightly overcast day to paint, and avoid doing it when it’s windy.

Tips for Painting Vinyl Siding

pressure washing vinyl siding

Learn the best way to paint vinyl siding with these helpful tips. From cleaning and surface priming to caring for it before and after painting your vinyl siding, these techniques will help ensure a successful and long-lasting paint job.

Cleaning and Surface Priming

Thoroughly clean your vinyl siding before painting it. Unless you just installed it, there are layers of built-up grime, dust, mildew, and other contaminants. Even if you can’t see them, they are there.

A mild detergent and water mixture is usually enough to clean your vinyl siding. If you have tough mold and mildew stains, use 70% water and 30% vinegar. If you need something stronger, use the following recipe:

  • ⅓ cup powdered or liquid laundry soap
  • ⅔ cup powdered household cleaner, such as Comet or Spic and Span
  • 4 cups household bleach
  • 4 cups water

Use a pump sprayer to apply the cleaning solution. With a soft brush, gently clean the siding, then hose it down. If you use a power washer on old vinyl siding, use low pressure so it doesn’t damage the siding. Power washers can also cause water to get behind the vinyl siding, which can lead to mold and mildew problems later.

Choosing the Right Paint

To find the right paint, you must balance your need for quality paint with your budget. Technically, you can use any exterior latex paint, but you’ll be more successful if you choose quality paint.

The best paints for vinyl siding are acrylic latex paints specially formulated to withstand the expansion and contraction of vinyl siding. Choose from popular options like Benjamin Moore’s Regal Select Exterior or Sherwin-Williams’ Emerald Rain Refresh Exterior Acrylic Latex for the best results.

Most exterior vinyl siding paint doesn’t require a primer, but you may need one if you choose a much lighter color. You will also need a primer if your vinyl siding is old and pitted.  

Proper Painting Techniques

Whether you spray or brush the paint onto your vinyl siding, you must ensure an even and smooth application. Work small sections at a time and avoid heavy applications that result in drips and runs.

Avoid painting acrylic paint for vinyl siding during weather extremes. If it’s too hot, sunny, or cold, the paint won’t flow right, and you’ll get a messy paint job. Use Floetrol to extend the drying time if the paint is drying too quickly in direct sunlight.

If you’re painting vinyl cladding on a second story, avoid damaging the siding with your ladder using a ladder stabilizer designed to protect work surfaces. 

Caring for Painted Vinyl Siding

Most paints dry within a few hours but don’t fully cure for about one to two weeks. You can touch up any mistakes as you find them.

After painting, you should periodically clean it with a gentle solution of mild soap and water to remove dirt and maintain its appearance. Avoid pressure washing or abrasive scrubbing, which can potentially damage the paint. 

FAQs about How to Paint Vinyl Siding

Can I paint my vinyl siding any color I want?

siding and paint color choices
Just as there’s a wide range of siding colors and styles, manufacturers also offer plenty of paint choices.

You can paint it any color. Major manufacturers offer a wide range of colors in the vinyl paint palette. Most experts recommend selecting a light color that doesn’t absorb as much heat, especially if you live in a climate with hot summers.

Can I spray paint vinyl siding?

Using a paint sprayer is one of the best application methods. Spraying vinyl siding will result in a more professional application. Most vinyl siding has a lot of texture, and you can ensure a uniform application when you use a sprayer.

What is the expected lifespan of painted vinyl siding?

Painted vinyl siding will last up to 10 years, depending on factors like paint quality, application method, and climate. If you apply the paint evenly and use a couple of coats, you can get another 10 to 12 years of life out of your old siding.

You can repaint vinyl siding whenever you want, but ideally, you should wait 5 to 10 years, then inspect the paint to see how it’s holding up. 

Can I paint over damaged vinyl siding?

Depending on the type of damage, you can paint damaged vinyl siding. If it’s pitted, use a primer to fill in the pores and ensure that the paint goes on smoothly. However, you should replace the parts of your siding that are cracked, warped, or broken before you paint them. 

How much does it cost to paint vinyl siding?

Several factors influence the cost of painting vinyl siding, including materials, labor, and the size of your house. The average cost is $4,000, but your cost could be anywhere from $300 to $10,000, depending on the type of paint you choose and how much of the work you do yourself.