Can I Paint Vinyl Siding?
Jordan Paul , null
May 16th, 2022
Many homes built in the last forty years have a vinyl siding exterior. Vinyl siding was developed to address a common complaint, which was periodic painting. Vinyl siding is colored all the way through, so in theory, it would never need painting. However, over time we have discovered that vinyl siding color will fade, so some manufacturers offer specially designed paint for vinyl siding.
What Is Vinyl Siding Paint?
Vinyl siding paint is available in many brands and colors, water soluble, and easy to work with. Most vinyl siding paint has an acrylic base, which helps it stick to the vinyl. Painting vinyl siding can cost less than 50% less than replacing it, yet adds years of useful life to the siding.
One way vinyl siding paint differs from regular house paint is that it will flex with the vinyl. Generally, surfaces that constantly move are unfriendly to paint, because cracks in the paint can develop over time. Vinyl siding paint is designed to flex with the vinyl, preventing any additional cracking.
Is Vinyl Siding Paint Hard to Use?
Vinyl siding paint is really no harder to use than other paints, but the vinyl itself may affect how the paint is applied. For example, when you paint vinyl siding you are essentially encapsulating the surface of the vinyl. The paint will prevent air, water, or anything else from contacting the surface. Because the vinyl cannot breathe like wood, it often takes longer for vinyl siding paint to cure.
For this reason, you’ll want to plan your vinyl siding painting project for a few nice weather days. Most vinyl siding paints will need about a day to dry in optimal conditions because the paint is not soaking in, but just drying on the surface. The good news is that you won’t need any special training, tools, or experience to use vinyl siding paint.
Should I Pressure Wash My Vinyl Siding Before Painting It?
If your vinyl siding is chalky, dirty, or moldy, you will want to wash it first. You won’t necessarily need a pressure washer, but having one will make the job easier. If your home is one story and you can reach it from the ground with an extension pole, you can just use soap and water. Some siding cleaning tools even include an attachment to an outdoor water spigot.
Depending on how dirty the vinyl siding is, you’ll probably want to use a long handled brush and using detergent, gently brush away any debris. Don’t worry about stains from tree sap or bird poop as they will be covered by the paint. Just remove anything with a texture, like dirt or mold.
If you do have the benefit of a pressure washer, you’ll probably want to stay away from the red and black spray tips. Use the green, yellow, or white tips as these are less likely to damage the vinyl siding. If you use a detergent with the pressure washer, you can use even less pressure or stand farther away from the surface.
Should I Use a Primer With Vinyl Siding Paint?
Vinyl siding paint will benefit from a primer just as any other paint will. Primer solves adhesion concerns, smooths out the surface, and makes everything a uniform color. Most professionals wouldn’t even consider using vinyl siding paint without first using a primer. The pros are responsible for doing the best job they can, so primer is never far away.
What Colors Is Vinyl Siding Paint Available In?
For some vinyl siding painters, selecting the color is the hardest part of the project. When we purchase new vinyl siding, we are offered a very limited range of color options. Vinyl siding paint however, is available in essentially any shade. Often the real problem is what other element on the home will most compliment the paint.
For example, when you have unlimited color options, you must be diligent not to get too close to an existing color on the home, or match it exactly. Just getting close to an existing shade can result in a color clash and actually worsen the appearance. The pros recommend selecting lighter or darker shades of the roof, brick, or siding color(s) to guarantee a match without risking a color clash.