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Can You Paint Over Vinyl Siding? How to Paint Vinyl Siding

A house in snowy conditions with vinyl sidings

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Vinyl siding remains a hugely popular solution for your home exterior finish. Its cost-friendly and low-maintenance requirements are just some of the key factors contributing to the popularity of vinyl siding.

This material continues to improve over the years due to advancements in the manufacturing processes.

Putting the Advantages of vinyl siding aside, the wear and tear, fading, and worn-out look to your siding is not something that’s missed.  

Typically, vinyl siding does not need to be painted hence its low-maintenance style. It often comes with a primarily permanent color mixed with the material, which can be removed. Still, the paint can be subjective to patchy fading over the years because of different levels of sun exposure.

So, you may find yourself wondering, “can you paint over vinyl siding?” The short and sweet answer is yes, you can, due to the advances in paint and the manufacturing processes.

Previously, vinyl could not be painted because of the expansions and contraction of the material during different weather conditions. Still, the existence of paints like latex urethane can dismiss these problems.

Painting vinyl siding is a sizeable lengthy project, but luckily it is not deemed to be over complicated, and you won’t need any special techniques.

Continue reading this post for a clear step-by-step guide on How to Paint Vinyl Siding.

Top Tip: Set some time aside to prepare for a multiple-day project. When painting this type of siding, consider the cleaning preparations and drying times, as this will take up an extended amount of time.  

Should you Prime your Vinyl?

There are varying opinions on whether you should or should not prime your vinyl before applying your paint. Primer helps to create a seamless paint job and extends the durability of your paint.

Some professionals choose to use primer in every painting project, while others will only use a primer when required by analyzing the condition of the item, in this case, the siding.

For instance, you may consider using a primer if the surface of your siding is not level or if there are signs of wear and tear or deterioration.

But always refer back to your manufacturer guidelines and follow their advice if you are unsure.

Bear in mind: If you plan to use a primer, remember that paint adheres to the previous layer of paint, so it’s vital to ensure the paint you use is formulated to stick to the primer.

The Best Paint for Vinyl Siding

picture of siding for article can you paint  over vinyl siding
Photo Credits: Unsplash.com

When deciding what type of paint you plan to use, you need to make your decisions carefully. Many different paint types, such as latex paints, are unsuitable for painting your vinyl siding and can cause damage.

Picking out paints designed specifically for vinyl painting is essential to the overall outcome of your paint job. Therefore, selecting an acrylic-based paint or urethane-modified acrylic are the best selections for painting your vinyl.

Acrylic-based paints are the most suited for vinyl as it is designed to expand and contract as the sidings do. They are specially formulated to be lightweight and have high adhesions levels to stick to porous and unique styles such as vinyl.

Remember: Using lightweight paint that adheres seamlessly is detrimental to having a professional-looking finished product. Using thick oil-based or latex-based paints will cause the paint to flake and peel.  

Latex paints and oil-based paints generally have a thick and weighty consistency. Applying such paint to a vinyl surface will affect the ability of the vinyl to breathe.

Non-acrylic paints usually lose their shimmer and sheen a lot quicker than acrylic paints. Therefore they require more maintenance, more frequently.

Unsimilar to oil-based and latex-based paints, acrylic paints have less chance to crack, chip, flake, or peel from exposure to different weather conditions.

Keep in Mind: Darker colors will attract and absorb the heat from the sun, creating bubbles and raised patches on your siding. It’s recommended that you stay away from dark grey, dark blue, or black colors for optimum results.

Equipment and Materials

  • Bucket
  • Garden hose and spray nozzle
  • Paintbrushes
  • Soft-bristle brush, sponges, or a rag
  • Paint roller with 3/8-inch or 1/2- inch roller covers, or spray paint equipment
  • Masking materials
  • Painter’s tape
  • Oxygen bleach
  • Laundry detergent
  • General-purpose cleaning powder
  • Water

How to Paint Vinyl Siding?

Step One: Analyze Weather Conditions

Before going outside and setting yourself up to begin your project, make sure you analyze the weather conditions in your area. The most suitable conditions to paint your vinyl siding are mild temperatures, an overcast sky, and low humidity levels.

Weather conditions that are too hot, too sunny, or too windy may cause the paint to not adhere fully to the surface of your siding.

If you apply paint in humid and hot conditions, the paint will adhere poorly, increasing the chances of your paint cracking and flaking over time.

Step Two: Pick out your Paint

Two men installing the vinyl siding and painting
Photo Credits: Unsplash.com

As the shape of your vinyl can change by contractions and expansions over the years due to weather conditions, picking the right paint is vital. Don’t just pick out a random tin of paint. If you want your paintwork to look good and want high durability levels, your paint needs to be top quality.

You’ll need to choose a paint that contains acrylic and urethane resins. These ingredients will help the paint stick to the vinyl. Also, they help to accommodate any expansions or contractions of the vinyl.

When choosing your color, you want to pick one that almost matches the previous shade or something a little lighter than the original color. Remember, darker colors store more heat which can lead to your siding warping.

Using latex urethane paint is your best option when painting your vinyl siding, as it is formulated for exterior use.

Key Fact: You can always ask a professional at your home improvement or hardware store to select a high-quality vinyl paint that will last.

Step Three: Mix your Cleaner

Now it’s time to prepare your vinyl to ensure your paint entirely sticks to the surface. An in-depth clean is an essential step towards creating a professional-looking paint job.

Splashing your vinyl with a hosepipe is not enough. You want to remove any chalky build-up, mold, mildew, and debris from the surface.

Using your bucket, mix your cleaning solution using 1/3 of powdered laundry detergent, 2/3 cup of general-purpose cleaning powder, and 2/3 cup of oxygen bleach and leave aside.

Insight: If you want, you can quickly hose of your vinyl to give it a quick rinse, but you will still need to scrub with your solution afterward.

Take out a soft-bristle brush, sponge, or rag, dip it into your solution, and begin to scrub your siding to remove any grease, dirt, chalkiness, or mold.

Work your way from the bottom to the top of the entire area you are painting. If you have a big area to clean, work in manageable sections and rinse as your go along.

Thoroughly check your siding to ensure all residue has been removed and allow the siding to completely dry before moving to the next step.

Experts Tip: It’s not paramount for you to use a hose or power washer. Scrubbing with a cloth or sponge is equally effective and, in some respects, is safer than the power washing method. However, if you do adopt this method, check your vinyl manufacturer’s maintenance guides.

Step Four: Painter’s Tape and Masking Materials

Equipment needed to start painting work, including painter's tape and rollers: Can You Paint Over Vinyl Siding
Photo Credits: Pixabay.com

This is an optional step, but if you are worried about getting paint drips and splatters over your doors, windows, trims, or other hardware, then you can use painter’s tape or masking materials, like a plastic sheet, to cover those areas.

Step Five: Primer

As mentioned before, priming is entirely up to each individual, but carefully analyzing your siding is vital as the condition will determine if priming is required.

Typically, if the original color of the siding has faded or worn out, or if there are uneven patches due to pitting, those are key indications that your vinyl siding needs a coat of primer.

You can use either a paint spray or a 3/8-inch roller for a smooth, even surface or a 1/2 -inch cover for a rough surface, but you can also use a standard paintbrush.

If you prefer to use a roller or a paint sprayer, make sure you go back over the roller application with a standard paintbrush. This will guarantee full coverage and get rid of any thick heavy layers of paint.

Let your primer dry completely before moving on.

You Should Know: If you plan to use either a paint sprayer or roller, you may want to mask off areas like your doors and windows.

Step Six: Paint

Now your area is immaculate from dirt, mold, or any debris, and you’ve primed your surface evenly with your chosen exterior paint, you can begin to add your coats of paint, using the same steps as you did with the primer.

It’s recommended that two coats of paint are ample for your siding. You’ll need to wait for your first coat to be dried before applying another- but always check your paint manufacturer’s instructions from dry times.

Try to apply your coats as evenly as possible across the surface and ensure the coats are not too heavy in any sections. Like in most painting projects, it’s better to apply numerous thin coats than one thick coat.

Your second coat of paint will need a whole day (24 hours) to dry. After this, you can inspect the fresh paint to see if any missed areas that may need touching up or if your siding needs an additional coat.

Step Seven: Clean Up

Making sure your final coat of paint has dried, you can now remove your masking materials and painter’s tape from your protected areas. Take a step back and analyze your work looking out for any spots needing a touch-up; use your paintbrush to make corrections.

How Much Does it Cost to Paint Vinyl Siding

DIY work cuts down the cost of painting down your siding immensely, so having a go will be beneficial if you are a keen home improvements person. But it’s important to consider equipment costs, for example, purchasing a ladder if you want to paint upstairs sidings.

Things such as these will contribute to the overall cost of your DIY job, and exterior painting tasks are vital to how safe and durable your home is. For example, completing this task effectively is important for weatherproofing and the longevity of your siding.

Supplies:

MaterialCost (in Dollars)
Drop Cloths (2 packs at least)$22
Painter’s Masking Tape (2 rolls)$15
Paint Tray$6
Paint Brushes (For Detailing)$10
Safety Goggles$12
1 Gallon of Regular Quality Exterior Paint$38
1 Gallon of Prime$38

You may already have access to some of the equipment above, which will reduce your cost.

Based on the national average size, 2,500 sq. ft, $775 – $1500 is the price range to paint vinyl sidings. The price range may seem extravagant but remember it’s based on a 2,500 sq. ft house that would require around eight gallons of both paints a primer for a complete application.

What to Consider Before Painting Your Vinyl Siding?

If you are trying to enhance the exterior appearance of your home, painting your vinyl may seem like the easiest option. Still, painting vinyl sidings can be risky, and there are four factors to tackle before deciding if painting is beneficial to you.

Warranty:

Most vinyl siding companies don’t invoke warranties if the vinyl has been painted, regardless of if the siding is brand new. Check your warranty details to see if painted siding disproves the warranty.

Essential Info: If something causes damage to your home where you need to file an insurance claim, your agency may not credit your claim if the vinyl is painted. If it is a rental property, then hopefully you have landlord insurance otherwise your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover a rental

Paint Color

To select an appropriate color for your siding, you should consider the current color and pick a similar or lighter shade than the previous coat. Adding a darker color can cause the lighter underlayer siding to warp.

Key Insight: Benjamin Moore paints comprise a 59 color palette of paints they deem to be safe for vinyl siding.

Insulation

Adding insulation under your signing can help with energy savings by trapping the heat, improving your exterior appearances, durability, and energy efficiency all in one.

However, if you paint over old siding, you cannot add the insulation layer underneath, meaning you can lose substantial energy savings.

Importance of Weather and the Siding

Your siding protects your home from outdoor elements such as rain, so messing with your siding could negatively impact your home’s defense.

If you are repainting, if there are any problems such as moisture or pests, they will not be made visible.

Furthermore, damage caused by hail or wind will not be amended by adding a fresh cost of paint, and these damaged areas provide access for moisture leading to mold.

Roundup On: Can You Paint Over Vinyl Siding

Painting your vinyl siding is a job that may be time-consuming but can be quickly completed by following the simple steps set out in this guide.

Vinyl is praised for its low-maintenance and cost-friendly characteristics and can spruce up your home’s exterior look.

Just like any paint job, thorough preparation is essential to ensure you have the best possible surface for your paint to adhere to.

Take time to analyze your weather conditions as they can alter the times you plan to paint. It’s essential to know how frequently you should paint your house, including your sidings, and the effects weather can have on these timings.

Picking out a lightweight exterior paint that includes acrylic and urethane resins will help your siding counteract the expansion and contraction elements affecting your siding.

However, understanding the potential drawbacks, such as warranty, that may arise from painting your siding must be considered when planning out your project.

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