Learning how to paint vinyl siding

When you understand how to paint vinyl siding for residential applications you can save a lot of money and do the job right.

paint vinyl siding

One of the most common questions I get asked is if we can paint vinyl siding. If you asked me that three years ago, I would have said, “It’s not recommended”. Things are different now.

There are now many different types of paint that allows for the expansion and contraction characteristics of vinyl siding. One of the old rules for painting vinyl also no longer applies. It was important not to select a color that was darker than the color of the current vinyl.

painting vinyl siding
These modern paints are amazing in harsh weather situations. They are fairly expensive as paint goes though. Good quality vinyl siding paint costs around $50 a gallon. It lasts for years though so it’s pretty much worth it.

You can choose about any color that you want. It’s usually a good idea to stay away from really dark colors as this encourages a greater temperature fluctuation which makes the vinyl expand.

The most important thing about painting vinyl siding is the same thing as painting anything. It’s completely important to have a clean surface before the paint is applied.

washing vinyl sidingCleaning vinyl siding
is kind of tricky. If you spray upwards from the ground, you can fill the weep holes full of water and it will take days to dry. This is especially true if you are using a power washer.

A good rule of thumb to remember when washing vinyl siding is to spray downward from above. The vinyl is made to shed water in a downward pattern.

Once the vinyl is clean and dry the paint will adhere to the surface and it’s actually much smoother to paint than wood.

You will most likely be painting your siding in the summer when the vinyl is fully expanded. I assume this because the paint can’t be applied in temperatures less than 40 degrees and it needs 2 days to dry at temperatures above 40 degrees.

Remember that the vinyl is expanded and in the colder months it will contract. You will need to lift each seam where the siding overlaps and paint under the seam about an inch into the overlap.

If you forget to do this, your siding will have unpainted spots in the winter and your neighbors will make fun of you and say really cruel things. Just sayin….

how to paint vinyl siding
I took this photo while we was painting to compare the surfaces.

You can see how the older siding has faded. The new paint makes the home look new again. It makes such a big difference.

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