While most people install vinyl or aluminum siding to the exterior of a home as a way to avoid painting, the fact is that over time any type of siding will lose some of the original color and luster. The result is an appearance that is dull and somewhat lifeless. Rather than replace the siding, many people decide to simply apply a coat or two of paint to bring the old home siding back to life. If you have this in mind, here are some things you need to keep in mind about painting siding.
Before you begin painting siding, it is important to prepare the siding for the process. It doesn’t matter whether you are going to paint vinyl siding, wood siding, or if the job involves painting aluminum siding, there is still the need to make sure the siding is free of any contaminants or elements that would cause the paint to not adhere to the surface properly. This means you need to wash the siding thoroughly, much as you would clean the surface with any type of house painting job. Allow the siding to dry thoroughly before you move on to the next step.
Your next task is to select the right type of house paint for your siding. Keep in mind that aluminum siding is subject to oxidation. This means you do not want to use an exterior latex paint, as most formulas contain ammonia. The ammonia will accelerate the oxidation process and cause the paint to begin peeling in a relatively short period of time. For aluminum siding, go with a primer oat of an oil based metal paint, the cover with another coat of paint that is safe for use on metal. If you are covering dark siding, consider mixing some of the topcoat metal paint into the underlying primer coat. This will sometimes be enough to complete the job without the need for additional coats.
Your next task in painting siding is to make sure all your paint has the same shade or hue. Even paint produced by the same manufacturer will vary slightly in hue from one can to the next. To get around this issue, mix all the paint for the project in one large container. This will make the siding paint uniform and completely eliminate the possibility of beginning with a lighter shade and ending with a slightly darker shade. This will also ensure that if you have to do any touch-ups in later years, the leftover paint will be an exact match at any point on the siding.
Another tip that helps with painting siding is to never paint a section of siding when the area is receiving direct sunlight. Paint earlier or later in the day when the area is only receiving indirect sunlight. If the day is windy, don’t paint the house that day. Direct sunlight may impact the application process by expediting the drying process, which in turn may adversely impact the bonding process. Windy days will increase the chances of airborne contaminants adhering to the wet paint.
One final suggestion for painting siding is to always paint in the direction of the grain. Doing so is more likely to adequately fill in the tiny irregularities in the texture of the siding and create a smooth coverage. Since the brush strokes are going in the same direction as the grain, it will be less apparent that you’ve applied paint to some type of siding and thus help to restore the original look the siding had when it was first installed.