An In-Depth Look at Painting Vinyl Siding on Your Home
Can You Paint Vinyl Siding?
Yes, you can paint vinyl siding to change the color or restore faded, weathered siding. With proper preparation like cleaning, light sanding, and applying adhesive primer, vinyl siding provides a suitable surface for painting.
Why Consider Painting Vinyl Siding?
Here are some of the benefits of painting vinyl siding:
- Revitalize faded or dirty siding: Over years of sun exposure and weathering, vinyl siding can become chalky and faded. A fresh coat of paint restores the color.
- Change exterior home colors: Painting lets you transform the look of your home exterior whenever you want. Much cheaper than full siding replacement.
- Cover damaged areas: Paint can mask flaws, dents, or cracks in aging vinyl siding. Provides a uniform appearance.
- Add curb appeal: New siding colors or accent details give your home exterior a facelift. Great for increasing resale value.
Challenges of Painting Vinyl Siding
While painting vinyl siding can save money compared to siding replacement, there are some challenges to consider:
- Dark Color Paints can warp vinyl siding due to heat absorption that has an light original color.
- Vinyl is not very porous, so paint has a harder time adhering. Proper prep work is crucial.
- Vinyl siding expands and contracts with temperature changes. The paint must have flexibility to avoid cracking or peeling.
- Fading can reappear quicker than with wood or cement siding. Plan to re-coat every 3-5 years.
- Darker paint colors tend to show flaws and age faster than lighter colors. Stick with medium to lighter shades.
How to Prepare Vinyl Siding for Painting
Proper prep work before painting is essential for success when painting vinyl siding. Follow these key preparation steps:
Clean the Surface
Make sure your vinyl siding is free of dirt, mildew, chalkiness, or other buildup:
- Use a pressure washer on a low setting to clean. Avoid high pressure, which can damage the siding.
- For stubborn areas, use a siding cleaner solution. Rinse thoroughly.
- Check for mildew and kill any mold/mildew with bleach solution. Wear protective gear.
Check for Damage
Inspect closely and make any necessary repairs:
- Look for cracked, warped, or loose siding panels. Replace severely damaged areas.
- Repair smaller holes or punctures with silicone caulk.
- Reattach any loose siding panels with new fasteners.
Sand Glossy Areas
Scuff sand any glossy surfaces to help the paint adhere:
- Lightly sand with 220-grit sandpaper. Avoid completely removing texture.
- Focus on areas that get direct sun exposure. Don’t over-sand.
Prime with Adhesion Promoter
- Primer helps paint adhere to the slick vinyl surface.
- Use an exterior primer specifically made for vinyl siding. Many brands available.
- Apply with brush or roller according to manufacturer directions.
- Start with bottom course and work up. Allow primer to fully dry before painting.
Choosing the Right Exterior Paint
Look for exterior paint designed specifically for vinyl siding. Avoid standard exterior paints:
Type of Paint
100% acrylic latex paints are best for vinyl siding. Latex offers flexibility and durability. Oil-based should be avoided.
Satin or matte finishes are good options. Glossy finishes tend to highlight imperfections. Flat finishes lack durability.
Paint labeled for vinyl or PVC will have extra flex agents to prevent cracking. May say “vinyl-safe” or “vinyl-flex” on label.
Vibrant, Fade-resistant Pigments
Quality paint contains durable pigments that retain color longer. Look for “fade-resistant” or “color-locking” formulas.
Mold and Mildew Resistant
Mold-inhibiting paint can be useful in humid climates. Helps siding stay cleaner longer.
Painting Tips and Techniques
Follow these tips as you apply the new paint:
- Always follow the paint manufacturer’s recommended application directions.
- Use high-quality nylon or polyester brushes and a mini roller for best results.
- Apply in long, smooth, overlapping strokes to ensure even coverage.
- Start at the top and work methodically down the wall. Paint 2-3 boards completely before moving.
- Work in shady conditions and avoid painting in direct sun or if rain is expected.
- Plan ahead for total coverage. One coat may appear thin; two is often best for full coverage and durability.
- Inspect each wall as you work and touch up any thin spots before moving on.
- Allow proper drying time between coats according to manufacturer directions.
- Be extremely careful when using sprayers. It’s easy to apply too much paint too quickly.
Curing Time for Paint on Vinyl Siding
- The curing process allows paint to fully harden on vinyl siding.
- During curing, the paint may feel dry to touch but still be soft underneath.
- Avoid cleaning or pressure washing during the curing period.
- Full curing time depends on weather but is usually 3-7 days.
- Cooler temps, high humidity, or lack of sunshine all slow curing time.
Ongoing Care for Painted Vinyl Siding
To maximize the longevity of painted vinyl siding:
- Allow paint to fully cure before cleaning. Use a soft brush and mild soap.
- Test cleaners on inconspicuous area first. Avoid abrasive tools or intense pressure.
- Inspect siding each season and touch up paint as needed. Spot repaint before damage spreads.
- Plan to repaint entire home every 3-5 years or when paint starts cracking and peeling.
- When time to repaint, clean siding thoroughly and use adhesion promoter again before applying new paint.
Should You Hire a Professional?
Painting vinyl siding is a big project. Hiring professional painters is smart if:
- Your home is two stories or very tall. Safety is a concern.
- Siding is heavily damaged and requires repair expertise.
- You want an impeccable, long-lasting paint job. DIY painting can be tricky.
Look for a company experienced with vinyl siding prep and painting. Get quotes from at least 2-3 painters.
The Bottom Line – Yes, You Can Successfully Paint Vinyl Siding!
While painting vinyl siding requires thorough prep and the right paint products, it can absolutely be done. Follow the tips above to transform the look of your home’s exterior without the expense of full siding replacement. Just be sure to use exterior paint specifically formulated for vinyl.
With proper preparation, application, and maintenance, painted vinyl siding can look fresh and new for years before needing redone. And it allows you to refresh your home’s colors anytime.
The key is starting with clean, damage-free siding, scuffing glossy areas, applying vinyl-adhesion primer, and using quality flexible exterior paint. Patience is also important – allow the paint to fully cure before washing.
So try your hand at DIY painting or hire a pro for an exterior facelift. Either way, painting worn vinyl siding lets you dramatically update the look of your home at a fraction of replacement cost.
Frequently Asked Questions About Painting Vinyl Siding
Many homeowners considering painting their vinyl siding have questions about the process. Here are answers to some of the most common FAQs:
Can you use regular exterior paint on vinyl siding?
It’s best to use 100% acrylic latex paint formulated specifically for vinyl and PVC. The flex agents prevent cracking. Standard exterior paints are prone to chipping, peeling, or fading faster on vinyl.
What kind of primer should be used?
An adhesion-promoting primer made for vinyl is critical to help the paint stick. Many major brands offer vinyl primer options. Backtite and XIM are two popular options.
How long does painted vinyl siding last?
With proper prep and application, painted vinyl siding typically lasts 3-5 years before needing a fresh coat. Harsh weather, sun exposure, and darker colors reduce longevity. Proper maintenance helps maximize durability.
Does painted vinyl siding increase home value?
Painting worn vinyl siding can help boost curb appeal, especially if updating outdated or unpopular colors. Increased appeal typically translates to higher resale value. Just avoid trendy or polarizing colors.
Can vinyl siding be painted with a sprayer?
Yes, but airless sprayers must be used cautiously to avoid applying too much paint. Consider having a professional spray rather than tackling it as a DIY project. Spray painting is tricky for beginners.
What kind of brushes work best for painting siding?
High-quality nylon or polyester bristle brushes around 3-4 inches wide are ideal for cut-ins and edges. Mini rollers with a 1/4″ nap allow you to efficiently roll larger expanses.
How soon can you power wash after painting?
Avoid washing until the paint has fully cured, typically 3-7 days. Power washing too soon can damage the paint job. Test a small area gently before washing the entire surface.
Tips for Painting Your Vinyl Siding
Painting vinyl siding has its challenges, but these pro tips will help ensure success:
- Pick a dry, mild day – Temperature should be between 50-90°F and humidity below 85%. Avoid direct sun exposure.
- Section off the house – Only paint small sections you can complete in a day. Stopping halfway results in visible lap marks.
- Watch the weather – Don’t paint 2-3 days before rain or if temperatures drop significantly at night.
- Overlap strokes – Each brush or roller stroke should overlap the preceding one to create an even coat with no thin spots.
- Work methodically – Complete painting all of the siding on one section before moving to the next. Work top to bottom.
- Inspect as you go – Verify even coverage and touch up thin areas of fresh paint before it dries.
- Allow proper curing time – Vinyl paint needs 3-7 days to fully harden before washing or exposure to rain.
- Use quality brushes and rollers – Durable nylon/polyester brushes and mini rollers designed for smooth surfaces provide the best results.
Follow these pro tips along with the preparation, paint selection, and application steps outlined above, and you can expect excellent results painting your vinyl siding. Just be patient during the process and allow time for proper curing before exposing the surface to the elements. Your freshly painted siding will look revitalized for years to come.
Cost to Paint Vinyl Siding
If hiring a professional contractor to paint your vinyl siding, here are typical price ranges:
- Small home or townhouse (under 1,500 sq ft): $1,000 – $3,000
- Medium sized single-family home (1,500 – 2,500 sq ft): $3,000 – $5,000
- Large 2-story home over 2,500 sq ft: $5,000 – $9,000
- Very large homes, complexes or commercial buildings may exceed $10,000+. Get individual quotes.
Factors impacting total cost:
- Size and height of home exterior
- Amount of prep work needed
- Extensive repairs or replacements
- Amount of accent details or trim
- Choice of paint colors and number of coats
- Professional versus DIY painting
- Contractor’s hourly rate and overall project timeline
Get free quotes from at least 2-3 experienced contractors in your area to compare pricing. Cheaper isn’t always better with complex painting projects.
Protect Your Investment: DIY Vinyl Siding Maintenance
Vinyl siding comes with minimal upkeep – but a little DIY care and maintenance goes a long way towards protecting your investment:
Inspect Annually Look for damage, warp, lose panels, etc. Fix issues promptly before they spread.
Wash with Caution Use a mild soap and soft brush. Avoid intense pressure which can damage siding.
Clear Debris Routinely remove leaves, dirt, spiderwebs to prevent buildup. Clogged weep holes can lead to rot.
Trim back vegetation Keep trees, bushes, and shrubs from rubbing on siding. Prevent moisture issues.
Reseal joints Check caulk and use exterior silicone as needed to seal gaps, joints, around fixtures.
Prevention is the best medicine when it comes to home maintenance. With routine DIY care, vinyl siding can stay pristine and protect your home for decades.
Transform Your Exterior: Creative Paint Ideas for Vinyl Siding
Painting vinyl siding opens up many exciting possibilities for updating your home’s exterior color scheme. Here are some creative ways to use paint to transform the look of your vinyl siding:
Fresh Coat of Color
A simple solid repaint in a modern, popular exterior color instantly rejuvenates your home’s aesthetic. Gray, blue, and green hues are great neutral options.
Paint your siding one color and the trim a complementary tone. For example, neutral siding with vivid crimson window trim. Or vice versa.
Use paint to showcase architectural focal points. Paint a front-facing gable wall or the siding around a patio entranceway a bold accent color.
Experiment with unique faux finishes like sponge painting, color washing or rag painting on vinyl siding to add artistic flair.
Paint creative geometric designs on accent walls or gables. Horizontal and vertical stripes, chevrons patterns, or even morrocan tile motifs work beautifully.
Sage green, sunflower yellow, sky blue – channeling plant-inspired hues is a lovely, natural theme for exterior colors.
With proper preparation and paint application, as well as professional experience for advanced techniques like faux finishes, your vinyl siding offers the perfect blank canvas to unleash your creative ideas.
Resources for Painting Vinyl Siding
Step-by-step instructions plus tips for prepping, painting, and caring for vinyl.
Tricks from the experts at This Old House for top painting results on vinyl siding.
Numerous helpful instructional videos showing the painting process from start to finish.
These informative guides, how-to’s, videos, and manufacturer tips will ensure you get the most out of painting your home’s vinyl siding. Check them out before tackling a vinyl siding painting project.
The Takeaway on Painting Vinyl Siding
Painting tired vinyl siding allows homeowners to refresh the look of their home’s exterior on a budget compared to full siding replacement. With proper surface preparation, using quality exterior paint formulated for vinyl, and professional application or adherence to DIY guidelines, vinyl siding can take on beautiful new color. Proper ongoing maintenance will extend the life and look of your painted vinyl siding for years before needing refreshed. If your vinyl siding is faded or you’re just looking to change the color scheme of your home’s exterior, painting offers an affordable facelift.