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How To Paint Aluminum Siding?

Aluminum is a very popular siding material as it is very durable, even in extreme weather conditions, and has very few requirements by way of maintenance.

With any material, wear and tear is inevitable even if it has outstanding durability like Aluminum. 

How to Paint Aluminum Siding

Don’t worry. All you need to sort out your peeling paint is some basic supplies and a little bit of work. In next to no time, this seemingly daunting task will be completed.

If you are a first-time painter or a seasoned pro looking for more information, use this quick guide to make painting easy.

Quick Guide

Here are some quick instructions to get you started.

  1. Prepare the siding by scraping off the old paint and then cleaning off any mildew.
  2. Evenly paint on your first coat of primer.
  3. Wait a few hours then apply your second coat.
  4. Use even brush strokes to paint the siding.
  5. Apply a second coat once the first has dried.
  6. Check your painting after the paint has dried. Paint again if necessary.

Preparing the siding properly ensures that the paint will sit properly on the aluminum siding and will last longer. First, use a paint scraper tool and remove all the old paint.

To clean the siding of noticeable grime, use a combination of one part bleach to ten parts water. You could also use a power washer if this is easier.

Lastly, you need to sand the aluminum siding. It is generally recommended to use a power sander with 80 grit sandpaper followed by a 220 grit sandpaper.

The easiest way to apply primer is with a paint roller. Be sure to roll over each stroke twice for even coverage.

This stage does not have to be perfect – manage time wisely and aim for covering a square foot in a few seconds. 

A second coat of primer needs to be applied once the first has dried. Drying will take around four hours but can vary depending on the weather conditions so plan accordingly.

Now you can actually paint your aluminum siding. Use even and long brush strokes from top to bottom to get a good finish.

An excellent finish can be achieved by painting in the same direction as the siding – if the siding is vertical paint up and down, if it is horizontal paint from left to right or right to left.

If you can see lines in the paint after you apply you are going too slowly and need to pick up the pace a little.

You need to wait a couple of hours to apply the second coat but check the manufacturer’s instructions to be sure. The purpose of this coat is to get rid of any mistakes from the first coat.

Be sure to sand away any bumps and paint over any streaky areas to get the best finish.

Let the paint dry and then come back and check your siding. Carefully look for any places the paint isn’t uniform or for any bumps and drips and correct them now.

You can repaint the siding if you can still see any of the aluminum underneath. Be sure the paint is dry when you do this or you won’t get an accurate idea of the final finish.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Paint Aluminum Sidings

What Products Do I Need?

Essentials:

  • Oil-based primers will seal the porous surface and make the paint go on and stay on better.
  • Acrylic exterior paint is most commonly recommended as it sticks well to vinyl surfaces. Stick to lighter colors as dark hues will absorb heat and keep your building too warm.
  • Synthetic fiber brushes are needed as these are the only option to use when painting with acrylics.
  • Lambswool rollers will make painting quicker than using brushes alone.

Optional But Makes Things Easier:

  • A ladder will help you safely get to all areas of the aluminum siding.
  • Plastic paint buckets are a good idea if you are going to be going up a ladder as they can be hung off the handle.
  • Plastic paint trays are vital if you opt to paint with rollers.
  • Coverings are recommended to help keep the area around the aluminum siding clean.

How Long Will The Paint Last?

Realistically you can expect to paint your aluminum siding every five to ten years to keep it looking its best. 

What Sort Of Paint Do I Need?

The best type of paint to use is exterior acrylic latex paint for aluminum sidings. A matte or satin finish that is a similar color to the paint currently on the siding will give the best results.

Be aware that any glossy finishes will make any flaws or inconsistencies much more noticeable so avoid these where possible.

How Much Paint Do I Need?

You need to calculate the total square footage of the area you are going to paint. Take off 20 sq ft for every door and 15 sq ft for every window for a more accurate estimate.

A gallon of paint will cover around 400 sq ft – be sure to purchase enough paint and primer to do two coats of each.

How Long Does It Take To Paint Aluminum Siding?

This will depend on the size of the aluminum siding you want to paint.

If you are painting a single-story home, you can aim to spend a whole day preparing the siding, another applying all the coats of primer, and a final day painting the coats of paint.

Try to avoid painting on days that are too cold as most paints will not dry properly if the temperature is under 60°F (15°C), and save this project for days that are not wet.

Pro Tips

Save this job for a day where the weather is dry but mild to prevent rain, dust, and general debris from getting in the way of your work and ruining the final look of the siding.

When painting with primer or paint, always work in the same direction.

By sticking to working from left to right or vice versa, you are maximizing the available drying time and you will find you can work more efficiently.

Buy more paint than you think you need! Any extra paint can be used for an extra coat or final touch-ups to get the best finish.

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About Lisa Bohrer

Lisa is a native Texan who says she wears many hats. She is a wife, mother, grandmother, farmer, animal lover, fisherwoman, gardener, and college student. Lisa is a sophomore at Liberty University where she is taking classes to earn her Associates Degree in Creative Writing. She and her husband of 35 years fill their days with life on the farm raising goats and chickens, and then most evenings she can be found at the computer writing, or researching a topic that has piqued her interest.

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