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Painting Aluminum Siding: 8 Tips on How to Paint Aluminum Siding

Painting Aluminum Siding: 8 Tips on How to Paint Aluminum Siding

Aluminum siding is a nice alternative to traditional wood siding. It’s easily installed and repaired, and it’s unlikely to peel over time. Unfortunately many older types of aluminum siding do fade, however. This can lead to a chalky residue coming off of the siding and washing onto surrounding areas such as brick or concrete foundations. When this happens, the solution is to paint the aluminum siding just like you would paint a traditional home.

How to Paint Aluminum Siding

Painting aluminum siding is similar to painting any other type of siding in a lot of ways. There are a few differences, however, that need to be considered to ensure you get the job done correctly.

  1. First, determine if your siding is actually aluminum, or if it’s galvanized steel. Many homes may have been sided in steel, which the homeowner believes to be aluminum. To find out, take a magnet and hold it to the side of your home. If it sticks, you have steel siding. In this case, you can only use latex-based paint, not oil-based which should be used over aluminum.
  2. Once you’ve determined that you have aluminum siding, take the time to clean it well. Use a long-handled scrubber to remove any dirt, algae, lichen, or other build up from the planks and allow them to dry completely.
  3. Now take a look at the siding again. Rub your fingers on it and see if the color transfers to your fingers. This is called chalking and it means your siding will need a primer. If you have put latex paint over the aluminum in the past, and it is peeling or flaking, you will need to scrape the peeling paint away before applying new paint.
  4. Sand down the siding with 150 grit sandpaper before you apply the primer or the paint. This will help ensure that the paint adheres better to the siding and that it won’t peel or have other issues in the future. Done correctly, painted aluminum can last for a very long time, so be sure to sand down each plank well.
  5. Apply an oil-based primer to the planks. This is particularly necessary if this is the first time your planks have been painted or if you painted with a latex-based paint in the past without the benefit of an oil primer. Latex reacts badly with the aluminum over time, which can result in damage to the siding or to the paint job.
  6. Allow the primer at least 48 hours to dry, and then apply the paint of your choice. You can use either oil or latex-based paint over the oil primer, keeping in mind that an oil-based paint will last longer and give you a better finish on the aluminum. Remember that if you have galvanized steel planks to use only latex products.
  7. For the best results, use an airless sprayer with a .017 gun tip to apply both the primer and the paint. This will result in the smoothest application of paint to your siding and provide you with the best results.
  8. Let the paint dry for at least 48 hours between coats.

Take Care of Your Aluminum Siding

Painting aluminum siding can help breathe new life into your home’s appearance. Take the time to paint your aluminum siding as needed to help keep your home’s curb appeal in the best condition possible.

 


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