Can You Paint Over Vinyl Siding?

Contrary to what some homeowners often believe, there is no reason for you not to paint vinyl siding if in doing so you can improve its appearance. Although this type of siding does most often expand and contract more than other types of siding, it does not mean that the paint you may apply is destined to crack or peel with this expanding and contracting. There are several keys to successfully painting this type of surface. You will find these keys below.

Choice of Paint

Two factors will affect the durability of the paint you apply to vinyl siding: elasticity and color. To prevent the paint from peeling and cracking when the vinyl surface expands and contracts be sure the paint you choose contains both urethane and acrylic resins. The second important factor is paint color. Painting your vinyl siding with a darker color will increase the chances of cracking and peeling. Dark paint absorbs heat more readily than a lighter color. This added heat will increase expansion of not only your paint but the surface the paint covers.

Cleaning and Adhesion  

If you want your new vinyl siding paint to adhere, the surface must be clean. Because when dirt particles and debris mix with the paint, they weaken the paint's ability to adhere. Even a rinsing from a garden hose will remove much of the dust and dirt you could otherwise find on the surface of your siding. Better yet, a pressure washer will remove dirt that a garden hose is unable to remove. A third option is to use a cleaner attachment to your garden hose. Regardless of cleaning method the surface must be completely dry before applying paint. Allow about four days for it to thoroughly dry.

Paint Application

When the siding is completely dry stir the paint to make sure it is completely mixed. Then as you apply it, use only small amounts from your paint tray. This will help keep the paint from drying and developing a "skin" that will fail to mix with the applied paint and will form lumps on your painted surface. In applying the paint, beginning in a bottom corner and working your way upward and toward the middle of the surface you're painting will produce better coverage. If you're using a brush, be sure your brush strokes are made in the same direction as the siding grain. When finished, inspect your painted surfaces for thin or missed spots. If you allow the paint to dry completely, then apply a second coat, using the same procedures as with the first coat, you will be assured of getting a better and longer-lasting coverage.