Vinyl siding offers homeowners valuable advantages over other types of siding, such as low installation cost, durability and minimal maintenance needs. Its reputation for reliability and beauty is well-established among builders, and those reasons are why it is the most used exterior siding material in America.
Vinyl siding comes molded in numerous colors, but if you want to make a change in your siding's color, then painting is a great option. Successful painting requires a few advance preparations as well as choosing the right paint. Here is a guide to painting your vinyl siding.
Tools and materials needed
- Extension ladder or step ladder
- Long-handled bristle brush
- Five-gallon plastic bucket
- Liquid laundry bleach
- Trisodium phosphate (TSP) powder
- Powdered laundry detergent
- Garden hose with spray nozzle
- Exterior spackling
- Putty knife
- Synthetic bristle paint brush assortment (1-inch, 3-inch)
- Lambswool roller covers
- Paint roller with extension handle
- Paint tray for roller
- Exterior latex acrylic paint
Prepare the siding
It's important to take the time to prepare your vinyl siding for painting; dirty or moldy siding will not adhere to the paint, and you will end up wasting time and money when you have to repaint it. In addition, you will want to seal any holes and level dents. Here is how to get the siding ready for paint
1. Eliminate mold and mildew—to get rid of moldy spots, start by pouring a gallon of plain laundry bleach into a five-gallon bucket. Add water to the bleach, and continue filling the bucket until the water/bleach mixture nearly reaches the top.
Soak the head of the long-handled bristle brush in the bucket, and gently scrub the moldy spots until they are saturated. Allow the spots to soak for ten minutes, then rinse them with a garden hose to remove any bleach.
2. Wash dirt and debris from the siding—once you have applied and rinsed away the mold cleaning solution, the next step is to wash the exterior siding to remove accumulated dirt and other debris. Prepare another cleaning solution by mixing one cup of trisodium phosphate (TSP) powder, one-half cup of powdered laundry detergent, and four gallons of warm water in the five-gallon bucket.
Soak the long-handled brush in the solution, and gently scrub the exterior siding. Use a ladder if you can't reach a spot, but be careful to maintain your balance and get help, if needed. Work in small sections, and rinse the solution from the siding with your garden hose before it dries.
3. Repair nail holes and dents—if your siding has any small dents or nail holes, this is an ideal time to repair them. Simply fill the holes with a small amount of exterior spackling and use a putty knife to shape it. Once the spackling dries, use a piece of fine grit sandpaper to remove any excess so it blends into the siding. Wipe away the sanding dust with a damp cloth.
Paint the siding
Once you have cleaned your siding and fixed any dents or holes, then you can begin the process of painting. Below is how to choose an appropriate paint and apply it to your siding:
1. Choose your paint—making a good paint choice requires you to select an appropriate type of paint in the right color. In general, the best paint to use on vinyl siding is latex acrylic; it is durable and it cleans up easily. Most importantly, it won't cause the siding to warp or soften as might some oil-based paints may do.
Another important consideration is color and finish. Vinyl siding is manufactured with specific high temperature limits, and darker colors are designed to absorb more heat energy from the sun without warping. If you choose to paint your existing siding a darker color, then it may not be able to handle the extra heat it will absorb.
That's why you should choose from lighter or identical shades of paint color when making your decision. As for the type of finish, paint with an eggshell or satin finish has superior dirt resistance characteristics; flat paints are not as slippery, and dirt will be more likely to stick to the painted siding.
2. Paint your siding—applying paint to siding is essentially the same as any other exterior painting task. The best time to paint is when the weather is mild and cloudy, though not rainy. Paint using a three-inch brush or lambswool roller; fill-in trim and corner areas with a one-inch brush.
Be careful not to allow paint to run or accumulate behind the siding. If excess paint causes the siding to stick to the underlying housewrap or felt paper, then it will cause buckling and warping when the temperature changes.
3. Let the paint dry—Once you have finished applying paint, allow it to dry for 48 hours and paint an additional coat over any spots that need touching up. Store leftover paint in a dry, cool location so it is available to cover any future scratches or damage done to the finish. For further tips or assistance, contact local companies such as New Jersey Siding & Windows Inc.