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Can You Paint Vinyl Siding? [And How To]

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Vinyl siding is durable, offering a variety of design options that you can choose from. Vinyl elevates your curb appeal, making your house more inviting at any distance. So, can you paint vinyl siding to blend with your hardscape? How do you do it? We have researched answers to find out.

Vinyl panels can be painted, and they hold paint really well compared to other materials. Use these tips for the best result:

  • Choose a color of your preference
  • Select the right paint ingredients
  • Check for the day’s humidity levels
  • Clean the vinyl panels; scrape loose paint
  • Apply primer on the vinyl surface
  • Coat the panels with paint, and apply a second coating if necessary

There are many things to consider before painting your vinyl siding. Careful planning is necessary to make your exterior look visually pleasing and functional. If you want to learn more about painting vinyl siding, keep reading below.

Green window shutters and white vinyl siding, Can You Paint Vinyl Siding? [And How To]

How To Paint Vinyl Siding

Though it is a popular choice for many homes because of its longevity and durability, vinyl sidings are still prone to fading. Painting your vinyl siding is a great way to make it always look brand new—and it’s not a complicated task to accomplish.

Roller painting a beige wall

If you‘re familiar with painting outdoor projects, you are most likely qualified to paint your siding. You don’t need a specific technique—all you’ll really need to do is make sure the paint adheres to the surface and that you choose the best quality paint for the job.

Vinyl sidings don’t have to be repainted frequently, but you will immediately notice when it needs to. You don’t want your siding to look chalky and inconsistent, so you may need to repaint it every couple of years.

Here is how you can paint your vinyl siding effectively.

Choose A Color Of Your Preference

The task itself is simple, but the planning part is a bit challenging. There are many color options available on the market, and it could be difficult to narrow down your options.

A great rule of thumb is to choose a siding color that matches your roof and exteriors. If your exterior has a bricked section, choose a siding that can complement or balance out its warmth.

Similarly, if you have a cool-neutral color palette, you can choose a hue that’s a shade darker to add depth and dimension to your house.

You also need to consider the weather patterns in your area. Light colors are known to reflect light off from your home, making it ideal for houses in hot and humid areas.

If you live in a cold area, dark-colored siding may suit you better since they absorb heat better.

Select The Right Paint Ingredients

Choosing the right paint also has to do with choosing one with the right ingredients. Vinyl sidings require acrylic paint or paint with urethane resins for them to stick to the vinyl surface.

Check For The Day's Humidity Levels

Of course, you’ll need to choose good weather to paint your house exterior. Check the weather forecast first to make sure all you’ll have are clear skies so your paint job won’t be wasted.

More than the weather pattern, you’ll also need to check the humidity levels for the day. High humidity can cause the paint to flake and crack. It can also adhere poorly since the moisture in the air will slow the paint’s evaporation on the vinyl surface.

There’s also a high chance that the humid air will condense on the surface, ruining the paint job.

However, low humidity levels are just as ineffective for a paint job as high humidity levels. When there’s no vapor in the air, the paint dries faster, making the coat look uneven and splotchy on your siding.

What’s the ideal humidity level for outdoor painting?

Since the paint you’ll be using is acrylic, you’ll need to wait until the humidity level reaches an even 40%-50%. You should put off painting for the day when the temperature reaches above 80F.

Paint normally starts to dry after 4-8 hours. If it starts to rain after that crucial time frame, you don’t have to worry anymore. However, to be sure, try to cover the painted surface with a plastic shade.

Clean And Scrape The Vinyl Surface

Cleaning tan vinyl siding

To ensure an excellent paint job, you need to make sure the surface is clean and dry. You need to remove dirt, debris, paint build-up, and mold so the paint will stick and last a long time.

Though it’s tempting to spray hose water on the surface, that may not be enough. You need to mix a cleaning solution to remove stubborn gunk from your vinyl siding.

You’ll also want to scrape off the loose paint hanging from your siding—a sign of wear and tear.

  • Prepare a putty knife or plastic scraper and place it at a low-laying angle over the loose paint.
  • Gently scrape over the surface, taking care not to scratch it.
  • If the paint is stubborn, weaken it using pressure-washing.
  • Sanding the paint off is also an option; simply use 220-320 grit sandpaper.

Remember that the siding is often a forgotten fixture and probably not cleaned often. So, you’ll need to take off all that months or years’ worth of dirt—which can be challenging.

  • Mix 1/3-cup of laundry detergent and 2/3-cup of powdered all-purpose cleaner.
  • Drop 1-quart of liquid bleach into the solution.
  • Mix everything in 1-gallon of water.
  • Apply the solution on your siding using a soft-bristled brush, taking special notice of hard-to-reach corners.

Apply Primer On The Vinyl Surface

Yellow vinyl siding of a house with white trims

The primer will make the acrylic paint stick better to the surface. It will also make the color more even, making your surface look sleek and polished.

Most vinyl surfaces don’t require a primer, but you should check if your vinyl is pitted or porous. A porous surface needs to be primed first so it won’t suffer water damage.

Siding that has become too aged will also need to be primed since it might have become porous over time because of wear and tear.

Selecting Primer For Vinyl Siding

The Sherwin Williams Extreme Bond primer can be costly, but it is an investment that can make your paint more even and vibrant.

Compared to other primers on the market, these offer a greater level of adhesion to hard-to-paint surfaces like vinyl panels.

A single coat of this primer would be enough to make the paint last a long time. With this primer, you wouldn’t have to heavily sand your vinyl panels—even a simple cleaning with an effective solution will cause the paint to stick.

Coat The Panels With Paint

Once your surface is prepped, it’s time to apply the first coat of paint. The trick is to apply multiple light paints, taking care not to saturate the color on one section.

This method is more forgiving to accidental mistakes than a single heavy stroke of paint.

Let the first coat dry. Usually, this will take 24 hours. After that, you can apply a second coat to make the color more vibrant and clear. Repeat the process until you get the saturation and brightness you prefer.

Read: "Should Trim Be Darker Or Lighter Than Siding?"

How Long Does Vinyl Siding Last?

Brown vinyl siding with black shutters, flowers and a welcome mat

Vinyl sidings typically last anywhere between 20 to 60 years. However, you may need to repaint it every 10 years, since the color will fade around that time.

However, the quality of the paint will also depend on the weather patterns in your area. The aging process might be quicker if your home is constantly exposed to UV rays and if your area doesn’t have trees to shade your exterior.

Read: "Should You Paint Or Replace Siding? [By Type Of Siding]"

How To Maintain Vinyl Siding

Two story mansion with vinyl siding and brown shingle roofing

Since vinyl is generally low maintenance, you don’t need to pay too much attention to it if you’re sure it was painted and installed correctly by an experienced contractor.

However, you can prevent the siding from aging prematurely by thoroughly cleaning it at least twice a year with a mild detergent.

You should also check for holes and warping if you notice your utility bills increasing—it is usually a sign of bad insulation caused by rotting sidings.

Final Thoughts

Green window shutters and white vinyl siding

A polished and beautifully-colored siding will enhance curb appeal and make your home look more attractive and welcoming. Make sure to check its quality every once in a while, not only for aesthetic purposes but also to ensure energy efficiency.

Consult a professional contractor if you’re not confident painting it yourself!