Painting Siding: What You Need to Know
Siding is a popular option for homeowners: it’s durable and easy to clean, and it comes in a variety of colors. But what if the color combination you chose a few years ago no longer fits the vision you had for your home? Will you have to buy all new siding— turning a simple style choice into a major investment of time and money? No way. If you get tired of the color of your siding, there’s a simple fix—you just need to paint it. Here’s how.
The best time of the year to paint your siding is when the weather is mild, the humidity is low, and the sun isn’t scorching. This will help your paint adhere to the siding and keep it from bubbling or cracking. If you’ve been wanting to paint your home, fall is a good time to do so. Also, pay attention to the wind forecast, because you don’t want to start painting on a breezy day. Not only could this affect how the goes on, but the wind could blow pieces of dirt or debris onto the wet paint. For those of you who paint your nails, think of it like getting a piece of cotton stuck to your nail, and the imprint that leaves on your fresh paint. When you’re taking the time to paint your home, you want to make sure nothing sticks to the fresh paint on your home.
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Preparing Your Siding For Painting
It’s a cool day without any wind and enough cloud cover that you don’t need to worry about your paint bubbling, and you’re ready to start painting. But first, you need to prepare your siding to be painted by cleaning it. Remove any climbing vines or fallen foliage, and wipe down until the siding is free of any mold, dirt, grease, etc. You can use this effective cleaning solution recipe:
- ⅓ cup of laundry detergent
- ⅔ cup powdered household cleaner
- 1 quart liquid laundry bleach
- 1 gallon of water
Use a soft cloth or bristled brush to make sure you get all the dirt and grime off your home—this step is the difference between a professional siding paint job and one that will need to be re-done in a few years. Rinse thoroughly and then let it dry completely before painting.
Choosing Paint for Siding
Generally, you don’t need to use a primer when painting your siding. However, if your siding has become porous or has little dents, it’s not a bad idea to take that extra step. It will ensure that your paint goes on evenly and extend the lifetime of your paint.
More people are choosing to paint their vinyl siding than replace it, which means there are now more paint options for you to choose from. When looking for a paint to use on your siding, look for paint that is specific to vinyl siding. If you’re unsure, or if the paint doesn’t specify, look for paints that contain acrylic and urethane resins, since those expand and contract at the same level as vinyl—meaning they won’t crack with heat. If you’re still at a loss, talk to someone at your paint shop or a local contractor.
What Color Can I Paint My Siding?
It used to be that you could only choose the same or a lighter shade of paint to cover your siding because darker colors would cause siding to peel or crack. However, thanks to improvements in siding paint, homeowners have a wider variety of colors to choose from. While the color doesn’t matter, the type of paint does. Always make sure your choose paint made for exterior use on your home. Paint formulated for inside the home will not weather well, and you will have to do this all over again before you know it.
Best Tools for Painting Siding
Once you’ve prepared your home for painting and have chosen your color, it’s time to paint! To paint your siding, you can use either a paint roller or a paint sprayer— the best options for covering large areas efficiently. Use a smaller paint brush for detail work and to paint areas your roller or paint sprayer can’t reach, like the corners and edges of your home. Take care to apply the paint evenly across the siding and allow the first coat of paint to dry completely before starting the second one. Remember, it’s best to do multiple thin layers of paint than a couple of thick coats. In most cases, you won’t need a third coat of paint, and after the second coat has been allowed to dry for 24 hours, your project is complete!
Painting siding is a big project, but not impossible—especially since you now know the best paints for siding, as well as how to clean your siding first. If you’re toying with the idea of not cleaning your siding before you paint, I’ll leave you with this: when done properly, your newly painted siding should look fresh for up to 10 years! The extra effort at the beginning is well worth it.