While everyone knows that home ownership and renovation projects go hand in hand, keeping track of all your home improvement needs can be stressful and overwhelming. Caring for and maintaining the exterior of your home is one of the largest jobs—and arguably most important—for homeowners to keep up with. Depending on your siding type, regular maintenance jobs like cleaning, painting, and refinishing are essentials that will help keep your siding looking its very best. If you’re wondering whether your siding needs regular repainting, then look no further. We’ve made a list of some of the most common types of exterior siding and their painting requirements, as well as a few tips to help you get the job done.
Wood siding is one of the most attractive choices for the exterior of your home. However, it can also be one of the most high maintenance. Because of the malleable properties of wood, this kind of siding needs to be painted or stained regularly to keep it in tip-top shape. Your best bet is to repaint or stain your wood sided house around every five years—or even sooner if your exterior is showing signs of increased wear.
Wood that is exposed to fluctuations in temperature and high levels of precipitation will expand and contract over time, so after a few years, the elements take their toll and the painting on your wood siding will begin to chip and fray. For this reason, choosing a paint or stain that will move with the material is essential if you want to complete this task to the highest standard possible. With any luck, a quality wood paint or stain will give you more time between repainting jobs and keep your siding as good as new.
Technically speaking, vinyl siding should never need to be painted, since it can be purchased in a wide variety of colors and textures to begin with. However, over time your vinyl siding can fade and discolor from exposure to the elements—including sun, wind, rain, and snow. If this happens, painting your vinyl siding is one repair option, but some homeowners weigh up the costs and potential risks of repainting and choose simply to replace faded and damaged portions of siding instead.
If you opt to repaint your vinyl siding, be sure to choose a vinyl-safe paint and follow all instructions to the letter when applying the paint so as not to further damage your siding. Here are some helpful and informative instructions for the process of painting vinyl siding, including thoroughly cleaning the surface before painting and applying at least two coats of paint for best results. Before making your paint purchase, just remember that some paints will simply not adhere to the vinyl siding so choose a latex urethane paint specifically made for home exteriors. We also recommend performing a spot test first to double check that you’re happy with the color and application of your chosen paint.
Aluminum siding is durable and relatively low maintenance, but there is one characteristic of aluminum that could make you consider painting it after a few years. Because the paint on aluminum siding is more or less baked on as it dries, it will become chalky and faded over time. If your aluminum siding is showing these kinds of wear and you want to freshen it up, painting is a much cheaper and less labor-intensive alternative to replacing either part or all of your exterior.
As with vinyl siding, it is essential to select the right kind of paint to do the job on your aluminum siding. But before you start painting, it is just as important that you follow the instructions for prepping your exterior. It’s recommended that you thoroughly clean your siding (ideally with a power washer), let it dry completely, and sand or scrape away any old paint remnants before repainting the aluminum sheets. Finally, the two- part painting process can begin: first, use an oil-based primer to create a barrier between the aluminum and the top layer of paint, and second, apply a suitable acrylic for the topcoat.
It is true that repainting the exterior of your home is a large-scale home improvement project that will take a significant amount of time and elbow grease. However, knowing that you can repaint a variety of siding materials in a straightforward manner should make this job a little less intimidating. Now that you know why, when, and how you should repaint your siding, the only thing left to do is get to work!