The Proper Way to Paint Vinyl Siding

Copyright (c) 2012 Evans Painting

As a professional painting contractor, one question that I am asked very often is can you paint vinyl siding. Yes you can paint vinyl siding but the secret to sucessfully painting vinyl siding as with any other surface is in the proper preperation.

Prior to you begining to prep or painting vinyl siding you need to select your paint. Deciding what is the right kind of paint for vinyl siding is no different than for other types of surfaces. Vinyl siding expands and contracts greatly, which can lead to cracking and peeling. To prevent this from occuring, use a water-based urethane paint with high-grade acrylic resins, which have superior adhesive qualities.

I recommend using a paint color that is similar to the paint color which is on your siding now. Darker colors are not a good idea because they absorb more heat. Since vinyl naturally absorbs heat, a darker paint color will make it harder for the paint to adhere properly.

I always begin by cleaning the surface using a pressure washer. If you use a pressure sprayer, be certain that you spray the water in a downward direction, since siding is designed to shed water downward. Spraying upward from the ground may possibly allow the water to get behind the siding which could result in the siding being full of water, taking several days to completely dry out. It is best if you can use a pressure washer which has a chemical injector so that you can start out by applying a good detergent which will help in removing all dirt or mildew. I recommend using a cleaning product called Trisodium Phosphate which is readily available at most paint or hardware stores. Once you have applied the Trisodium Phosphate to the siding, you can then pressure wash the siding, being careful not to use too much pressure which could damage the siding.

Once the vinyl siding is completley dry, you can now apply your paint by hand or using an airless sprayer. A brush will not apply paint as smoothly as an airless spray. Brushes are best for other types of surfaces but can be used if you do not have access to a sprayer. If you do not own an airless sprayer you can rent one locally at a tool rental supplier or one of the large home improvement centers. Hold the nozzle of the sprayer approximately 6 inches away from the vinyl siding. The nozzle should be perpendicular to the siding. Use short, narrow sprays of paint to paint the siding. Work side to side, not up and down. Allow the paint to dry before trying to apply additional coats.

A few additonal tips to help you acheive a great finish are never paint in direct sunlight. It is always best to paint on cooler, slightly overcast days when there is no rain in the forecast. Also, when you begin painting an area, start at the top and work your way down. If you decide to use a brush instead of an airless sprayer to apply the paint, purchase a good, quality 3 inch brush before you begin. The cheaper brushes do not hold as much paint and will not apply paint as well as a quality brush will.

Painting vinyl siding is not much different from painting any other type of siding, just take your time and use the right paint and the methods I have outlined in this article and you when you are done you should have a beautiful new finish.


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