All across the United States, millions of homes are finished with decorative vinyl or aluminum siding. Along with being absolutely gorgeous to look at, one of the biggest benefits of using these alternative substrates is that they are considerably more durable and longer lasting than wood. All of which is precisely why they often tend to go overlooked and are comparatively rarely painted by their respective owners. Nevertheless, both of these substrates can and will chalk over time, not to mention develop mildew and algae.
Long story short therefore – vinyl and aluminum siding needs occasional TLC, just like wood!
A few key considerations to bear in mind:
- It isn’t particularly difficult. In fact, comprehensively cleaning the surface of the siding and preparing it for painting is often as easy as tackling it with a pressure washer. If there’s mildew, simply wash it with a mild bleach solution.
- It pays for itself. Siding that looks absolutely stunning adds the kind of instant ‘curb appeal’ to your home that can translate to higher property values. Whatever you spend on getting your siding prepped and painted, it will no doubt end up paying for itself long-term.
- It’s Fun! Well, perhaps to those who enjoy these kinds of things, but even if the DIY element isn’t your bag, choosing from the thousands of available color options probably will be. Take a picture of your home’s exterior, upload it to your computer and let your imagination run wild until you find something that blows you away.
Contrary to popular belief, weathered aluminum siding represents a great surface for adding a new coat of paint. Even if things have started looking a little on the sorry side, refreshing things with a new coat of paint or perhaps even a new color will always be cheaper, faster and more efficient than replacing the siding.
The only problem with aluminum being that it has a tendency to become extremely chalky over time. For the most part, a good dose of hand-scrubbing or power-washing will get rid of much of the chalk, though probably not all of it. If there is still quite a lot of the stuff left after washing it twice, you can use 100% acrylic primer of the highest possible quality to add a coat once it’s all dry. And if there’s any bare aluminum, you will need to use a latex corrosion-inhibitive primer that’s built for purpose.
As for the paint, you have complete freedom of choice when it comes to color, but should definitely go for a premium quality 100% flat acrylic. The reason being that not only will it look great, but it will also go the distance. While it’s possible to apply the paint using a brush or roller, the quickest, easiest and best results of all can be achieved by way of spray.
People often say that vinyl is final, but this really doesn’t apply when it comes to vinyl siding. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t 100% maintenance-free – at least, not if you want to keep it looking fabulous.
The good news is that vinyl doesn’t tend to take nearly as much preparation as aluminum, given the way in which you will probably not be dealing with nearly as much chalking. As such, just one or two rounds with the power-washer or scrubbing brush should be more than enough. In addition, no priming is required. Just be sure to tackle any mildew with the same diluted bleach solution.
One word of warning when it comes to color – keep things as light and bright as possible. The reason being that with vinyl siding, excessive heat in direct sunlight has a tendency to warp, buckle and generally make a mess of the material. Lighter colors can help ensure that the maximum amount of sunlight is reflected – darker colors doing the opposite. Which is precisely why it is comparatively rare to come across any vinyl siding in darker colors.
Ask the Experts
Here at Homm CPS, we offer a comprehensive range of interior and exterior home painting services – including vinyl and aluminum siding. For more information on how to get the job done properly or to arrange a quotation, get in touch with the Homm CPS customer service team today.