Can You Paint Vinyl Siding?

Peter Chambers

Sep 8, 2022

can you paint vinyl siding

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Once your house has been sitting for a while, be it years or decades, you’re bound to notice that the colors don’t look as fresh anymore. Vinyl siding can get dirty, just like any other type of material, and over time, your bright vinyl siding will dull and fade, leaving you with one question: Can you paint vinyl siding?

The short answer is yes, you can paint vinyl siding. Painting your siding is a great way to breathe fresh life into your home after its initial glory dulls. Still, you have to consider multiple aspects of your house before deciding to paint it. Not all paint works wonders on vinyl siding, and something else could stand in the way of you and a freshly painted home.

Best Paints to Use on Vinyl Siding

Choosing the correct paint is just as important as deciding whether you want to paint your vinyl siding. You must use the right color that will mesh well with your vinyl siding, whatever condition it’s in. If you ignore the sort of paint you use, it may degrade the vinyl. You don’t want anything to potentially hurt your home or create an issue you’ll have to deal with later.

The best kind of paint to use on vinyl siding must be comprised of acrylic resin, which will allow the paint to stick to the vinyl better. It’ll bend and flex with the vinyl as it moves slightly to accommodate the changing outside temperature.

1. Primer

While it’s not the same as paint, you certainly shouldn’t forget to use a primer first, particularly if your siding has flaws in it. Certain primers can help your damaged siding appear more uniform, allowing all the paint to stick to it in an even coat so that it covers any damage. Primer is an excellent idea for all paint jobs if you want your paint to stick and apply smoothly.

2. Made-for-Vinyl Commercial Palettes

Many paint companies boast different palettes of paint specifically made for vinyl siding. For example, Benjamin Moore’s Colors for Vinyl palette is made of fan-favorite colors best suited for vinyl siding. They’re even optimized to stick to the vinyl without issue. Finding the best paint for your house might be as simple as looking into a palette made just for your vinyl siding.

3. Water-Based Paint

Water-based paints are more flexible than their oil-based counterparts. While water-based paints can move and bend as the vinyl needs them to, oil-based paints will likely come out more rigid, unable to keep up with the expansion and shrinking of the vinyl siding depending on the temperature.

Water-based paints also release fewer VOCs, which means you won’t be exposing yourself and others to headaches and potentially lasting damage through inhaling chemicals.

4. Lighter Colors

Paint that is the same color as, or lighter than, your current siding will go best with vinyl. Lighter-colored paint adapts to your siding well, as darker shades can attract more heat. This could cause your vinyl siding to warp when in direct sunlight.

If that isn’t enough to convince you of the importance of using a lighter shade, consider your utility bill. Darker-colored houses attract more heat, which means you’ll be using more electricity to keep your home cool through hot summer days. Choosing lighter-colored paint means catering to your vinyl siding and keeping your utility bill within a reasonable amount.

5. Thinner Paint

Thicker paint might chip off, especially as the vinyl starts to move and expand in the heat. Spraying paint with a dedicated paint sprayer is ideal when painting vinyl siding because it only coats your home with a thin layer.

Two layers of paint should be enough to thoroughly cover your home in a lasting color. Just make sure the paint isn’t thick because it can easily fall off if the weather is too hot or stormy. You can use paintbrushes to touch up any spots you missed after you use thinner paint as a base.

Things to Remember When Painting Vinyl Siding

You can’t paint vinyl siding as you would a wall inside your home. Also, it’s important to know that certain factors may influence how you go about the task of painting, if you choose to paint at all. You have to be cautious about certain things, understand the limits when you own vs. rent your home, and analyze how certain aspects of your home might affect your paint job or vinyl siding experience as a whole.

If you have a warranty on your vinyl siding, look it over. Some warranties may say that they’ll be voided if you paint over the original vinyl siding. You should always check your house’s specific warranty before you choose to put a fresh coat of paint on it.

You should also know that painting vinyl siding will cost you somewhere between $1,700 and $4,300, depending on the size of your house. Choosing to replace vinyl siding would cost at least $5,000. Unless your home desperately needs new siding, offering it a fresh coat of paint might give it the facelift it needs. Similarly, if you think paint will cover numerous signs of damage, you may consider just saving yourself the trouble and getting your vinyl siding replaced.

Weather is also a key factor when you choose to paint your siding. You should paint only when it feels comfortable outside. Painting in the extreme heat won’t help you or your home. If it’s too warm out, you may be painting the siding while it’s expanded.

You should also clean your vinyl before doing anything else. No one wants to paint over the dirt. You can make a homemade solution to wipe away all blemishes on your vinyl siding. After you clean everything, remember to tape off areas you don’t want the paint to touch. Additionally, you should cover windows as best you can. Taking care of your house can also make you feel more intentional about how and what areas you paint.

How Can You Paint Vinyl Siding Right Now?

You can paint vinyl, but you have to be careful about how you do it. Painting vinyl siding is no easy task. Because vinyl is so flexible, you can’t just use run-of-the-mill paint on it. You have to find something specially designed for use on vinyl so it will blend with the siding as it expands in the heat.

It’s best to paint your siding when the weather is comfortable so you get an accurate picture of how your siding will regularly look, not a warped version due to the heat. Painting with the right kind of paint means nothing if you’re not doing it right, on your vinyl siding’s original form.

Treat this paint job like any other by guarding the areas that need special care, like windows, but be warned of anything that may stand in the way of painting your siding, like a warranty that could be voided.

So, can you paint vinyl siding? You absolutely can, but you should consider the multiple factors that go into the painting process and even before. Vinyl siding requires special attention, and as long as you pay attention to the rules and best practices, you’ll give your siding a fresh face and brighten up the entire outside of your home all at once.

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