Painting an Aluminum Siding – How To
Aluminum siding is available in a wide range of factory painted colors which last for many years. However, the “self cleaning” property of the factory coating makes the paint gradually wear out. The paint starts turning into powder which slowly washes off the surface, leaving the metal base exposed. Although, there is no need to replace the aluminum siding of your house every time its paint-job gets faded. There are many cost friendly ways of re-painting your aluminum siding. Painting an aluminum siding is not very difficult. Find out in the article how you can do it yourself.
What You Will Need For Painting an Aluminum Siding
You will need the following things for painting your aluminum siding:
- A pair of gloves
- A strong cleaner
- Chlorine bleach
- Mildewcide (if mildew is affecting your siding)
- Lead-test kit
- Clean water
- Silicone caulking or auto-body filler
- A brush, spray or roller for painting
- Oil based primer
- Mildew-resistant exterior paint of the color of your choice
- A suitable odor absorbent
Pre-painting Preparations of Aluminum Siding
There are some important pre-painting measures to be taken to make the paint-job as long-lasting as possible.
- The first and most important step is to scrub and remove the powdery paint pigments that covers the surface of the aluminum siding. Otherwise the new paint will not adhere well.
- The best method of getting rid of the chalked paint is by pressure washing.
- However, it is difficult to deal with pressure washing instruments such as Pressure washer hoses and guns. So, you can use a strong cleaner and a good scrubber as an alternative.
- You can also hire a professional who can take care of the powdering paint using pressure wash.
- Care should be taken not to hit water under the aluminum siding.
- For hand scrubbing, prepare a cleaning solution by mixing 1 cup chlorine bleach and 1 cup of a strong cleaner in a gallon of water.
- You can add some mildewcide to this solution in case the siding is affected by mildew.
- Wear protective gloves and scrub the surface with an abrasive sponge soaked in the cleaning solution.
- Scrubbing should be done properly so that no paint pigment is left clinging to the surface.
- Before using water to clean the siding, use a lead-test kit to check if the old siding paint contained lead.
- You should immediately contact a certified lead abatement specialist in case lead is present.
- Once the lead has been taken care of, wash the siding with clean water using a garden hose.
- It is a good idea to cover the adjacent shrubs and ground with drop-cloths so that they do not get polluted by the paint pigments.
- Rinse the siding properly so that there are no paint pigment or detergent residues stuck to it.
Filling Holes and Dents
- It is best to use paintable silicone caulking to fill small gaps and holes in your aluminum siding.
- You can use auto-body filler for filling larger dents and holes.
- Covering these holes with aluminum patches is another useful way of getting rid of them.
How to paint an Aluminum Siding
Now that you have completed all the pre-painting steps, it is time to start painting your aluminum siding. Follow the steps given below to paint the siding:
Using a Primer
- A primer coat needs to be applied to the aluminum siding unless it is in a very good condition.
- A proper primer helps the paint to adhere properly to the siding.
- Oil based primers are preferred over latex primers because of the ammonia content of the latter. This ammonia eventually reacts with aluminum and forms small gas bubbles which ruin the paint.
- You can dilute the primer according to your requirements using appropriate mineral spirits.
- It is best to use acrylic mildew-resistant exterior paint. This paint stays for longer duration and increases longevity of the siding.
- You can also apply an odor absorbent to protect your siding from various odors.
- Choosing a light color will increase the siding’s resistance against direct sunlight.
- Light colors can also reduce your cooling costs during summer by keeping the aluminum siding relatively cool.
- You can use a brush, roller or spray for painting the siding.
- While using a spray, you should employ tape and masking paper for protecting windows doors and any other object that is not being painted.
- If intending to use a brush or roller, you should get the best affordable quality as it keeps the painting procedure clean and quick, giving an even finish to the coating.
- You should always start painting from the uppermost parts of your siding, working your way downwards.
- You can use blue painter’s tape for protecting trims. Remove it as soon as you finish painting so it does not leave any unwanted marks.
- Applying two coats of the paint provides the best finish. You should let the first coat dry before applying the second coat.
- Sanding the siding surface before applying the final coat makes the finish smoother.
- Try to avoid painting the siding in hot sun as it makes the aluminum get hot and gum up the paint making the finish uneven.
- You can use a quality paint conditioner for improving its final appearance.
- Let the paint dry properly.
Aluminum Siding Maintenance
The strength and durability of aluminum siding makes it one of the best siding options. It also requires very low maintenance. However, a regular, minor care check will increase its permanence.
- Look for any scratch marks and take care of it in an initial stage as scratches are the main weak spots of aluminum siding.
- Washing your siding regularly also helps with its maintenance.
Just remember that taking care of problems earlier can save you lots of hard work and possibly plenty of money. Now you have learned how to avoid spending a large sum of money to restore the aluminum siding of your house. Re-painting is not only a cost effective and simple way of repairing your siding but the whole job can be a fun experience. If you have any more ideas about painting aluminum siding, please share them with us.