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Can you paint aluminum siding?

Give your aluminum siding new life by fixing, cleaning and painting it. You can do it all by yourself!

When aluminum became more easily available after World War 2, it became a popular material for siding houses. It was used because it provided protection from the weather as well as insulation to properties. Compared to wood siding, aluminum siding barely required any maintenance. However, the popularity of vinyl siding began to wane with the arrival of vinyl siding during the late 1950s.

Even if it isn’t as popular as it used to be, you shouldn’t just go about replacing your aluminium siding. Even if it’s prone to getting dented and its color is prone to fading fast, aluminum is still a top tier insulating barrier that needs very little maintenance.

As long as you’re satisfied with the performance of your aluminum siding, you should just clean, patch and paint it to preserve it.

Repairing your aluminum siding

You may want to replace any part of your aluminum siding that’s been damaged before painting it. To do so, follow these steps:

  • Draw a square around the area of dented or damaged aluminium siding that you’d like to replace.
  • Cut out the square you drew with tin snips and a utility knife.
  • Cut out your replacement patch of aluminium siding and make sure it’s slightly bigger than the damaged piece you cut out (3 inches bigger should be enough).
  • Take your tin snips to remove the nailing strip off the replacement patch.
  • Spread some clear silicone caulk on the back of your replacement patch.
  • Press down firmly on the replacement patch while you’re tucking it’s top behind the row of siding that runs above the area that you’re repairing.
  • Clean up and wipe off any excess silicone while using your finger to smooth out where the the replacement patch meets the original aluminium siding.

Prepping the surface

The old paint on your aluminium siding needs to be scraped off.  Old caulk lines need to be chiseled out and replaced with new ones. You need to scrub away mildew on your aluminium siding. Use a cleaning solution made of 3 parts water and 1 part household bleach. You can remove regular dirt or grime from your siding with a mixture of regular soap and warm water. If you want to make your life easier though, you can use a power washer to do the cleaning. Remove any aluminium oxidation or rust after all the above is done. Rinse the exterior surface of your aluminium siding with a regular garden hose. Let your aluminium siding dry for 3 to 4 days before starting to paint.

Painting your aluminum siding

  • Protect the things around your aluminium siding from paint using painter’s tape and lengths of plastic sheets.
  • To get the best results, use a synthetic polyester paintbrush to apply a coat of galvanized metal etching primer on your aluminium siding. Let the primer cure for a minimum of 4 hours.
  • Start off by using a brush to paint the edges of your aluminium siding using 100% acrylic exterior paint. After painting the edges with a brush, fill your paint tray with a few inches of paint and dip in your roller. Run the roller over the ribbed area of the paint tray multiple times to make sure the paint gets distributed evenly over the roller. Using your paint roller, paint from the left to right if your siding is horizontal. Paint up and down if your siding is vertical. Whether your siding is horizontally or vertically oriented, start painting at the top of the siding and work your way down while smoothing any bumps in the wet paint using a clean paintbrush.
  • Allow the paint to dry for at least 2 hours then add a second coat of paint to get a long-lasting finish.
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