Replacing vinyl siding is a very costly aspect of house maintenance for a homeowner so of course, we want a better way of keeping the outside of our homes tidy and protected. One way homeowners, like yourself, can save some money is by painting vinyl siding instead of replacing it, but is it really cost-effective, or even possible to do?
Property owners can absolutely paint vinyl siding as a normally cheaper alternative to replacing the siding and as a regular form of maintenance to existing siding. When painting, homeowners should use acrylic and/or latex urethane-based paints, not water-based paints, because water-based won’t stick to vinyl or be durable against the elements.
If you would like to learn more about painting vinyl siding, and what it would take to make it work well, then please read the information below.
Can You Paint Vinyl Siding and How Long Does it Last?
Experts from professional companies in the siding or paint industries such as Sherlin Williams or T-N-T Home Improvements will tell you that, yes, you can paint your vinyl siding. There are a few factors that will help you determine whether or not it would be a good decision for your house, but commonly, repainting vinyl siding is actually part of recommended regular maintenance for vinyl siding.
Vinyl siding normally lasts for 30 years before any serious work has to be done to it to maintain it or replace it. Once you have repainted the siding, you can expect the paint to last anywhere from 5-10 years before it’s time to repaint again, based on the quality of your vinyl siding and the severity of the weather in your area.
What’s the Best Paint for Vinyl Siding?
When it’s time to paint your vinyl siding, you need to use “vinyl safe” paints. The best vinyl-safe paint to use is exterior acrylic latex paint, made with latex urethane and acrylic resins for its stretch and durability. Paints that are acrylic-based tend to stick to vinyl the best because it will expand or shrink according to the weather just like the plastic siding will, while latex urethane both stretches and is chip-resistant, acting as a shield for the paint.
If you can, try to find the color you want with a satin finish instead of matte or high gloss. This is because satin mimics the original finish that vinyl siding comes with the best. Of course, if you don’t want to replicate the original vinyl finish, the other finishes should adhere to the siding just as well.
Lastly, try to design your home in a similar or lighter color, NOT a darker one. We’ll flesh out the reason for this in the cons of painting vinyl siding, but for now, I’ll just say you will likely only do more damage to your siding than if you left it alone.
Does Vinyl Siding Need to be Primed Before Painting?
The reasons for using paint primer, especially on plastic surfaces, are
- To cover a dark color if you intend to replace it with a lighter one. This saves you time and money, sparing you from having to apply coat after coat of the actual paint color you wanted.
- To cover stubborn imperfections like mildew stains or permanent markers that tend to show through the paint.
- To smooth out porous surfaces for a smoother finish
- To help the paint you use to bind to the painted surface better. It would be devastating to put in all the time, energy, and money into painting your whole house, only to see the paint chipping away in a few weeks.
Primer isn’t a requirement when painting vinyl siding, but if your siding is quite old and has divots, pits, and has become porous because the original finish is long gone, primer is just the thing to smooth out the surface.
Also, because vinyl is plastic, priming is a wise thing to do to make sure the paint you use sticks to the vinyl. While priming isn’t entirely necessary, washing the siding thoroughly IS, so keep that in mind.
What are the Cons of Painting Vinyl Siding?
If you have a warranty on your siding, read it again carefully. Many warranties won’t allow you to repaint your vinyl and keep the warranty because it would violate their rules on maintaining the siding. Manufacturers will also commonly have certain stipulations about redesigning vinyl siding, such as what kind of paint you can use, and even what color you can paint it. Do you live in a suburban neighborhood? You’d better double-check the Homeowners Association (HOA) to see what colors and materials they allow you to use, as well.
If your current siding is old and extremely worn out, it won’t do you any good to try to repaint it because there comes a point when the paint just won’t stick to the vinyl. I would say after 20 years vinyl should just be replaced.
If you live in an area that frequently has harsh weather conditions, such as many areas of the east coast, your siding will inevitably endure much more severe damage, to the point where repainting won’t improve the damage or extend the life of the siding.
The next con is that you don’t have the choice of every color when you repaint. Vinyl is plastic and dark colors absorb much more heat than light colors, so if you choose a color that is very dark, you may overheat the plastic beyond its limit and cause the siding to warp noticeably in places.
Finally, we must acknowledge the fact that painting is a much more temporary solution than a full replacement, especially if you have thin, lower-grade vinyl siding. You will absolutely extend the life of your vinyl if you use the right paint, but if repainting will only give you a few more years before you have to repaint it again or replace it, or if repainting is almost as costly for you as replacing the vinyl, it would be better to replace it the first time.
How to Fix the Problems With Vinyl Siding
Quite honestly, most of the cons associated with vinyl siding come from poor quality. That’s why it’s a good idea to ask for help from experts, like my team at T-N-T Home improvements, who can give you advice for your home improvement project. Or, even better, we can install quality siding for you. Why should you call my team?
Because we can solve ALL the common problems with vinyl. Without being too proud, our siding services are second to none as we have the best siding contractors, and our obsession with quality is dynamite. You can be assured that we will install a vinyl that resists extreme weather, exterior damage, and will stand the test of time.
This way, you don’t have to invest in a more expensive material and you don’t have to worry about costly maintenance or repairs. There’s no risk in calling us either because we offer free estimates.
In short, painting vinyl siding is a very practical thing to do to maintain it and protect it against the sun and the elements, to an extent. If you don’t use quality siding the first time you are doomed to spend time, money, and effort on frequent maintenance and repairs. Don’t accidentally install a money pit, let us help! If you are located in the Northern Colorado/ Southern Wyoming area, you can give us a call today at 970-663-2868 or visit our siding services page and fill out the contact form to make an appointment.