can you paint vinyl siding header

Can You Paint Vinyl Siding?

Homeowners choose vinyl siding for the exterior of their homes because it is a durable option that requires less maintenance than others on the market.  It’s also less expensive (typically) than brick, cedar shake, and other forms exterior siding. 

But what happens when your vinyl siding starts to look tired?  If the pre-existing color is no longer vibrant, or perhaps you no longer like the color the previous homeowner chose, then consider sprucing up your home’s curb appeal by painting your vinyl siding.  Yes, vinyl siding can be painted.  It’s not something that’s widely discussed, but we assure you that it can be done.

With the right paint, and maybe even a new color, your home can have that new look that a fresh vinyl siding installation brings at a fraction of the cost. Let’s discuss your options and the steps to get there.  

Check Your Warranty

Homeowners choose vinyl siding for the exterior of their homes because it is a durable option that requires less maintenance than others on the market.  It’s also less expensive (typically) than brick, cedar shake, and other forms exterior siding. 

But what happens when your vinyl siding starts to look tired?  If the pre-existing color is no longer vibrant, or perhaps you no longer like the color the previous homeowner chose, then consider sprucing up your home’s curb appeal by painting your vinyl siding.  Yes, vinyl siding can be painted.  It’s not something that’s widely discussed, but we assure you that it can be done.

With the right paint, and maybe even a new color, your home can have that new look that a fresh vinyl siding installation brings at a fraction of the cost. Let’s discuss your options and the steps to get there.  

Pre-Inspection

You need to take the proper time to inspect your home for damage, grime, mildew, mold, pests, and any other potential roadblocks in your DIY home improvement project. As a homeowner, you will want to address any damage that you find as your siding is your defense against the elements.  It’s also your defense against storms and other adverse weather conditions, as well as debris and rocks kicked up from your summer afternoons spent mowing lawns.  Also, look for any spots where insulation may be exposed and remediate the area.

Professional paint companies will also take an assessment of the current state of your home’s exterior prior to starting the job, should you decide to hire one for your new paint job.

Equipment, Materials, and Tools Needed

The most important step in any DIY project, whether it’s a roofing project or a new exterior coat of paint, is to gather the right equipment and materials before you get started.  Visiting your local Sherwin-Williams or Benjamin Moore will help you select the right type of paint for the job.  Or, take a stroll down the exterior paint aisle of your local Home Depot while you’re picking up some cleaning solution or a pressure washer.

  • A Gallon of Water
  • All-Purpose Cleaner
  • Bleach (Optional)
  • Bucket
  • Drop Cloth
  • Garden hose
  • Ladder
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Paint Brushes
  • Paint Roller
  • Paint Sprayer (Optional)
  • Painter’s Tape/Masking Paper/Plastic Sheeting
  • Primer (Optional)
  • Rags
  • Spray Nozzle
  • Scrub brush
  • Vinyl-Safe Paint

How to Choose a Color

Every siding material bonds with paint differently.  Vinyl siding is no exception.  Here are a few tips when it comes to finding the right exterior paint color.

1.  Buy vinyl siding paint.  Yes, companies such as Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams offer vinyl siding paint options due to improvements in the technology.  Benjamin Moore’s Colors For Vinyl palette is made up of premium exterior latex urethane paints.

2.  Beware of dark colors.  Dark colors absorb more sunlight and thus more heat than their lighter counterparts.  A good rule of thumb when choosing a siding color is to pick one that is the same color or lighter so that the vinyl won’t bend or warp in unforeseen ways.  We should mention that this depends on the quality of paint that you choose, as Sherwin Williams VinylSafe® line of paint colors offers a, “limited selection of darker colors formulated to resist warping or buckling when applied to a sound, stable vinyl substrate.”  Once again, improvements in paint technology.

3.  Take the time to choose the right color.  A fresh coat of paint can make your home really pop.  The fresh new visual appearance is quite rewarding if this is a DIY project.  However, unless you want to repaint your home in a year or two, take a moment to be sure that the color you chose is one you can live with for the next 5-10 years.  

Steps to Painting Vinyl Siding

 Gather all tools and materials

1. Gather all tools and materials

2. Fix up any openings and insulation issues you discovered in the inspection

3. Wash your vinyl siding using a cleaning solution made of water, bleach, detergent and general cleaner.  Get rid of as much dirt, grime, mildew and mold as possible.

4. Let it dry first.  Don’t start painting yet.

5. Mask/tape up anything that you don’t want to cover in paint.  

6. Paint your first coat using a vinyl safe paint.  Let it dry.

7. Paint a second coat.  Let that dry as well.

8. Remove the masking tape.

9. Drink a glass of lemonade and sit back admiring your job.  You’ve earned it.

FAQs for Painting Vinyl Siding

How long will the paint last?

Vinyl siding can last up to 20 years, sometimes even longer.  You can paint vinyl siding every 3-5 years, pending you properly prep the exterior of your home and it has not suffered any structural damage.

How much does it cost to paint?

Painting vinyl is a cheaper option than installing new siding.  The actual cost of the paint job greatly depends on your home’s physical location and size, as well as the contours of your home, the integrity of the structure and the current state of your vinyl siding.  

According to LawnStarter, the typical range in cost for brand new vinyl siding is between $4,999 to $16,836, once again, depending on all characteristics of your home’s quality, location and market.

It’s best to sit down and factor in all of your costs, including materials, tools, and maybe most importantly, your time, when it comes to making a decision about a capital project for your home.

Should you wash the vinyl siding prior to painting?

Yes, you should wash the vinyl siding prior to painting.  In fact, vinyl siding should be regularly washed in order to maintain its quality and integrity.  Dirt, mildew and mold have a tendency to build up if your home’s exterior is not properly washed.

Can you pressure wash vinyl siding?

Yes, you can pressure wash vinyl siding.  However, it’s best to know what to watch out for if you’re going to be power washing your home, as carelessness can cause significant damage, and all of that money you’re saving by painting your siding will be taken up by repairs.  

1. First, the Pre-Inspection we mentioned earlier is a necessity when it comes to power washing.  If you start spraying damaged siding, you’re liable to damage it further, oftentimes resulting in water soaking the wood behind the siding.  

2. Second, understand your pressure-levels and the nozzle you are choosing to use.  Always start further back and work your way in toward your house.  

3. Third, be extra careful around windows, doors, and other entryways to your home.

4. Lastly, be cognizant of all exterior sockets, HVAC systems, generator outlets, and other sources of electricity when power washing.

Which color(s) should I choose?

A color that you’re happy with is the best place to start.  However, we discussed prior, you will want to choose a vinyl siding paint from reputable paint companies that offer the highest quality products. For example, a paint such as BEHR’s ULTRA® Exterior Satin Enamel is built for exterior house painting materials ranging from vinyl to stucco to aluminum. 

If you’re truly unsure, remember this: use a paint color that is equal to or lighter than the current color of your home’s exterior.

Should you use primer on vinyl siding?

There is some debate toward using a primer on your new paint job.  Some professionals argue that using a primer for adhesion before painting with a 100% acrylic paint works the best.  Some exterior paints have primer built right in.  And some professionals argue that a primer is unnecessary.  

Bob Vila is a name in home improvement that you can trust, and Bob Vila suggests that, “before applying the chosen color, primer may be needed. Primer is recommended to make sure the finished paint job is consistent and has good adhesion. It may not be necessary if the original color hasn’t completely or partially worn away.”

How much paint do I need?

Fixr, a home improvement website dedicated known for their Home Improvement Cost Guides, states that, “On average, a gallon of paint covers between 250 and 400 square feet with one coat.”

Ok, you’re going to have to take some measurements of your home and do some math for your DIY project.  If math isn’t your thing, ask a friend who has painted their house before, they may be able to help.  Or, you can use Lowe’s handy siding calculator – https://www.lowes.com/n/calculators/siding-calculator

Once you’ve established the total square footage you want to paint, bring that number to your local paint store, large retailer, or online outlet to order your paint.  Don’t forget to include enough for a second coat.

Can you spray paint vinyl siding?

Yes, using a paint sprayer is a good way to apply a first coat, as well as a second coat of paint to your vinyl siding.  This method won’t leave and marks from a paint roller or brush strokes behind that you may have to touch-up afterward.  If you’re brand new to using a paint sprayer, practice on some scrap wood ahead of time to get a feel for it.  You’ll thank us later if you do.

When spray painting, make sure to prep the area well by marking off any material that you do not want any paint touching – such as bricks, stucco, or roofing – Canoni Roofing reports seeing overspray on roofing from poorly prepping the area ahead of spray painting vinyl siding.

What time of year should you paint vinyl siding?

According to Benjamin Moore, you should not apply paint when, “air and surface temperatures are below 40°F (4.4°C).”  That said, the surface that you are painting, the vinyl siding, should be relatively cool to the touch when you apply the paint via sprayer, roller or brush.  So, don’t paint in direct sunlight either.

Given the 40°F suggestion, it’s best to choose a day, and season for that matter, when the outside temperatures range between 50°F – 70°F if you can help it.

Wrapping Up

According to Benjamin Moore, you should not apply paint when, “air and surface temperatures are below 40°F (4.4°C).”  That said, the surface that you are painting, the vinyl siding, should be relatively cool to the touch when you apply the paint via sprayer, roller or brush.  So, don’t paint in direct sunlight either.

Given the 40°F suggestion, it’s best to choose a day, and season for that matter, when the outside temperatures range between 50°F – 70°F if you can help it.

Article Sources

  • https://www.vinylsiding.org/installation/installation-manual/getting-started/
  • https://www.vinylsiding.org/why-vinyl/cleaning-and-maintenance/
  • https://www.bobvila.com/articles/vinyl-siding-cost/
  • https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/painting/paint-a-home-exterior/
  • https://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/color-overview/find-your-color/color-collections/vinyl/colors-for-vinyl
  • https://www.sherwin-williams.com/homeowners/color/find-and-explore-colors/paint-colors-by-collection/vinylsafe-colors-for-vinyl-siding
  • https://www.behr.com/consumer/products/exterior-paint-and-primer/behr-ultra-exterior/behr-ultra-satin-enamel
  • https://www.bobvila.com/articles/how-to-paint-vinyl-siding/
  • https://www.angi.com/articles/can-you-paint-vinyl-siding.htm
  • https://www.lawnstarter.com/blog/cost/vinyl-siding-price/
  • https://www.fixr.com/costs/paint-vinyl-siding
  • https://www.bobvila.com/articles/how-to-clean-vinyl-siding/

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Scroll to Top