When vinyl siding is first installed on a home, it looks vibrant and has a consistent color. But as it ages, your vinyl siding may begin to oxidize and fade, which might make you think about replacing the siding. But can you paint faded vinyl siding instead of replacing it? We did the research, and we have an answer for you.
You can paint faded vinyl siding. It is important to use the proper paint and to prepare the siding before painting it. If you are happy with your current color, you may have better results rejuvenating the existing siding rather than painting. There are several factors to consider before painting your vinyl siding, such as:
- Color selection
- Paint selection
If you take the time to do it right, you can get excellent results. However, if you don't, your home could look worse than it did with the faded vinyl. We discuss what steps to take to paint your vinyl siding, as well as alternatives to painting, so read on.
How To Improve Faded Vinyl Siding
There are a few things you can do to improve the look of unsightly faded vinyl siding:
- Paint the siding
- Replace the siding
- Use a rejuvenator on the siding
There are advantages to each of these.
How To Paint The Vinyl Siding
Painting your vinyl siding can make it look like new. If you tire of your siding color, you can change it by selecting a new color. But successfully painting vinyl siding requires you to follow the correct process and use the correct materials.
- Cleaning solution for vinyl siding
- Power washer or good scrub brush with soft bristles
- Paint that contains acrylic and urethane resins
The aforementioned materials are in addition to typical brushes, rollers, masking supplies, ladders, and other supplies you need for any painting job.
Clean Vinal Siding Before Painting
Clean your siding well, using special solutions designed to clean vinyl. Here are some examples of cleaners:
Simple Green House And Siding Cleaner
Krud Kutter House & Siding Pressure Washer Concentrate
You can also mix your own cleaning solution. Here are the ingredients you need:
- 1 gallon of water
- 1/3 cup laundry detergent
- 1 quart of bleach
- 2/3 cup household cleaner (Spic n' Span, for example)
You can use a power washer to apply these solutions, or you can scrub your siding with a soft bristle scrub brush. Make sure to rinse well when you finish scrubbing. If you have plants near the house, cover them to take care not to damage them with a cleaning solution.
Once the siding is clean and dry, you can begin to paint. It is best not to paint on a day that is too hot. The paint may not adhere well. Otherwise, painting vinyl siding is the same as painting other types of siding. Apply thin, even coats, and let the paint dry for several hours between each coat.
Two coats may be enough to sufficiently cover your house, but you might require additional coats. After the second coat is thoroughly dry, examine the house to determine if you need a third coat of paint. If you need a third coat, apply it in the same manner you did the previous coats.
You may run into the issue of color banding if you select a drastically different color of paint than your siding color. Color banding occurs when a stripe of the original siding color shows along the seams. This happens because of heat cycling. Vinyl siding expands and contracts as the temperature changes. This is a reason many people suggest you pick a color very close to your original siding color. That will make any color banding much less noticeable.
When To Replace Faded Vinyl Siding Instead Of Painting?
If your siding becomes damaged, it may be better to replace it. You could replace or repair only the damaged pieces, but this offsets some of the cost differences of full replacement versus painting. Full replacement might also be a better option if you rejuvenate the undamaged pieces and replace damaged ones. You may not end up with a good match between the rejuvenated pieces and the new pieces.
While painting may cost a third or less of new vinyl siding, you may still decide to replace the siding. If you are making a big color change, your paint results may not turn out well, making replacing a better option.
Another benefit of replacing the siding is that any water or termite damage behind the siding will be obvious. This allows you to repair it before installing any new siding. When you replace the siding, you also can seal the home or add insulation at the same time, which can reduce heating and cooling costs.
New siding comes with a warranty, and the siding may last fifty years or more. If you paint your siding, you may need to repaint every 5-10 years afterward, and your siding won't last as long as new siding will.
How Do You Rejuvenate Your Vinyl Siding?
Rejuvenating your siding is the cheapest way to take care of your faded siding, but receives mixed reviews on its effectiveness. Many people are happy with the outcome, but plenty of others don't get good results.
To use vinyl rejuvenators, you first scrub the siding with a strong cleaning solution. Some brands require or recommend their own proprietary solution, but some just recommend a deep cleaning using a siding cleaner.
You usually apply the vinyl rejuvenation products by wiping, brushing, rolling, or spraying it onto your siding. The recommended method varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, but most aren't difficult to apply. Here are some examples of vinyl siding rejuvenators we found:
Viny Renu Siding Restorer
These products, along with the proper cleaning, remove oxidation, prevent future oxidation, and shine your vinyl siding back to its original luster. Some people compare this to using Armor All products on the dash of your car. If you are familiar with that product, you will have some idea of the expected results.
Because you have to clean well before using these products, if you decide it doesn't work well enough and want to paint, you won't have such a difficult time cleaning up before painting. You may decide this is a good, cheap option to try first for that reason alone.
Here is a video showing how to use Vinyl Renu:
What Kind Of Paint Do You Use On Vinyl Siding?
Your choice of paint is important when painting vinyl siding. Vinyl siding is prone to expansion and contraction from temperature cycling. A standard latex paint usually won't hold up to the expansion and contraction that occurs with vinyl. They also won't bond well to the siding. Paints with acrylic and urethane work best because they are flexible.
Can You Paint Vinyl Siding A Darker Color?
You must be careful about your color selection when you are painting a vinyl siding clad home. Vinyl siding is susceptible to heat. If you select a very dark paint color, it can absorb more heat than the vinyl can withstand. This extra heat could cause the siding to warp or buckle.
For the best results, you should select a color similar to the vinyl's current shade. You can always go lighter without a problem, but darker can cause the problem with buckling from the heat. Also, consider the color banding problems we've mentioned above, since that will be more obvious with a big difference between the selected color and the original siding color.
How Long Will My Vinyl Siding Last If I Paint It?
If you opt to paint your vinyl siding, you can expect to repaint the siding about every ten years, on average. You may get better or worse longevity, but this is the amount of time many painters say you should expect.
If properly maintained, your siding should outlast your paint job. Good vinyl siding may last many times longer, depending on the quality. You can expect to get at least twenty years from your siding, maybe as much as fifty years or more. How long the siding will last after you paint depends on how old it was when you painted it and how well maintained it is.
If you have a home with faded vinyl siding, one option you have is painting. You can paint vinyl siding as long as you use the proper paint and clean the siding well before application. If you decide to paint, a color near your existing siding color will minimize color banding. Avoid dark colors, since they will absorb additional heat that may damage your siding.