Vinyl siding is one of the easiest exterior surfaces to paint — assuming that you go about things the right way. There are three secrets to success: properly preparing the surface, selecting the right paint, and choosing the right paint color.
Simple surface preparation is what makes it so easy to paint vinyl siding. In contrast to the scraping, sanding, and occasional repair work that’s required when painting wood and other exterior surfaces, all that’s typically needed with vinyl siding is a good cleaning.
This can be done by simply scrubbing down the panels with plain soap and water, or speeding up the process by using power-washing equipment. Once dirt, mildew, and other contaminants are removed, the siding is ready to paint.
The next imperative is selecting the right type of top quality paint in an appropriate paint color. Do that, and it’s all but certain that your painting project will be a success.
The very best type of paint to use on vinyl siding is a high quality exterior paint made with 100% acrylic. The presence of acrylic is key.
Top quality 100% acrylic latex paints have excellent adhesion, which helps them “stick” to the slick surface of vinyl. And, when dried, these paints remain very flexible, which is critical, since vinyl siding tends to expand and contract more than other exterior materials when temperatures rise or fall dramatically.
In terms of aesthetics, there’s another important reason to use a top quality 100% acrylic latex product when painting vinyl siding: These paints have great “leveling”, meaning they’ll maintain the original contour of the panels — whether smooth or textured.
Virtually all brands of exterior paint made with 100% acrylic offer these performance benefits, but based on outdoor exposure tests, a few stand out as the best of the best. These include:
- Behr® Premium Plus Ultra®
- PPG Paints™ Regency®
- California Paints® Fres-Coat®
- Sherwin-Williams® Emerald®
- Hirshfield’s Platinum Exterior™ (available in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota)
No matter which brand of 100% acrylic paint you choose, be mindful that color is an important consideration when painting vinyl siding.
Up until a few years ago, only light tints and pastel colors could be used on this material (darker colors could possibly absorb enough heat from strong sunshine to warp the panels).
Today, 100% acrylic paints made for use on vinyl siding contain reflective pigments that allow the heat of the sun to “bounce off” the panels so there is no warping. Still, it’s always wise to read the paint can label carefully and discuss your color choice with your paint retailer.
In years past, vinyl siding manufacturers maintained that the color of vinyl is final, but with the development of more advanced paints, it doesn’t have to be that way any longer. If you want to freshen the look of your vinyl siding, or change the color completely, today’s top-end acrylic paints give you the freedom to do so!