Can Vinyl Siding Be Painted?

Vinyl siding is supposed to be a permanent solution to many of your home’s painting and maintenance problems. But forever is a long time, so what if sometime in the future you get tired of the color and want to make a change? Can vinyl siding be painted?

The short answer is “Yes”, you can paint vinyl siding.

But whether or not painting your vinyl siding is a good idea depends on a few factors. Here, we will take a quick look at some of the things to consider before painting vinyl siding.

Why Paint Vinyl Siding?

If you’re asking this question, it’s probably due to one of three scenarios:

  • You bought a house that already had older vinyl siding on it, and you want to know if you can change it.
  • You put vinyl siding on your house in the past, and now you want to update your home’s appearance.
  • You are considering installing vinyl siding on your home, but you are worried about being permanently locked into your choice.

Painting vinyl siding allows you to choose custom colors that may not be currently available from siding manufacturers. It is also generally less expensive than replacing it, but there are a few factors to consider.

The Age and Condition of the Siding

This is the most important consideration when deciding if you should repaint the vinyl siding currently installed on your home.

Some older vinyl siding that was manufactured decades ago is chemically different from the siding of today. Without modern protectants, vintage vinyl siding can become brittle after decades of exposure to temperature extremes, severe weather, and UV rays.

Putting fresh paint on siding may temporarily fashion its appearance, but if the siding is old enough and worn enough that it will need to be replaced within the next few years, then it might be more cost-effective to replace the siding now and save the expense and effort of painting.

Possible issues include:

  • Buckling
  • Warping
  • Gaps
  • Dents
  • UV deterioration
  • Hail damage
  • Sagging
  • Moisture underneath the siding
  • Wood rot
  • Mold
  • Mildew
  • Cracks
  • Holes

If you do a quick visual inspection and see any of these, it’s probably better to replace your vinyl siding rather than paint it.

Consider the Warranty

If you want to paint your vinyl siding simply because you are tired of the color, be aware that altering the siding in any way — including painting — may void your warranty. This is relevant because while you are wanting to paint for aesthetic reasons, the warranty covers important manufacturing and installation issues.

The ability to keep the warranty might be a big enough reason to not paint your vinyl siding.

Potentially Problematic Prep Work

As with any other paint job, you will have to clean and prep the surface of the siding beforehand. Because of the sheer size of your exterior walls, the easiest way to clean vinyl siding is with a power washer. The problem is the water pressure from a power washer can easily damage your siding

Not only would this “intentional” damage potentially void your warranty, it is also very likely that you will end up trapping moisture behind the siding, leading to toxic mold, wood rot, and other damage.

Will It Actually Work?

Not all paints will properly adhere to vinyl siding, and not all vinyl siding is receptive to paint. This leaves very little margin for error.

With the wrong combination, you could end up staining –-rather than painting–your vinyl siding, leaving an unsightly mess. Again, this would leave you with an unpleasant-looking – house, paint that you can’t use, a voided warranty, and no other option but to replace the vinyl siding before you were ready.

The Bottom Line about Painting Vinyl Siding

While it can be tempting to look for ways to save money when updating the exterior appearance of your home, not every idea is created equal. While it is technically possible to paint your vinyl siding, it is definitely in your best interest to carefully consider your specific situation.

If you live in the greater Chicago area, your best bet is to have a vinyl siding expert from Rusco come out and professionally evaluate your siding. Then, you’ll be able to realistically evaluate all options.

For 85 years, Rusco has helped homeowners just like you with all their home improvement needs. For more information about vinyl siding or to schedule a free home inspection contact Rusco today!

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