Can You Paint Aluminum Siding? (Painting vs Replacing)


When the baked-on color finish of your home’s aluminum siding fades and turns chalky, you might assume that replacing it is the only option. So can you save a ton of money by repainting it?

You can paint aluminum siding so long as you use high-quality exterior paint. You should be able to paint directly over the factory-finished paintwork without the need for a primer. Do not use gloss paints as they draw attention to dents and other imperfections.

This article will show you:

  • What type of paint is best
  • How to work out quantities and costs
  • If you should do it yourself or hire a professional
  • When it’s best to replace siding rather than repaint
House Paint

What type of paint should you use on aluminum?

The best type of paint to use on aluminum siding is exterior acrylic latex paint. You should never use latex-based paint as it can react with aluminum and cause bubbles on the surface.

You should use an oil-based primer on it and always use completely acrylic-based paint. You should also avoid choosing a glossy finish as it can make dents and other imperfections in the material stand out.

Sheen

It is advisable to choose a paint that has a similar color to the siding that is currently on your home and you should go for either a satin, eggshell, or flat finish.

However, satin and eggshell finishes generally last longer and are tougher than a flat finish. They also resist stains and are easy to clean.

How long does it take to paint aluminum siding?

The length of time will always vary depending on the size of your home. To paint an average single-story home, it will take three days to complete, one day to prepare, one day to apply two coats of primer, and one day to apply two coats of paint.

When preparing to paint your home’s siding you should always try to choose days that are going to be dry and above 60°F (16°C) as latex paint doesn’t dry well in cold temperatures.

How much paint do I need?

Although you obviously don’t want to end up buying too much paint, you will need enough for two coats of primer and two coats of paint.

You can calculate the amount of paint you will need by working out what the entire square footage is of each side of your home then subtract 20 square feet for every door and 15 square feet for every window. Generally, one gallon of paint is enough to cover between 350 and 400 square feet.

DIY or hire a professional?

It’s not too difficult to paint aluminum siding and even if you’ve never attempted such a DIY project you can learn as you go. The main thing is to make sure that you prepare the siding first and apply the primer and then the paint, and keep checking for any mistakes so you can fix them before the paint dries.

DIY

There are quite a few costs involved with painting your home siding, and quite often it can be easier and cheaper to hire a professional to do the job for you as you are likely to need to hire equipment if you do the job yourself. If you do choose to do the job yourself then the costs are as follows:

The average home is around 2500 square feet, and the average cost of paint for it is $110. The cost for the supplies is usually between $200 and $300.

If you need to hire a power washer then it would cost you between $35 and $100 per day. Therefore, including the cost of paint, doing the job yourself would cost $400-$570 for every 250 square feet, setting you back approximately $4,850 for an average-sized home of 2,500 square feet.

Hire a professional

Quite often, it can be much easier and cheaper to hire a professional to do the job for you as they will have all the equipment that is needed to do the job, such as a power washer and a paint sprayer.

They will also have the necessary training and experience to create a better finish that will usually last longer than if you have attempted to do it yourself.

If you hire a professional, the average cost to paint a 2,500-square-foot home is $6,500. However, Home AdvisorOpens in a new tab. states that it costs between $3,125 and $8,300 to have your aluminum siding painted by a professional, although generally, homeowners report it to be around $5,730.

The cost usually varies because of different prices for labor, paint, and the condition of the aluminum that is to be painted. Generally, it will cost between $1.50 and $2.50 per square foot for the preparation of the siding, labor, and clean-up.

However, it is important to remember that painting your aluminum siding is not a long-term solution as it will need to be repainted every 4 to 6 years, depending on weather conditions and the general condition of the siding.

Should I replace my siding instead of painting it?

You’re probably wondering whether you should repaint your aluminum siding or if it would be better to replace it. If your siding only had some minor issues such as dents then you could repair it instead, and if you chose to replace it then it would cost approximately $2.20 per square foot.

If you’re not certain whether to replace the siding or repaint it then there are a few things to consider that can help you decide which you should do.

Painting is an unsuitable option if:

  • The siding has a lot of dents in it
  • There is a lot of rust or white rust on it (this is a sign of oxidation)
  • The siding has become detached
  • Previous coats of paint are now peeling off
  • The material is damaged or perforated
  • The siding has structural problems or significant damage. (Although you can paint small areas of rust, dents, and holes as a temporary solution, it is not an effective solution in the long-term or if there is a lot of damage)

Vinyl siding

Vinyl siding can often be a better option than aluminum siding as it is extremely durable and can last for more than 25 years (and even up to 50 years), so long as it is maintained properly.

Quite often, this can be a far better investment in the long-term than having to repaint aluminum siding every few years as even a good-quality, professional paint job only lasts around eight years before it begins to show signs of wear and tear.

Although painting can seem like a good solution, the cost can soon add up over the years and can end up costing more than vinyl siding would.

Cost of vinyl siding

According to Home Advisor, vinyl siding costs on average $11,137. Generally, for an entire home, it can cost between $6,070 and $16,403 as vinyl siding costs an average of $7.50 per square foot to install.

There can be some variation in the price though, as $3 per square foot is the lower end while $12 per square foot is at the higher end, but it is still the most affordable material for home siding after metal siding.

Vinyl siding is a particularly good choice if you are wanting to make your home more energy-efficient as it comes with integral insulation which makes it 25% more energy-efficient than painting. This can generate a lot of energy savings, both in the long-term and in the short term with green energy tax breaks.

If you are planning on moving home within the next few years then repainting your aluminum siding would be a cheaper way to update the outside of your home than installing vinyl siding. However, vinyl siding would be more attractive to buyers than aluminum due to its durability and high performance.

Graham Walsh

I want to share everything I know about home improvement in order to help you. Whether you're a home enthusiast or an industry professional, I have the information that you need.

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