Painting aluminum-siding is a great way to change the color of your home. You may have had your siding installed when Avocado Green was all the rage and now you look at it and realize the 1970's weren't so great after all. Or maybe the original color of your aluminum-siding isn't as much of the problem as the fact that it looks weathered and worn. Whatever your reasons for painting your aluminum-siding are, the important part is, it can be done as long as the siding is in good order, color aside. This is actually a fairly easy home improvement project and much less expensive than replacing the siding on the house. Siding replacement is an expensive and time consuming endeavor assuming you would take on that huge job yourself.
Preparing the Siding for Paint
Wash the aluminum-siding to remove dirt, grime, mold and mildew to give the paint a good gripping surface.
Never paint over dirt, mold or mildew because the paint will not adhere and will peel or flake off of the siding.
Use a power washer if possible. You can rent a power washer at a tool rental store, home improvement stores or some hardware stores.
Fill a bucket with warm water and add a degreasing dish soap or a degreasing soap from an automotive store. Do not use dish washer detergent, it is too harsh.
Use fine steel wool to both clean and smooth the aluminum-siding surface. Do not use the pre-soaped steel wool pads. Use the plain type of steel wool that is found at hardware stores..
As you are washing the siding, look for loose screws, nails and small holes.
Repairing Before Painting
Remove the loose screws and nails.
Mark the areas where they were and where the small holes were with chalk.
Pay attention to areas where the siding butts up to each other and mark any pieces that have small gaps.
Use flexible, paintable silicone caulk to seal around any openings. This will include around doors, windows, cracks, small holes, puncture marks and gaps. After filling, smooth them out with a putty knife so you don't end up with bumps in the aluminum-siding.
If you have any dents in the aluminum-siding you can fill them in with the paintable silicone applied like spackle and smoothed out to be flush with the existing siding.
Allow the siding to dry completely.
Painting the Siding
Choose an exterior grade latex or oil paint made specifically for metal.
Pour the paint into a sprayer or into a paint bucket.
Dip a wide paint brush into the paint and apply a coat of paint beginning at the top of the house and working toward the bottom. Brush the paint on in the same direction the siding runs.
Let the first coat of paint dry for six to eight hours.
Apply a second coat of paint over the first, beginning at the top of the house and working your way down to the bottom.
Allow the paint to dry for six to eight hours.
Examine the surface of the aluminum-siding. If you notice any streaking or the color looks somewhat transparent, apply a third coat.
Clean up paint drips as you work, don't leave them for later.
Never paint the side of the house that is in the direct sun.