Reviving Aluminum Siding with Acrylic Paint

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If your home has aluminum siding on the exterior, over time you may experience fading or a general decrease in the beauty of the appearance. Replacing siding or changing the exterior to a new type can be costly, to a point where it is not always possible to complete such a task. Even so, you do not what your home to lose its curb appeal, so what can you do to bring that old aluminum siding back to life?

A frequently asked question regarding aluminum siding is whether or not it can be painted, and the answer to this question is yes! Painting may be a little more labor intensive in the case of aluminum siding, but it can be done and the finished product will be just as good looking as the siding was in its new state. In order to paint your siding, you will need to apply the correct type of primer and paint to a surface that was cleaned thoroughly beforehand.

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Photo: Cute Kid Ugly House

Since aluminum siding can be chalky, this texture is going to have to be scrubbed away before you can paint. A swipe of the hand over the surface of your siding will indicate the presence or absence of chalkiness. Also necessary is the removal of any paint that is chipping or flaking. Failure to do this will result in poor adhesion and a finish that is not uniform. It is important to ensure the aluminum siding surface is as bare bones as possible before you get started or you may find yourself faced with problems down the road on a much shorter timeline than normal wear and tear.

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Photo: Paint Gurus

Once your surface is clean and dry, the time for priming has arrived. Priming aluminum siding is essential for good paint adhesion. You cannot use just any primer, however. Latex paints and primers often contain ammonia which is a problem when it comes to aluminum siding since it causes a chemical reaction. When paint or primer with ammonia in it is applied to aluminum, the reaction between the two produces a gas. Trapped gas bubbles build up between the aluminum and the primer/paint, causing a surface defect that will flake and peel prematurely. While you may not notice this problem initially, rest assured that it will show itself soon enough. To avoid this, use only oil based primers on aluminum siding.

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Photo: House Painting Info

Once your primer is dry, it is time to paint. Latex paint, just like latex primer, is off limits for use on aluminum siding for the same reason mentioned above. It is instead necessary to use a 100% acrylic paint which will not cause the same chemical reaction that latex will as acrylic paint does not contain the problematic ammonia component. Using acrylic paint will give you an attractive finish you can be proud of and that will increase the curb appeal of your home rather than giving you the headaches possible if you were to mistakenly use latex primers or paints for this job instead. Simply add a coat or two of your favorite color acrylic paint over the oil-based primer and enjoy the fruits of your labor with a newly transformed and beautiful home.

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Photo: Yaro's Painting

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