Can Vinyl Siding Be Painted? (Pros & Cons of Painting vs. Replacing the Siding)

Vinyl siding house

As proud homeowners, we do everything we can to keep our property as aesthetically pleasing as possible. Unfortunately, our vinyl siding will fade after years of exposure to the elements. At this point we’re faced with a situation: do we replace the siding or should we paint it?

Throughout this article we’re going to run through the pros and cons of painting vs. replacing the siding. We’re going to talk about the right way to paint siding and the factors that would steer you toward replacing your siding rather than simply painting it.

Painting old vinyl siding vs. siding replacement

Few things will update the appearance of your home like changing the color of the siding. But should you replace your siding or just paint over it? There are benefits to both. There are also reasons why you wouldn’t want to paint your siding and reasons for not replacing it.

The painting vs. replacing conundrum can be stressful for homeowners who want to do the right thing, for their homes and for their pocket books. Fortunately, we’re here to help you make the right decision based on your unique situation. As you’ll see below, we outline the various reasons you would paint your siding rather than replace it. You’ll also see reasons why you wouldn’t want to paint your siding and why replacing it makes the most sense.

Factors to consider before making a decision on painting or replacing vinyl siding

traditional vinyl siding

You might have your eye on a new vinyl siding product, but you’re also considering taking a less costly route – painting your current siding.

Consider the following:

  • The siding’s age. A fresh coat of paint might make it look newer, but what you need to be concerned about is if the siding is protecting your home. If your siding is 20 years old, consider replacing instead of painting, because that’s likely going to happen in the next five or so years anyway. A professional siding contract can inspect your siding to determine its age and condition and recommend the steps to take next.
  • Cost of painting vs. replacing. In some cases, it makes more sense to paint. For example, if your siding is in decent shape and you have a custom color in mind that siding manufacturers don’t produce, painting might look more attractive, because you’ll get the color you want and you’ll save money. For example, the national average for painting a home is around $3,700, but the average for putting up new vinyl siding is around $5,500 for a 1,500 square foot home.
  • Condition. If there are buckles, gaps and moisture is getting through, it’s time to replace. You don’t want to paint siding that has rotten sections, dents or holes – it just doesn’t make sense to put money into something that is already failing.
  • Aesthetic appearance. If you decide to paint over your siding, you’re going to give it a fresh new look that will not only be pleasing to your eye, but to those around you. The same can be said of new siding – it’s an aesthetic appearance that will make others envious.
  • Preserve or increase home value. A fresh coat of paint on your siding can possibly increase your home’s value by two to five percent. By many accounts, should you replace your siding to try to get more money out of your home sale, you’ll likely only see around 80 percent of those costs recouped. However, what’s not taken into account is the curb appeal that attracts buyers to your home. Would they have been as forthcoming with a bid had the old siding remained on the home?
  • Warranty. Most siding contractors will work with siding manufacturers that offer a warranty on their product. Warranties differ, so make sure you do your homework if you decide to replace your siding instead of painting it. But if you decide to paint over siding, know that most manufacturers will void the warranty.

If you still have questions, talk to a siding contractor and get an inspection. That will help you make a fact-based decision about the steps you need to consider next.

Why do you need to paint vinyl siding?

Siding won’t keep its original luster forever. The protective coating on the siding will eventually wear. The sun will cause it to fade, and you’ll see grime build up gradually over the years. Power washing only works for a finite amount of time, so you know you’ll have to either paint it or replace it at some point in the near future.

vinyl painting

Let’s say you’re in a situation where you just don’t have the money to replace your siding right now, yet you know putting a coat of paint on your existing siding can bring back some luster. That’s a perfectly justifiable decision if you are certain the siding is still in good shape.

Affordability

You can save 50 to 60 percent by painting instead of replacing your siding.

Aesthetics

When your siding takes on a weathered look, painting it will improve the aesthetics of it, in some cases to a near-factory appearance.

Layer of protection

When your siding’s protective coating wears off, you need something to replace it and protect your siding from the elements, and paint does the trick.

Increase your home value

Don’t be surprised if the appraiser gives you extra points because you have a fresh coat of paint on your siding.

A new look

If you’ve grown weary of the color that’s been on your home for years and years and you want to jump into a new color that’s trending, painting will get you there.

Increased lifespan

When you add another layer of protection to your siding, regardless of what kind it is, you’re increasing its lifespan.

Project time savings

If you’re removing and replacing siding from your home, you’re looking at a multi-day project. Painting takes significantly less time.

If you can benefit by one or more of these perks, then painting your siding might be the best option for you.

Why you don’t need to paint vinyl siding: top reasons to replace

You’ve probably heard or read somewhere that painting your siding is not the right option. The source of this information will say that if it’s looking worn, it’s time to replace. For those that are not lacking in funds, that’s probably the direction they’ll go. However, if you’ve got some damaged siding that should be replaced, painting it is only going to prolong the inevitable and probably stack up the cost of the overall project.

You also have to take into account that over the last several years, siding manufacturers have expanded their textures and colors, so if you want a new look, painting might not be the best option, as there are many more types of siding out there today that might please you far more than a paint job. Perhaps you’d like to add scallops for a new aesthetic or an underlayment that can improve energy efficiency – these are options you have with replacing your siding that you won’t get through painting.

Here are some other points to consider:

  • If painting your siding will void your warranty (many manufacturers say “altering” the siding will void the warranty), you should consider replacing.
  • Paint doesn’t last as long as new siding, either, which is another aspect that must be factored into your decision. Plus, you can only paint your exterior during specific months of the year due to weather.
  • Are you certain the paint you want to use will actually work on your siding? Some types of siding will not properly absorb the paint and some paints will not stick to the siding. If you’ve picked a color that you like and it isn’t compatible with your type of siding, you’re out of luck.
  • When you prep the siding for paint, you’re making sure you’ve got all the dirt and grime off of it, which means you’ll likely be using a power washer, which are notorious for damaging siding. You’re also likely to get moisture trapped up underneath your siding, which can cause damage to the home and make a mess of your paint job.
  • Damaged panels will be more difficult to replace in the future, because the manufacturer won’t likely have the siding available in the color you chose.
  • More error is involved in painting than in replacing siding. The mistakes you make while painting are often considered “unforgiving,” which is not something you’ll run into when you choose a siding contractor to professionally install new siding.
  • Unpredictable results also come into play when you paint. It’s usually a bit of a toss up when it comes to what the end product will actually look like.

It might seem that painting involves less risk, but history shows otherwise. When you paint, everything has to be perfect – from the weather to the cleanliness of the siding to the type of paint you choose. What’s more certain is that when you replace your siding, you are going to see results that will leave you with no regrets.

How to paint vinyl siding: steps to take when painting

You’ve don’t the math, so to speak, and you’ve decided painting your siding is what suits you best – what steps do you take now?

Keep in mind that your siding is made to keep moisture out of your home, and it is built to let water easily slide off the surface of the siding. The problem is, your paint might do the same as the water if you’re not careful.

Vinyl paint works best because water-based paints don’t stick to vinyl siding that well. When you use vinyl paint that is made with urethane and acrylic resins, it adheres to the siding more readily, but you still might have to apply more than two coats.

Step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Make sure the siding is in good shape before considering painting

Before you decide to spend the money on many gallons of paint, have a professional siding contractor come out and do an inspection. While today’s materials won’t buckle under intense summer heat like the materials of yesterday, there is still a chance that high winds, rain and debris have compromised the integrity of the material, which means it needs to be repaired or replaced.

If you’ve accidentally bumped your home too many times with your mower or snow blower, you can begin to form cracks that let moisture in. While vinyl siding is known as a tough material, it’s not impervious, so take extra precautions to ensure the quality is still there.

Step 2: Cleaning and prepping the siding

Clean the siding to get all the dirt and grime off of it. If you don’t do this, the paint will look horrible and eventually peel off. You can purchase house and siding cleaner, such as Clorox House & Siding, or use a solution of your own.

One popular cleaning solution is 70 percent water to 30 percent white vinegar. Another option is to use one cup of powdered oxygen bleach to in five gallons of warm water. Use a cloth or soft-bristled brush to work in the solution and then follow up with a rinse.

Step 3: Determine if you need priming

Do you need a priming coat? If you’re paint is vastly different from the existing color, you will need to prime the vinyl first. Furthermore, your siding might require primer if the paint you want to use is not a good match with your siding.

Step 4: Selecting your paint

Choose the right paint. Talk to the manufacturer to make sure the paint will work with your specific type of siding. Keep in mind that the paint you need to use has acrylic and urethane resins, which allows it to bond with the siding.

Another tip is to use paint that is the same shade or lighter than your current siding color.

Finally, if you’re choosing a dark color, you’re going to attract more warmth, which is not what you want in the blistering summer months.

Step 5: Selecting colors

Selecting the color is largely a decision based on your tastes, but you also need to consider that if you have to replace damaged siding, that your manufacturer makes it in that color.

Again, dark colors will attract warmth, which is not going to be desirable in the summer. Lighter paints are generally a better option, as they will also more than likely be similar to the tone of your existing siding, which is going to help you in terms of how many coats you have to put down.

Step 6: Painting

Painting the home is more difficult than it might seem, as there is the risk of making unforgiving mistakes that will cost you in the long run.

Choose your paint contractor wisely. If your siding has pits in it, you’ll want to use a primer to relieve some of the flaws. Be sure to apply the paint in even and thin coats, and then go over it again with thicker coats after the first coat has dried. If you have done the job right, your paint should last around 10 years.

Step 7: Maintenance

Maintenance is also an issue. Once the paint is on and you’ve cleaned up, you’ll need to keep an eye on it and touch up as needed. Cleaning the siding at least once a year is also a smart move, as it can prolong the life of the paint.

Choose VIS Exterior for your vinyl siding replacement

One of the most popular siding materials we work with today at VIS Exterior is vinyl. Fortunately, the siding manufacturers we purchase from offer a superior product that lasts and lasts.

When a paint job just won’t do, we have options for new vinyl siding that will enhance the look and feel of your home, and increase its curb appeal.

At VIS, we are siding experts working with some of the top siding manufacturers. Modern engineering has improved how vinyl siding is made, and with our years of experience installing it, we have become a go-to contractor for replacing siding.

Quick installation and low cost are two reasons many of our clients come to us, but we also have many colors and styles of vinyl siding that attract homeowners. Vinyl siding offers low cost, and it’s durable, but it is also attractive. But all of that means nothing if it’s not installed correctly.

Contact us today and let’s talk about your options.

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