Can You Paint Vinyl Siding? Yes—Here’s How

published Jun 16, 2020
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Exterior of cottage style house with front yard
Credit: Ivan Hunter | Getty Images

Curb appeal counts for a lot. Potted plants and painted front doors can do a lot to pull the exterior of a home together, but dingy, faded siding can drag it right back down. If your home’s vinyl siding has seen better days, you may wonder whether or not you can paint it—especially once you realize how much it would cost to replace it with something a more modern siding like Hardie board.

Though the project may seem intimidating, experts say it’s possible. “You can paint vinyl siding to bring new life to the existing color or completely change the look,” says Bobby Mikula, product manager at The Sherwin-Williams Company. The one big caveat? You should repaint vinyl siding with a color similar (or lighter) to the original to avoid excess heat absorption that can cause buckling or warping, he explains.

How much does it cost to paint vinyl siding?

Cost is dependent on many factors, including how many square feet your home is and what product you chose.says Mikula. Of course, if you choose to DIY and all goes according to plan, the cost will be much lower than it would be if you were to hire a professional. That said, it’s a large-scale project and one that directly affects the aesthetic of your home. If you have any doubts that you can get the job done properly, it pays to hire a professional to avoid risks of painting mistakes or the need to redo a DIY mishap.

Think you want to give it a go? Here’s what you’ll need

“Painting vinyl siding is no different than other exterior paint jobs in terms of supplies,” says Mikula. A typical project requires the following materials:

  • painter’s tape
  • paper
  • masking film
  • drop cloths
  • brushes
  • paint sprayer

Although you might be accustomed to using rollers for large-scale projects, it’s best to avoid them when painting vinyl siding, says Mikula: “Paint rollers are not recommended on vinyl siding, considering the profiles that extend horizontally.”

First, prep your siding

When prepping to paint vinyl siding, make sure the surface is clean and free of debris. Use a power washer on a low setting, or a garden hose sprayer with a light detergent, says Gregory Pittman, co-owner of three franchise businesses with Five Star Painting, a Neighborly Company. Then, allow the surface to dry completely before proceeding. Next, mark off any areas not intended for paint and caulk around any windows, doors, and other openings, says Mikula.

Then, figure out whether or not you need to prime

Once your vinyl siding is cleaned and prepped, you’ll be ready to start applying paint. Vinyl siding is like any other previously painted surface—whether or not you need to prime is largely based on the product you’re using, says Mikula. Paints like HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams Everlast Paint & Primer, for example, include both primer and paint in a single can; other paints will require separate applications for primer and paint.

Finally, start painting

Once you’re ready to paint, make sure you stir the product thoroughly, then paint the vinyl siding with a high quality brush or airless sprayer, says Mikula. In general, two coats is recommended to achieve the correct color and ensure longevity, says Pittman. For best results, expect dry time between applications to take somewhere between four to six hours, depending on the temperature and humidity levels.