Aluminum Siding History
In the 1940's Aluminum siding was developed for homes in the United States because it was considered to be a low maintenance alternative to wood clapboard siding. There were several benefits of installing aluminum siding including the fact that it was lightweight, and the paint finish was baked-on. No painting was necessary.
Back in the day it was a popular option among homeowners. During the 1970’s, the cost to manufacture aluminum siding had increased significantly and vinyl siding had proven itself to be the future of low maintenance house covering option. There are obviously millions of homes that were built between the 1940’s and the 1970’s and chances are good that the exterior is covered with aluminum siding.
Aluminum Siding still requires some Maintenance
Many people have discovered, there are some problems that are inherent with aluminum siding. The biggest problem is the fact that the coating that is baked on the surface of the aluminum and it has a tendency to chalk and fade like it's nobody's business.
What can you do when it’s time to bring the exterior of your home up to speed?
Is painting the aluminum siding a good idea? Can you paint it or should it be replaced with new vinyl siding?
Here is the good news:
when properly cleaned and prepared, paint will adhere to aluminum siding. And painting your home will always be less-expensive compared to replacing the siding.
Power-wash the Siding First
It is critical to first remove any chalk and mildew from the surface so that the paint will properly adhere. A quick check for a chalky surface is to move your hand across the surface of the siding. Observe your palm. If there is chalk then it must be removed before any paint application process can proceed.
Eliminating the chalk
This can be accomplished by power-wash cleaning and using bleach or an aluminum siding cleaning product. In some cases, a scrub brush with an abrasive sponge and some good old fashioned elbow grease could be necessary. These cleaning products are specially made to remove the layer of chalk from the surface of aluminum siding. Davinci's are Painters in Vienna Virginia and we include power-wash cleaning as part of the preparation process for all of our exterior projects.
Sanding and Preparation
If the paint on the aluminum siding is baked into the material from the factory then there would not be a problem about any peeling paint. But if the coating you’re painting over is not the original finish, make sure you scrape any loose or peeling paint, and sand any uneven edges.
Paint Application of the Finish Coating
Many good quality paints can be applied on top of aluminum siding without the need for a primer. Make sure you read the manufacturer’s recommendations on the can before you start your project. Then apply two coats of a 100% Acrylic Latex Paint by whichever application method that is recommended.