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How to Paint Aluminum Siding

How to Paint Aluminum Siding

Aluminum siding offers a durable and low-maintenance solution for the exterior of a home or building. It is resistant to rot, insects, and extreme weather conditions, making it a popular choice among homeowners. However, over time, aluminum siding can fade or become worn and may require a fresh coat of paint to maintain its appearance and extend its lifespan. Painting aluminum siding not only enhances its curb appeal but also helps protect it from the elements. In this article, we will discuss the steps and materials needed to successfully paint aluminum siding, as well as the best paint options for achieving a long-lasting and attractive finish. 

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Disclaimer: While the information in this article provides helpful advice on painting aluminum siding, it should not be taken as a substitute for professional consultation. For specific advice and assistance on your individual project, please contact Advance Roofing LLC. With years of experience providing quality roofing solutions to the Spokane, WA area, we are always happy to help!

Advantages of Painting Aluminum Siding

Removing Loose Paint

Painting aluminum siding offers several advantages that can greatly benefit homeowners.

  • One of the biggest advantages is the ability to extend the life of the siding. Over time, aluminum siding can become faded, worn, or damaged due to exposure to the elements. By applying a fresh coat of paint, homeowners can protect the siding from further damage and deterioration, potentially adding years to its lifespan.
  • Another advantage of painting aluminum siding is the improved appearance it brings to the home. Whether homeowners choose to refresh the existing color or completely change it, painting aluminum siding can give the house a much-needed facelift. This can greatly enhance the curb appeal of the home, making it more attractive and increasing its value.
  • Painting aluminum siding is also a cost-effective option compared to replacing it. Aluminum siding can be quite expensive to replace, not to mention the additional costs associated with labor and installation. Painting, on the other hand, is a more affordable alternative that can achieve similar results. With the right paint and proper application, homeowners can achieve a like-new finish that mimics the appearance of new siding.

When painting aluminum siding, it is important to choose the right type of paint. 100-percent acrylic latex paint is the recommended choice for aluminum siding. It provides excellent adhesion, durability, and weather resistance, ensuring that the paint job will last for years to come. Additionally, acrylic latex paint is easy to clean up with just soap and water, making the painting process even more convenient.


Preparation is key when it comes to painting aluminum siding. Before starting the painting process, it is important to ensure that the surface is clean, smooth, and free from any dirt, debris, or loose paint. Following the preparatory steps below will ensure a successful and long-lasting paint job on aluminum siding.

Cleaning the Surface

Cleaning the Surface

Before painting aluminum siding, it is crucial to start with a clean surface. Cleaning the siding removes dirt, dust, and cobwebs, allowing for better paint adhesion and a longer-lasting finish.

  • To clean aluminum siding, start by using a power washer with a low-pressure nozzle. This will help remove surface dirt and grime. Mix a mild detergent with water and apply it to the siding using a soft brush or sponge. Rinse the siding thoroughly with clean water to remove any remaining soap.
  • For more stubborn stains or heavily soiled areas, consider using trisodium phosphate (TSP). TSP is a powerful cleaner that can effectively remove grease, mildew, and other tough stains. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper dilution and application of TSP.

After cleaning, it is essential to allow the siding to dry completely before painting. This can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day, depending on the weather conditions. Moisture trapped beneath the paint can lead to cracking, peeling, and other paint failures, so it is crucial to ensure the surface is dry before proceeding with the painting process.

Removing Loose Paint

Before painting aluminum siding, it is crucial to remove any loose or peeling paint to ensure a smooth surface for the new coat. Removing loose paint helps prevent further damage and promotes better adhesion of the new paint.

  • To remove loose paint from aluminum siding, start by gently scraping the surface using a plastic scraper or an abrasive sponge. Avoid using metal scrapers or wire brushes, as they can scratch or damage the siding.
  • Begin by positioning the scraper or sponge at a slight angle against the loose paint and apply light pressure. Slowly scrape or rub in small circular motions to lift off the loose paint. Be careful not to apply too much pressure, as this can cause dents or further damage to the siding.
  • Continue scraping or rubbing until all loose paint is removed. If necessary, you can lightly sand the area using fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out any remaining rough edges.
  • After removing the loose paint, thoroughly clean the siding using a power washer or a soft brush and a mild detergent solution. Rinse the siding thoroughly with clean water to remove any residue.

Allow the siding to dry completely before proceeding with the painting process. This can take several hours or up to a day, depending on weather conditions. Ensure the surface is dry before applying the new coat of paint to prevent paint failure.

Applying Primer

Applying primer to aluminum siding is an important step in preparing the surface for painting. Primer helps create a smooth surface, prevents chipping and flaking, and hides imperfections.

  • Once the surface is clean, it’s time to apply the primer. Start by pouring the primer into a plastic paint tray. Use a paint roller with a medium nap to apply the primer evenly. Roll the roller back and forth in long strokes, ensuring full coverage. Apply the primer in two coats for better results.
  • After applying the first coat, allow it to dry completely before applying the second coat. This can take a few hours depending on the weather conditions. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for drying times.

Don’t skip this step for a professional-looking result.

Sanding the Surface

Sanding the surface before painting aluminum siding is a crucial step in achieving a smooth and even finish. This process helps remove any remaining loose paint and creates a rough surface for better paint adhesion.

To begin, gather a fine-grit sandpaper or an abrasive sponge. Lightly sand the entire surface of the aluminum siding, working in small sections at a time. This will help remove any loose or peeling paint, ensuring a clean and smooth surface.

The sanding process also creates a rough texture on the siding, allowing the new paint to adhere more effectively. By providing a better surface for the paint to grip onto, you can help prevent peeling or chipping down the line.

Remember to sand gently and evenly, avoiding any excessive pressure that could damage the siding. Once you have finished sanding, wipe away any dust or debris using a clean cloth or a tack cloth.

Overall, sanding the surface before painting aluminum siding is a crucial step in achieving a professional-looking paint job. It helps remove loose paint and creates a rough surface for better paint adhesion, ensuring a smooth and long-lasting finish.

Painting Process

Painting aluminum siding is a great way to enhance the curb appeal of your home and give it a fresh, new look. Whether you want to change the color of your siding or simply refresh its appearance, the process requires some careful preparation and attention to detail. To achieve a professional-looking paint job that will last, it’s important to follow the correct steps. So let’s get started!

Choosing a Paint Type and Color

Choosing a Paint Type and Color

When it comes to painting aluminum siding, choosing the right paint type and color is crucial to achieving a long-lasting and visually appealing result. There are several paint types available for this task, each with its own advantages and drawbacks.

  • One popular option is acrylic paint, known for its excellent adhesion and flexibility. It offers good coverage and resists cracking and peeling, making it a suitable choice for aluminum siding.
  • Another option is oil-based paint, which provides superior durability and protection against rust and moisture. However, it may require more labor-intensive preparation and clean-up.

In terms of color, it is essential to select a high-quality exterior latex brand. These brands offer better coverage and resistance to fading and blistering, ensuring a long-lasting paint job. When choosing colors, consider the surroundings and architectural style. Opt for hues that complement the landscape, neighboring buildings, and personal preferences.

Ultimately, selecting the right paint colors and type is key to enhancing curb appeal and preserving the integrity of the aluminum siding. By considering the advantages and drawbacks of different paint types and being mindful of the surroundings when choosing colors, a successful painting project can be achieved.

Choosing the Right Tool for Painting Aluminum Siding

When it comes to painting aluminum siding, selecting the right tools is crucial for achieving a professional and long-lasting finish. Three common options for applying paint to aluminum siding are brushes, rollers, and sprayers, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

  • Brushes are a popular choice for smaller areas and detailed work. They provide excellent control and can reach into tight corners. Synthetic fiber brushes are ideal for acrylic and latex paints, while lambswool brushes work best with oil-based paints. However, using a brush for an entire aluminum siding project can be time-consuming and labor-intensive.
  • Rollers, on the other hand, are perfect for large, flat surfaces like aluminum siding. They cover a wide area quickly and evenly, resulting in a smooth finish. For aluminum siding, a 3/8-inch to 1/2-inch nap roller is recommended. This ensures proper paint coverage while avoiding excessive stippling or texture.
  • Another option for painting aluminum siding is to use an airless paint sprayer. Sprayers provide fast and efficient coverage, especially for larger areas. They are particularly useful for applying oil-based paint. However, sprayers require more setup and clean-up time, and fine overspray can be a concern in windy conditions.

When choosing the right tool for painting aluminum siding, consider the size of the area, the level of detail required, and the type of paint being used. 

Followng the Right Technology

Followng the Right Technology

Following the right technology is crucial when painting aluminum siding to ensure a professional and long-lasting finish. One effective method is using an airless sprayer with a .017 gun tip. This combination allows for a smooth application and even coverage on the siding.

  • When considering the use of an airless paint sprayer, it’s important to weigh the options of renting a professional machine versus purchasing one. Renting a sprayer is often more cost-effective, especially for smaller projects, as it eliminates the need for long-term storage and maintenance. Additionally, renting allows access to higher-quality machines, resulting in a better paint job.
  • Regardless of the chosen method, it is necessary to have the right tools. For paint brushes or sprayers, a ladder is essential to reach all areas of the siding.
  • Additionally, using a handle extension for rollers can help reach the top of the siding without the need for climbing up and down the ladder repeatedly.

By following the right technology and using the appropriate tools, painting aluminum siding can be a successful and efficient project. Whether opting for brushes, rollers, or sprayers, selecting the right equipment ensures a smooth application and a beautiful finished product.


Painting aluminum siding is a great way to add curb appeal and improve the look of any home or business. Ultimately, by selecting the right paint type and color, the right tools, and following the appropriate technology for preparationn and application, aluminum siding can be successfully painted with stunning results. By taking these steps into consideration when planning a painting project, homeowners and businesses alike can achieve beautiful results that last for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions About Painting Aluminum Siding

What type of exterior paint should I use for aluminum siding?

For aluminum siding, acrylic and latex paints work best. Oil-based paints may also be used, but require more preparation and maintenance.

Should I pressure wash the siding before painting?

Pressure washing is recommended prior to painting. This will remove dirt, dust and mildew buildup. However, care must be taken to not damage the surface with too much pressure or heat.

How many coats of paint should I apply?

Generally, two to three coats of high-quality paint are recommended for aluminum siding. The first coat should be a primer or sealer, followed by at least two coats of finish paint.

Are there any tips for exterior painting in direct sunlight?

Yes! When painting in direct sunlight it is important to avoid working during the hottest part of the day (10am-2pm). Additionally, it is important to use lighter colors as darker colors absorb more heat and can cause bubbling or cracking on the finish.