Ten or 20 years ago, the answer would probably be, ‘No.’
But with advances in paint technology, painting siding has not only become possible, some highly rated painters say it’s become a cost-effective alternative to replacing siding. Many now offer the service.
“Vinyl starts to fade and shows UV damage over time,” Ray Parsons of Island Mainland Painting, Muskoka says of the damage the sun’s ultraviolet rays do over time. “It gets kind of ugly. Painting over it makes it look much better.”
Why preparation is key to painting vinyl
One advantage of vinyl siding – a staple on many Canadian homes – is its longevity; it can last up to 50 years. It’s also low maintenance, although it can become dirty and fade over time.
“The number-one reason people decide to paint it and change the color is because it’s getting dirty,” says Ray Parsons. “In some cases, it can be cleaned and brought back to an acceptable appearance. But painting always comes out really well.”
Before vinyl siding is painted, it needs completely cleaned off (think spick-and-span). Ray recommends using a power washer with a house cleaning agent that contains mildewcide.
“The preparation is the key,” Ray says. “If it’s not properly prepared and cleaned, the paint will peel. Painting on vinyl siding is very dependent on having a clean surface, using an adhesive primer and a high quality acrylic paint.”
After applying an adhesive primer, Long recommends adding two coats of 100 percent acrylic paint – best applied with a spray gun. Acrylic paint bonds over the vinyl surface.
Using [acrylic] paint with vinyl-safe technology will adhere really [well] to the vinyl,” “You don’t want to use a thick paint because it will flake.”
We always recommend staying away from dark colors, such as black and dark blue, because, over time, the constant exposure to the sun can cause the paint to bubble.
Why painting vinyl is cost-effective
Although prices vary greatly, replacing vinyl siding generally costs about $200 to $300 per 100 square feet, according to highly rated siding experts.
60 percent savings by painting instead of replacing can easily be realized. Long estimates a savings between 50 and 65 percent.
“It’s worth painting it because paint on vinyl should last you about 20 years, and if you replace it, it will last you about 25 years,” “You should replace your vinyl siding if you don’t paint it at least every 25 years.
However, some service providers say you may need to repaint every 10 years if the paint dulls or chips.
Another option to consider is if the siding has a lifetime warranty. . Some manufacturers will void your warranty if the siding is altered in any way, so check the specifics before you paint, if you want to keep that warranty valid.
Why you should hire a professional
If you’re thinking about having the vinyl painted, it’s probably a project better left to the professionals.
“It’s a tough homeowner project because the paint needs to go on smooth,” Long says. “If you’re not applying an even coat – even if you’re diligent about the prep work – and you have no experience, it could (turn out poorly).”