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Painting Home Siding

Everything You Need to Know About Painting Your Siding

Painting home siding can provide an affordable, effective way to enhance your house’s curb appeal. 

Your home siding has served you well, but its color can fade over time. In this instance, you may explore ways to improve its look and make sure the color is consistent across your home. You may even wonder if you can paint your siding — or if doing so may be more trouble than it’s worth. 

Can you paint your siding?

You can paint your home siding — and doing so may prove to be a viable alternative to replacing it. Home siding can fade, which causes its color to look uneven on different areas of your home. But, if you paint your siding, you can quickly bolster its appearance without breaking your budget. 

The cost to replace siding can be substantial, regardless of siding type. On the other hand, it may only take a few hours to paint faded siding across your home. That makes painting your siding a fast, affordable way to upgrade its look and extend its lifespan.  

Pros and cons of painting each siding type

Before you choose to paint home siding, it is important to assess the siding type and weigh the pros and cons associated with painting it. That way, you’ll know exactly what to expect and can make an informed decision about how to proceed.

Vinyl (not recommended)

The one kind of siding we do not recommend painting is vinyl siding. Although the color may go on fine and look good for a little while, vinyl siding expands and contracts. Once it gets cold, the panels contract and expose the sections that were previously overlapping (and therefore not painted). This movement can also cause the paint to wear unevenly and lead to other issues.

Painting vinyl siding could also void its warranty, and if your siding is buckling, bulging, or melting, painting also won’t fix this damage. Also, it may be difficult to match your siding color to the color of your paint. All in all, it’s best to find another solution for worn-looking vinyl siding.

James Hardie

There is minimal prep work required before you paint James Hardie siding. Furthermore, its color will remain intact long after you have finished your paint job.  

James Hardie siding requires 100% acrylic paint that needs to be applied properly to achieve the optimal results. Like vinyl siding, it can sometimes be tough to match James Hardie siding’s color to the color of your paint. 


Painting PVC siding is generally beneficial, as mold, mildew, dirt and other debris may cause its appearance to deteriorate. By painting PVC siding, you can make it closely resemble finely painted wood. Also, PVC siding does not absorb moisture, so it will maintain its appearance for years, even if it is subjected to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays and other harsh weather elements. 

If you paint PVC siding, you need to do so correctly. Failure to wipe down, clean and prepare the siding properly can reduce the effectiveness of your paint job. You also need to use 100% acrylic paint and avoid priming the surface. It may be better to choose a light color over a dark one when you paint PVC siding as well; dark colors tend to attract more heat, which can cause your siding to warp. 

The 10-step siding painting process

Painting your home siding may seem like a long, arduous process on paper. However, if you plan accordingly, the job doesn’t need to be a nightmare and should come out looking beautiful. Here are 10 steps to a successful siding painting project: 

1. Test for lead paint

If your home was built before 1978, your siding may contain lead paint. You need to protect yourself and others from airborne lead particles. So, if you believe your siding’s paint may contain lead, you should conduct a lead test. 

Lead tests are available online and at paint and hardware stores. They are inexpensive and can be completed without delay. 

If you complete a lead test and find your siding contains lead, take precautions to limit the risk of spreading airborne lead particles. These include laying plastic drop cloths around any siding areas you plan to paint, collecting paint scrapings on these cloths, wearing a mask and Tyvek suit while you work, and cleaning your work areas with a HEPA vacuum. Upon completion, you should dispose of all materials appropriately as well. 

2. Wash your siding

By washing your siding, you can eliminate mildew and other problems before you start the paint job. 

Many solutions are available that you can use to wash your siding. For instance, cleaners that contain a mix of water and phosphate are often affordable and effective. Or you can pressure-wash it. 

If you choose a cleaner, keep in mind that you’ll have to apply the cleaner on your own, which can be a time-consuming process. Conversely, if you decide to pressure-wash your siding, you may want to hire a professional to do so — if you apply too much pressure, you may inadvertently damage the siding. 

3. Remove loose paint

Loose, flaky paint on your siding is problematic and needs to be removed. You can use a handheld scraper to address this issue. You should also spray water on paint as you scrape it from your siding and collect the debris afterward. 

4. Use sandpaper on rough patches

Smooth out any rough spots on your siding with sandpaper. Start slowly and apply low pressure on rough patches; this minimizes the risk that you’ll damage the siding as you sand it down. If necessary, you can apply greater pressure to ensure all rough spots are smoothed out. 

5. Fill and repair holes

You may find minor holes, dents and dings across your siding — but you can correct these issues right away. To do so, apply patching putty, which typically delivers fast results. 

6. Apply primer

Add primer to your siding. Remember, primer won’t be required for each type of siding, so only use it as necessary. 

Grey, tinted or white primer is usually a good choice, as they provide an even topcoat. You can apply primer across siding areas that need to be painted, along with gaps in joints and around windows, doors, and other spots where horizontals and verticals meet. 

7. Apply caulking

Use polyurethane or siliconized caulk on all joints across your siding. This caulk helps prevent air leaks and water penetration. 

8. Apply your first coat of paint

Apply your first coat of paint across the siding, then assess its appearance and ensure the paint is evenly applied.

9. Add a second coat of paint and more as needed

You may require multiple coats to achieve your intended results. If you find that your paint still looks uneven after an initial coat, apply a second one. 

10. Maintain your siding

Once you paint your siding, it is important to do everything you can to maximize the value of that paint job. If you maintain your siding, you can keep it looking great now and in the future. 

When it comes to siding maintenance, inspect the caulk annually. You should also watch for mold, mildew, or any other signs of wear and tear. 

If you notice stains on the siding, clean them up immediately. You should touch up blisters or peeling on it as well. 

It may only take a few minutes to assess your siding, but the benefits of doing so can be significant. If you notice severe siding damage or other problems, contact an expert for help. You may even want to consider siding repair or replacement from the experts at Blue Nail Roofing and Siding

Choose Blue Nail as your siding experts

Your home siding is a difference-maker that impacts the quality and appearance of your residence. In some instances, painting your siding may help rejuvenate the entire residence’s appearance. Yet, at other times, painting siding may be insufficient, particularly if it has been severely damaged. 

Siding can be a hassle to repair or replace, particularly for homeowners who are seeking expert siding help for the first time. Thankfully, Blue Nail takes the guesswork out of home siding maintenance, and we can help you quickly and easily repair or replace it. 

Blue Nail offers full-service siding repairs and services. We employ siding experts who are well-trained and possess many years of industry experience, and we do our part to ensure that every siding project is a success. 

If your siding is damaged or deteriorating, we are happy to review it and offer a free estimate. Our team can meet with you, examine your siding, and offer a personalized repair or replacement recommendation. If you have any siding concerns or questions, we’re happy to address them, too. 

Discuss your home siding project with the Blue Nail team today
We are available to discuss home siding and other projects and want to assist you in any way we can. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, please contact us online or call us today at 973-937-8876.

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