Whether it’s your dream palace or a quick flip, the outside colour of a house isn’t something you should be basing a purchase on. That being said, when the colour isn’t appealing or is looking old and tired, you can do something about it. If you’re selling, it’s not just something you CAN do something about it’s something you SHOULD do something about. Street appeal is huge.
For years, we’ve heard that you shouldn’t paint vinyl or aluminum siding. With advancements in paint products, this is all yesterday’s news and painting your siding is in. Not only is it cheaper (definitely less than half the cost), it’s more environmentally friendly (a few buckets of paint vs. a whole house worth of siding), it creates less of a mess in your yard plus you don’t need any technical skills to do it.
First step is to assess the state of the siding. If it is basically solid, painting is okay. If it is really messed up with many holes and dents, you may need to replace.
For vinyl or aluminum, clean it well and let it dry thoroughly. Clean with TSP / bleach / and a few drops of dish soap. Don’t powerwash unless you really know how to power wash siding (yes, there is a special way to do this!). Scrub with a brush, rinse, dry. You’re goal is to remove any dirt, bugs, chalky film (on vinyl, that’s actually dried up pigment) and essentially anything that the paint will stick to before it sticks to the siding.
Once it’s clean, get your paint. For vinyl, you can use a good quality acrylic primer paint, on aluminum, you should use an oil based primer paint for metal (acrylic can cause a reaction with aluminum). The primer in the paint will help adhesion, ensuring that it sticks and won’t bubble up or flake off prematurely. Ask at your paint store, look up your options and make the best choice for the type of siding you have. Keep in mind that the colour you choose can not be darker than the colour of the siding. By painting it darker you may actually cause the newly painted siding to buckle from excess heat. Definitely not the look you were after!
It’s a long job. Don’t expect to paint your whole house in a day or even in a weekend unless you have lots of help. You’ll need to do two coats.
Of course it’s way more fun to get a tan while you’re doing it, but it’s better to paint in the shade after the sun has passed – follow the sun. A cloudy warm day is even better. You want the paint to take a little longer to dry as it will stick better.
Really, that’s all there is to it! So if you hate the colour of your house, plan a few days to paint and make it something you love!