What Type of Paint Should I Use on Vinyl Siding?

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Paint used for vinyl siding must be able to withstand the material's tendency to expand and contract.
Paint used for vinyl siding must be able to withstand the material's tendency to expand and contract. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

When you decide to paint your vinyl siding, you must use the right type of paint. Vinyl siding can expand and contract due to environmental temperature changes, as well as different exposure to sunlight and shade. These fluctuations mean that vinyl siding is always changing, so the paint you use on vinyl siding must withstand these changes as well.

Choosing the Type of Paint

The best type of paint for vinyl siding is high-grade acrylic latex paint. It has excellent bonding abilities and has enough flexibility to withstand the expansion and contraction vinyl siding repeatedly undergoes. Look for one that has a blend of urethane and acrylic resins.

Selecting the New Color

Ideally, your new vinyl siding color will have the same shade or a lighter shade than the existing color because the siding was designed to absorb a certain level of heat. If you darken the siding color, it may absorb more heat than the siding was designed to tolerate. Buckling or other distortions could then occur.

Preparing to Paint

Scour the siding thoroughly to have all mildew and dirt removed. You can do it by hand or with a pressure washer, but hand scouring will likely be more effective. Use an oxygen bleach solution if you have mildew, or a vinyl siding cleanser you can purchase at hardware stores. Rinse the siding thoroughly, and allow it to dry completely before painting.

Choosing When to Paint

Though you may think a sunny day would provide an ideal time to paint vinyl siding, you must take care not to paint when the siding is in direct sunlight. Instead, paint on an overcast day, which will provide the best conditions for the paint to dry and adhere.

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