Color lock siding is designed specifically to weather the trials of covering the exterior of a home. Manufactured to resist fading and to hold is color for longer than traditional siding or paint products, color lock has been a prime choice for many homeowners. Unfortunately, no product is perfect, and like any surface exposed to weathering, it will fade over time. Luckily, there's a solution.
Can I Paint this Siding?
Fortunately, you can paint the color lock siding on your home. Before you do, however, thoroughly check the siding. Fading paint is one thing; however, if you find extensive damage or weathering of the siding material, not just the paint, consider replacing the siding instead of repainting.
Even the best coat of paint will not relieve all ills. If you find integrity issues or damage that you are not sure how to repair, contact a siding expert, or talk to an expert at your local hardware or home improvement store. Ignoring damage can worsen the condition of the siding, and can turn even a small problem into a need for a full-scale house re-siding.
How do I Prepare to Paint?
The most important thing to remember when you are painting your color lock siding is that it must be completely clean before you begin. This is especially important if you have not cleaned the siding in a while. Dirt, grime, soil and other such buildup will stop the primer and paint from adhering to the siding, which will cause you to have to repaint again far sooner than you want to.
Start by using a plastic or metal scraper to remove any peeling paint. Remove dirt and grime with cold water and a stiff scrub brush; a long-handled car washer may make it easier to reach those high places on the walls. Always start from the bottom and work your way up, so that the cleaner does not leave streaks that dry before you wipe them up.
If you encounter tough stains, mix 1/3 cup of trisodium phosphate cleaner (available at most hardware or home improvement stores) into 1 gallon of water; this cleaner is especially good at removing built up dirt and grease. If even that doesn't work, add another 1/3 cup of the TSP and 1/3 cup of regular laundry detergent.
For mold or mildew stains on the siding, mix 1 qt. of household bleach into your cleaning solution. Before you add bleach, check that none of your other cleaners contain ammonia. Mixing bleach and ammonia can cause toxic fumes, so be careful and read all ingredients closely.
Power washers can be extremely effective cleaners, but only in the right hands. When not used properly, you can cause streaking or severe damage to your siding. Use these tools with care.
How do I Prime and Paint?
Prime the siding with an exterior acrylic primer. Try to find a primer close to your finishing color; be sure that the primer is no darker than the finishing color, or else it may show through the paint. Priming will supply a smooth and even surface to which the paint can adhere, resulting in a smoother finish.
Use an exterior acrylic paint with a satin or semi-gloss finish to paint the siding. This will provide a shiny appearance, and the exterior designation will help the paint stand up to weathering and fading much better. You can paint with a spray gun or with brushes or rollers. Follow all product instructions regarding use of paint thinner and number of coats needed to complete the project.