Aluminum siding does not rust because it has no iron, but it can still fade with time. If you have faded aluminum siding, you don't have to replace it.
Repainting siding is more cost effective than replacing it. You should be able to complete this job yourself. Here are tips to paint aluminum siding.
Prepare to Work
For this project, you need:
- work gloves
- extension ladder
- pressure washer
- trisodium phosphate cleaner
- scrub brush or sponge
- lead test kit
- 80-grit, 150-grit sandpaper
- paint brush or roller with a pole extender
- paint thinner oil based or acrylic primer paint
- acrylic exterior house paint
For best results, paint on an overcast day with no wind. Wind and sun could cause the paint to dry too fast.
Test the siding for lead. Lead is commonly present in homes built before 1978. Test kits are available at hardware stores. Rub the stick on the aluminum, and watch for color changes. If you get a positive result, talk to an asbestos remediation service before proceeding.
Clean the Siding
Fill the pressure washer with a cup of bleach and a cup of TSP. The TSP will help avoid a chalky residue.
Set the pressure washer on 600 pounds per square inch. Place a ladder on flat ground to reach high areas, or use a roller extender.
Aim the pressure washer in the direction rain would hit it. Cleaning in straight lines from top to bottom may damage the siding. Let the siding dry.
Sand and Prime
Sand the siding moving in one direction. Go over the surface again with 150-grit sandpaper, then rinse and let dry. Sand paper less than 80-grit could damage the siding.
Mix one gallon of oil-based metal primer paint with a pint of paint thinner. Avoid latex because the ammonia in it causes gas bubbles that could strip primer.
If it is impossible to work on an overcast day, start applying primer in a shaded area at one end. Work from left to right or right to left to avoid visible dry lines. Run the applicator backward over the surface. Let the primer dry.
Use 100% acrylic latex paint with a high resin content. Acrylic paint has resin, which is the bonding material.
Apply paint in long even strokes. Avoid paint dripping by working from the top down on vertical siding. Paint horizontal siding from left to right .
Let the paint dry. Touch the paint in a hidden area. Dry paint will not feel sticky to touch. Add a second coat, if desired for a professional look.
A paint job updates your siding without replacement. If you don't trust you skill, or the siding is seriously damaged, talk to a contractor like Professional Home Improvement Inc for more advice.