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Painting Vinyl Siding: What You Need To Know
Painting your vinyl siding can not only make your home look fresh and clean, it can also add a vibrant color that adds new life to your home's exterior. One word of advice before you begin painting over your vinyl siding - talk to a professional to get an accurate idea of the cost. Another factor is increased maintenance. Once you paint, you will lose the maintenance free quality of the imbued factory finish and you might need to paint every ten years or so.
Painting vinyl siding is challenging for several reasons. Vinyl siding expands and contracts significantly due to changes in heat and cold. Not just seasonal fluctuations, but changes during the day as it exposed to direct sunlight, shade, and darkness. Consequently, traditional paints do not bond well with vinyl because of the continual fluctuation of this constant back and forth movement. This obviously makes it challenging to paint.
How to Paint Vinyl Siding
The exceptional bonding capabilities of high-grade acrylic latex paint make it the ideal choice because it will expand and contract, achieving the elasticity your siding needs. The ones that seem to work best with are ones that have a blend of urethane and acrylic resins. Water based urethanes mixed with high-grade acrylic resins produce an easy to apply paint with superb adhesive qualities, which is exactly what you need to counteract the constant shifting of the PVC. Exterior latex paints that contain urethane are easy to find. Just look for paints labeled "urethane."
Picking the Right Color
While an entirely new color scheme is an enticing possibility, there are some limitations. For example, the new color should be lighter than the original color because if you chose a darker color, it will absorb more heat than the older coating. When the vinyl siding was produced, its composition was coordinated with the specific level of heat projected for that particular shade manufactured to resist specific levels of heat. Vinyl products, especially older ones, were predominately lighter colors because vinyl soaks up heat and can buckle and distort when overheated. Lighter shades absorb less heat. This means you can actually damage your siding if you paint it a color that is too dark for its factory prescribed chemical makeup.
For this reason, paint manufacturers highly recommend that you paint the vinyl siding a color that is no darker than the current shade of your vinyl siding. For example, if your siding is currently a light shade of beige, you can paint it a light shade of green, blue, tan, etc.
Finding the Right Shade
The trick is to use paint store color chip cards to guide you. Locate a color that is as close as possible to your existing siding. Use that color chip card as a benchmark and find paints of the new color you'd prefer whose depth of color matches that of your original siding color.
Before You Start To Paint
Now that your have the paint, there are a few preliminary steps you need to take to ensure that you get the best results. Start by scouting out and cleaning all the dirt and mildew that has built up on the side of your house over the years. You can hand scrub or power wash but even though they are much quicker and easier, you shouldn't depend implicitly on pressure washers to clean your existing surfaces. Not only do they not get all the dirt off the surfaces, but they also can inject massive amounts of water into and behind the siding. This hidden water can cause big problems as you begin to apply the new paint.
You are probably better off to make the extra effort up front, which will pay off down the road in the durability of your paint job. This means using soap and water and some good old-fashioned elbow grease. You must mechanically remove the dirt film from the existing painted surfaces with soapy sponges, rags, or brushes. There are many cleaners available at your local hardware store. After cleaning it, it is important to rinse it thoroughly. If you skip this step, the paint will not stick to the surface.
If you find mildew on the existing surfaces, avoid chlorine bleach because it will damage the vegetation around your home. Instead, use an oxygen bleach solution to remove it. Oxygen bleach is guaranteed to harm neither the siding nor any vegetation near your home. If its not available at your local home improvement center, you can easily find oxygen bleach with a quick search on the Internet.
Choosing the Best Time to Paint
You are now ready to paint! So just wait for the next warm, sunny day and start slapping the brush, right? Actually, no; painting in direct sunlight is possibly the worst thing you can do. Contrary to what many people believe, windy, hot, or sunny conditions are not the best weather in which to paint. Try not to paint in direct sunlight if at all possible. Overcast weather produces better results. If you can paint your home in cooler weather and preferably on overcast days, the paint will have excellent conditions in which to dry and bond to both the vinyl and existing wood siding.
It is recommended that you apply two coats of paint. Two coats of paint will provide not only the excellent adhesion and flexibility that is required, but also help to prveent peeling and fading.
If you follow these simple steps, your home will look like new again with a paint job that should last a decade.