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Can you paint aluminum siding?

Painting aluminum siding is very common and can be done correctly with the proper know how and know what. I will give you the basics of what you need to know in order to make your aluminum siding, aluminum trim, or aluminum gutters look beautiful again.

Painted aluminum siding, working on trim wrap


• Like any other surface, you want the aluminum to be clean and dry before you do anything else.

• There is no need to use a lot of pressure when your washing, a mix of bleach and water and some detergent is sufficient for mildew growth and most dirt that may be clinging to the house.

Rinse really well so there is no more chemicals left on the siding.

Determine if there is a chalky residue existing on the surface. Washing may not remove all of this. Run your finger along the surface and look to see any chalkiness is present. If so, see paint application below for further instructions.

Fill and/or caulk any holes that may allow water to pass through to the substrate, but make sure it is not an intended expansion joint or weeping hole. If unsure, seek professional advice. When using caulk prior to painting, make sure it is paintable.

• If desired, remove any light fixtures, downspouts and anything else to make the job nicer and easier.

Cut back any shrubbery and tree limbs that are growing too close to the house

Paint Application

If you determined that the surface is still a chalky after cleaning, you will want to use one of the following:

  1. Primer that will bind to the chalky surface like Zinsser Bulls Eye 123

  2. Add Flood Emulsa Bond to your 100% acrylic exterior paint

Always use a high quality product such as Sherwin-Williams Duration or Resilience. I find these exterior paints to be the sweet spot in the product line for price and quality purposes. These are my personal preferences but you can also use Emerald, Super Paint, and A-100 on aluminum surfaces.

We have a famous saying here on the Delmarva Peninsula, "If you don't like the weather, stick around a while and it will change." This is the reason Resilience has become one of my favorites, because it has Moisture Guard technology that resists early moisture and protects the freshly painted surface.When working on hot, sunny days it is good practice to follow the shady side of the house. This will prevent the paint from drying too fast and help you keep a wet edge. There are also paint additives to help slow the drying process like Floetrol by Flood or Enhancer by Latex Agent. I would personally only use one additive per gallon of paint, so use the one that is most important to the final outcome.


It is good practice to clean the exterior of your home once a year. Keeping dirt and mildew growth off of your painted surface will extend the life of your investment.

If using a pressure washer, avoid using too much pressure.

It may be a good idea to hire a cleaning professional to keep your home looking its best.

Have more questions? Call Danny at 410-341-0605 or if you're ready to book an estimate you can do it online at YouCanBookMe.

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