Can You Paint Vinyl Siding? How to Give Your Home Exterior a New Look

Refresh and renew your vinyl siding with a fresh coat of paint

Mariel Loveland
Written by Mariel Loveland
Updated June 6, 2023
The front facade of a newly painted house
Photo: tamas / Adobe Stock


Big project; big rewards.

Time to complete

24 hours

It may take a day or more for a large home.



You’ll spend a lot on supplies, but you may save money by DIYing.

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What you'll need:


  • Ladder
  • Garden hose with spray nozzle
  • Bucket
  • Drop cloth
  • Soft-bristled brush or cleaning cloth
  • Paint roller or sprayer
  • Paint tray
  • Paint brush


  • Paint
  • Primer
  • Painter’s tape
  • Household cleaner

Can Vinyl Siding Be Painted?

Yes, you can paint vinyl siding. Paint is an excellent way to completely revamp your home’s exterior on a budget—hello, curb appeal! There’s just a right and wrong way to do it. As long as you make certain considerations that accommodate vinyl’s movement and heat-absorbing properties, you’re good as gold (or white, or whatever color you want to paint your home). This step-by-step guide will teach you how to paint vinyl siding the right way.

Prepping to Paint Your Vinyl Siding

If you’re going to put in the work to paint your siding, you want to make sure it lasts. That means doing your due diligence on research and proper preparation. Here are a few things to consider before you get started. 

What Kind of Paint Should I Use for Vinyl Siding?

A woman holding a color palette
Photo: Miljan Živković / Adobe Stock

If you want to paint vinyl siding, you need to choose a specific type of paint that won’t crack when the material expands and contracts at different temperatures. Only use a latex urethane paint meant for exterior use (you’ll often find these labeled “vinyl safe”). You may or may not need to use a primer. It’s usually recommended, but check the manufacturer’s instructions.

In addition, color really matters—and not just because your homeowner’s association is picky. Vinyl siding can only withstand so much heat before it starts to warp, buckle, or melt. A very dark color can absorb too much heat, and areas that get full sunlight are particularly vulnerable. It’s best to choose a paint color that’s the same as or lighter than the color of your vinyl siding. 

Keep in mind that one gallon of paint covers an area of 300 to 400 square feet of exterior surface. Depending on how many square feet you’re looking to cover, the cost of painting vinyl siding can get somewhat expensive.

Consider the Weather

Weather can ruin a new paint job. If it’s too hot or windy, the paint won’t properly adhere. If it’s rainy, the paint could wash right off the surface of your vinyl siding. Shoot for an overcast day with mild weather and low humidity. Because this project can take a day or more, check the weather for the whole week. Ideally, you should allow paint to dry for at least 24 hours before it rains.

  1. Clean the Siding

    A man pressure washing a house’s vinyl siding with a brush
    Photo: indyedge / Adobe Stock

    There are different ways to clean vinyl siding, but one of the most effective is to use a trusted store-bought household cleaner mixed with a gallon of water. You can apply it to your siding using a soft-bristled scrub brush. You want to remove all the built-up mold, mildew, and debris so it doesn’t get stuck under the paint where it can cause problems.

    If you need to use a ladder to reach certain spots, make sure you have a helper holding the base. Hose the cleaner off the siding, and make sure it’s totally rinsed away and your siding is completely dry before you paint.

  2. Prep the Area

    You’ll have to prep the home exterior for paint. This includes putting down a drop cloth so you don’t accidentally paint your yard and setting up a ladder on a secure flat surface. You should also carefully apply painter’s tape around your windows, door frames, and any other area you don’t want an accidental paint splatter.

  3. Apply Primer (Optional)

    Check the manufacturer’s instructions that come with your paint. Some paints don’t require primer, but it’s typically recommended. It can help paint adhere (creating a longer-lasting coat) and give a smoother look to pitted or porous siding. That being said, if you’re just refreshing the original color of your siding, primer isn’t always necessary.

    If you do want to prime, apply primer to the surface of your vinyl siding using a paint sprayer or roller. A paint brush can help you get in and cover small areas.

    You’ll also want to back-brush the paint to remove drips and make sure it has an easy coat (back-brushing is just the process of using a brush to go over where you’ve already rolled or sprayed).

  4. Apply Two Coats of Paint

    A woman painting the vinyl siding of a house
    Photo: NinaMalyna / Adobe Stock

    Now for the fun part. Once the primer has fully dried, apply your first coat of exterior paint using the same technique you used to apply primer. Let the coat dry completely. Most exterior paints take four to eight hours to dry, but it could take longer in certain weather or with certain products. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once the paint is dry, apply your second coat, and let it dry.

  5. Touch Up Tricky Areas

    Once you’ve done your second coat, take an assessment. Are there any areas that need touching up? Do you actually need a third coat because you’ve painted a drastically different color? Enlisting the help of another person is a good way to catch any spots you may have missed. If needed, touch up your paint job. A small brush can help you get hard-to-reach areas.

  6. Clean Up

    A professional using a lift painting the exterior vinyl siding of a house
    Photo: msteve4770 / Adobe Stock

    Can you paint vinyl siding on your own? Yes, but do you really want to? This is often a major task that requires the use of a ladder. It can take anywhere between one and three days to complete the job depending on the size of your home—and, while it’s not difficult, it is labor intensive. Most people prefer to hire a local exterior painter.

    If you do hire a professional, the cost of painting a home is typically between $2,200 to $7,500. You can save thousands by doing the job yourself, but you should at least hire a local siding contractor to repair any damaged siding before you start. Your DIY paint job will be wasted if you need to make significant repairs after the fact.

Frequently Asked Questions

For the average 2,500-square-foot house, you’ll need 8 to 10 gallons per coat. One gallon of paint covers about 300 to 400 square feet of siding. You’ll also need enough primer for a single coat.

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