Can I Paint Over My Home's Vinyl Siding?

Marwa Hasan
Written by Marwa Hasan
Updated June 9, 2021
Vinyl siding
© SimplyCreativePhotography / E+ / Getty Images

Painting vinyl siding can be a quick way to refresh and renew the exterior of your home

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That vinyl siding that looked so sparkly and new 20 years ago now more closely resembles old deck boards. You were hoping to put off replacement for a few more years, but you don’t want to leave it as-is. You start to wonder, can you paint vinyl siding? 

Good news: yes, you can! 

If you’re wondering how to paint your vinyl siding, follow those instructions to boost the aesthetics of your home for a look that will last you a few years.

Is Painting a Vinyl Siding Durable?

Painting vinyl siding is not a long-term solution but a temporary option if you need to Band-aid your siding until you’re ready to replace it. You can paint siding every two to five years. However, if you live in an area with extreme weather conditions like humidity, snow, or direct sunlight, you may need to repaint your home more frequently.

Can You Paint Vinyl Siding Yourself?

Painting your exterior isn’t tricky, but you’ll need to dedicate a big chunk of time and prepare to put in some sweat equity.

How to Paint Vinyl Siding Step-by-step

  • Step 1: Clean the surface

  • Step 2: Apply masking tape

  • Step 3: Apply primer (optional)

  • Step 4: Apply two coats of paint

Follow along for the detailed project steps:

Step 1: Clean the Surface

A power wash and elbow grease will remove dust and grime from the surface to get it ready for the paint.

  • Mix one gallon of water with half a cup of detergent, two-thirds cup of powder cleaner, and one quart of oxygen-based laundry bleach

  • Thoroughly wash the surface with the solution and a soft-bristled brush from the top down

  • Wipe with a clean sponge

Step 2: Apply Masking Tape

Apply masking tape around window and door frames to prevent the paint from seeping into the corners or stain areas you don’t need to paint.

Step 3: Apply Primer (optional)

Priming is an optional step for some, but it’s necessary for the following situations:

  • If you want to paint a lighter color

  • For the color to stick and last longer

  • If the paint you use requires priming first

Step 4: Apply Two Coats of Paint

Close-up of vinyl siding
© JamesBrey / E+ / Getty Images

What Kind of Paint Can You Use on Vinyl Siding?

While it’s tempting to pick up the least expensive option, not every type of paint will stick to vinyl. A VinylSafe paint (made from latex) from Benjamin Moore® or Sherwin-Williams is the perfect choice for vinyl siding.

Can You Paint Vinyl Siding a Darker Color?

Painting sidings with dark colors will absorb more heat than it can handle, causing vinyl sheets to warp over time. As much as you might love the look of dark grays or blues, it’s best to pick a color similar to the original. 

Does Paint Stick to Vinyl Siding?

Vinyl will resist regular paint. However, here are a few tips you can do to make the paint sticks better and lasts at least a couple of years:

  • A VinylSafe paint sticks better and gives the surface a smoother finish at the end

  • Cleaning thoroughly, fixing any damage, and prepping the surface will result in an exceptional painting job

  • Work only in proper weather conditions

Is It Worth Painting Vinyl Siding, or Is It Better to Replace It?

Painting is an easy and affordable way to give the exterior of your home a boost, but is it worth it? 

Here are some factors to consider before deciding whether to paint or replace your vinyl siding.

Pros and Cons of Painting Vinyl Siding

Pros

  • Painting vinyl siding adds a layer of protection for a few years and increases the lifespan of vinyl siding

  • It’s affordable. Paint costs 50-60% less than replacing vinyl siding

  • Painting gives your home a high-value look and boosts curb appeal

Cons

  • If your home is large, painting might cost you more time and money than you expect. However, a professional bulk deal might help you minimize the cost

  • Painting might void the warranty if it’s still active. Check whether the warranty and insurance allow painting over your vinyl siding

  • Damage can still be visible even with a fresh coat of paint. Fix problems like pests, moisture, holes, or dents before painting

  • If the siding is more than 20 years old, then it's time to consider replacing it. An inspector can help you decide before painting it

Painting a vinyl siding can be more challenging than your average painting job. Even if you’re a bedroom-painting pro, you may not be ready to handle the unique prep and potential mistakes. There is some prepping that leads to it and many mistakes to avoid to achieve a perfect-looking home. For best results, consult an exterior painting pro near you.

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