Well, hurray! The house is painted. And it looks so much better. It really looks like a different house now that that ugly yellow/peach color is gone. It’s about time the outside looks as great as the inside. (I painted the porch, too, as you see.)
Painting has definitely improved curb appeal. Before, I was a little embarrassed. But no more.
I’m seriously loving it.
I know that several readers are considering painting aluminum siding because you’ve told me. It’s a great deal of work, but I think you’ll agree it’s worth the effort when you see how great it can turn out. After completing the project, Ryan and I are thrilled with the way it looks. Because we spent lots of time prepping the siding, the finish is really nice. It looks just like the factory finish. I don’t think you’re able to even tell it was painted unless we tell you. (Which we are doing.)
While I cannot say how it will wear yet, I feel confident in the durability. Everything I’m reading says the finish should last another 15-20 years. And the past peachy/yellow finish was likely 30-40 years old. It was certainly time for an update.
Here are a few notes about the process as we completed it.
For the project, first you’ll need to find a high-quality exterior acrylic latex paint.
While there are lots of exterior paints on the market, I think this is a project where you don’t want to skimp on quality paint and supplies. Exterior paints take a beating all year round. Get good paint.
We went with Sherwin Williams SuperPaint Exterior Acrylic Latex. This is a high-end exterior paint recommended for painting aluminum siding. (There’s is an even higher-end paint – Duration – which is not recommended for aluminum.) You can choose your sheen on this paint. We went with flat, which helps hide imperfections. It also best mimics the factory finish of aluminum siding.
Painting with a sprayer does use a lot more paint. The coats go on thicker and you lose quite a bit of paint in the machine. When we did the math with our gal at Sherwin Williams, we figured 10 gallons. When all is said and done, we used around 16.5 gallons. Buy 5 gallon buckets, if possible.
(A color note – we had the color matched to a piece of siding from the garage. Sherwin Williams did an excellent job.)
We also used EB Emulsabond on the first coat of paint. This is an additive for the paint that helps it stick to siding better. It helped us avoid the priming step, which wasn’t recommended for SuperPaint anyhow. (Some experts do require priming, but after consulting with our gal at Sherwin Williams, we decided to got with Emulsabond instead and we are happy we did. It seemed to bond really well.)
The Emulsabond went into the paint about 1 gallon/4 gallons of paint. We had to mix it really well ourselves before spraying. And, it wasn’t needed for the second coat.
You’ll also need an airless sprayer. We rented ours from Home Depot for two days (one day each weekend). We ended up spending around $110 total. (We received a discount each day because we brought it back super clean and apparently the employees were pleased with us.)
Ryan hadn’t used an airless sprayer before, but he got the hang of it quickly. Our friend Dave also came over to help and he had used a sprayer before. It is helpful to have two people, but not imperative. They spent some time practicing the spray before getting started, so they could ensure the PSI was correct and the finish was smooth.
Other supplies we purchased included -
- Small foam rollers (to fix any runs or splatters, foam rollers do a better job than brushes or other rollers)
- Painters tape (to tape off windows)
- Plastic (to cover windows and other fixtures)
First, you’ll need to replace any damaged pieces. Luckily for us, there were not many damaged areas so we got up early. But if there are broken, missing, dented or damaged areas, replace them now.
Then, the siding has to be really clean and free of chalk and dirt to ensure the paint will adhere well. (Aluminum siding builds a heavy chalk layer over the years. If you touch old siding, you’ll have chalky residue on your hands. If you don’t remove this, the paint will peel right off.)
Oh yeah, my infamous befores and afters.
Feeling more like home by the day.