Painting Vinyl Siding, or Not

Answered by Brett ~ March 10, 2011 ~ Comments

I don't like the vinyl siding color on the four-year old house we bought recently. I suggested painting it. My husband says vinyl shouldn't be painted, but he'd agree to buy new vinyl trim for the eaves and windows for a different look. Is that really the best or only option? I don't want to ruin the siding.

Ted R. ~ Bloomington, Illinois

Brett Kulina

Well Ted, years ago the common belief was that you could not paint vinyl siding due to the poor surface adhesion that resulted between low quality paints and old chalky vinyl siding. Fortunately, that is no longer the case, and many of the most popular brands of paint now offer high quality exterior products that are approved by the manufacturer for application on vinyl siding. For example, Benjamin Moore recommends their MoorGlo 100% acrylic paint, or their MoorGard Low Lustre Latex House Paint, for vinyl siding, claiming that the paint can withstand the expansion and contraction that all vinyl siding experiences due to changes in outside air temperature. In certain circumstances, you may have to apply a coat of acrylic primer to the siding before painting it, and this is especially true if your home's existing siding is in poor shape. If you follow the surface preparation instructions that come with the paint that you select, then you should have no problems painting your vinyl siding.

Although the idea of replacing the vinyl trim on your house may seem like a good idea, you may want to reconsider that option. Most vinyl trim is installed prior to the siding panels, which means that you might have to remove all of your home's existing vinyl siding in order to replace the trim pieces. Not only would this be labor intensive, but you risk damaging the siding panels when removing them from the side of the house. At a certain point, it would probably be easier to just replace the siding and the trim pieces if you do not want to paint the vinyl siding.

Perhaps it would be best to visit a paint store in the Bloomington area and ask them to recommend a paint product that is approved for vinyl siding, which you could then test on a small indiscreet area of your home. If the manufacturer claims the paint will last, and you like the look of it on your house, then I would go that route. Good luck with your project and thanks for checking in with us at reliableremodeler.com!

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