Should I Install Vinyl Siding or Just Paint My Home?
Many people are surprised to learn that vinyl siding can be painted. Part of the reason people opt for vinyl is to avoid painting every few years, and chances are you’ve heard people say that paint doesn’t stick well to vinyl.
Painting vinyl used to be problematic, but times have changed. As technology has improved, exterior paints have emerged that work well on vinyl siding. There’s a fair amount of prep work involved, as with any painting job, but the results can be impressive. If the job is done correctly, the paint can reduce or eliminate the plastic look that lower grades of vinyl have.
Painting vs. Replacing
Painting your vinyl siding is a great way to spruce up the exterior without spending a lot of money. If you do the work yourself, budget $300-$500 in most cases for paint and supplies. Hiring a professional might cost $1,500-$5,000 for an average-size home.
Replacing your vinyl siding, on the other hand, usually costs anywhere from $7,000 to $15,000, depending on the size of your home, its layout and local labor costs.
However, there are instances when painting is not a good idea. If your siding is cracked or damaged, a paint job won’t disguise those flaws. Keep in mind, too, that once you start painting vinyl siding, you’ll have to do it every five to seven years. It won’t be long before those costs match what you would have spent to replace the siding altogether. High-quality vinyl siding can look good for 20-40 years without being painted.
The choice really comes down to your budget and how much maintenance you’re willing to do. If you can afford new siding and you don’t want to deal with any maintenance for the next couple decades, replace it. If you’re on a tight budget and/or don’t mind repainting the home every few years, repainting is a viable option.
How to Paint Vinyl
If you decide to repaint, make sure you choose an exterior paint that is specifically formulated for vinyl siding. Most major brands offer one. Always test the paint first in a discreet area to make sure it sticks well and looks good.
Clean your vinyl siding thoroughly before painting. Wash the entire exterior with manufacturer-approved cleaners and brushes, then hose it down. Spot clean any stubborn stains, including mold and mildew.
If your siding is in rough shape, it’s a good idea to apply a primer coat. If not, paint the vinyl lengthwise, letting the first coat dry completely before applying a second. Always check the weather before you start painting - a rain shower can easily ruin a day’s work, and extreme heat can hamper the paint’s ability to adhere.