How To Repaint Your Home's Aluminum Siding

After your home's aluminum siding has been exposed to the outdoor elements for several years, its painted surface can become faded, chalky-looking, and can begin to peel from your siding. You can restore the surface of your home's aluminum siding by cleaning and repainting it. Here are instructions to help you accomplish this and improve the look of your home's exterior.

Clean Your Siding

Before you can begin to repaint your aluminum siding, you first need to clean it and remove all residues, so the new layer of primer and paint will properly adhere. If you have any pine or other types of trees around your yard that release sap, you may find spots of sap stuck on your siding. You can apply something like Goo Gone onto the sap on your siding, using a cloth. Work the product into the sap until it dissolves from the siding. Also, applying peanut butter onto the tree sap will help to remove the sticky substances. The oils in the peanut butter react naturally to break down the sap as you rub it into the residue.

Next, you will need to remove any bird droppings, peeling paint, mold, mildew, and chalky residue from the surface of your aluminum's painted surface. The best tool to use to remove these residues is a power washer and a universal white-colored 40 degree spray tip. You can rent one at most equipment rental businesses. This tip provides a gentle spray you can use to clean your aluminum siding without damaging its surface.

You will need to use a cleaning solution with your power washer to help remove any chalky residue, mold, and mildew from your siding. Combine together one cup chlorine bleach with one cup of trisodium phosphate (TSP) to every gallon of water, and add it into the power washer's reservoir. You can find TSP at most home improvement stores. If you have any vegetation around the foundation of your home, it is important to cover it with tarps to protect the vegetation from the chemicals in your cleaning solution.

Now you can connect your garden hose to the power washer nozzle inlet and spray the surface of your aluminum siding at a downward angle. Spraying at this angle helps prevent water from getting behind the siding and also prevents the force from the power washer from lifting and damaging your siding panels.

After you have removed all residues from your siding, use the same white-colored pressure washer tip to rinse the siding with clean water. Allow one full day for the aluminum siding to fully dry before painting.

Paint Your Siding

To evenly apply paint onto your siding, it is best to use a paint sprayer. You can rent a good quality professional grade paint sprayer to complete this task yourself, or hire a professional painter to apply the primer and paint for you. 

First, you will need to mask around any windows, to prevent the primer and paint from over-spray onto the window glass and trim. Tape up painter's plastic over your windows, doors, and any other non-aluminum siding surfaces you don't want primed and painted. Also, you may want to place painting tarps on the ground or vegetation around your home's foundation to catch any drips or over spray.

When doing the painting yourself, it is recommended by the professionals to use an exterior oil-based primer specifically designed to be used on metal surfaces, which you can find at most home improvement and painting stores. Once applied, the oil-based primer will take a bit longer to dry than an acrylic primer but will prevent a chemical reaction from occurring between the primer and the aluminum siding. Most latex primer and paint contain ammonia, and when ammonia comes into contact with aluminum, a gas is created, bubbling up your layer of primer. 

After the primer has dried according to the product's recommended time frame, spray on an acrylic paint in your color choice. Remove the masking tape immediately to prevent it from permanently adhering to your home's surfaces.

Use these instructions to clean and repaint your home's aluminum siding. Or if you feel you cannot do this on your own, contact professional house painters in your area, such as those at J Maintenance Co.