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topic 10145

Remove oxidation from aluminum siding and clearcoat it?

A discussion started in 2001 but continuing through 2020


Q. My home is approximately 16 years old. It is Aluminum sided. Over time the aluminum has oxidized forming a white powdery covering on the aluminum dulling the color.

I am looking for a product that will remove the oxidation and restore the color (gray).

I have tried power washing but this does not seem to cut through the oxidation. Perhaps some chemical in conjunction with the power wash?

Any tips would be appreciated.

Warren G [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Middletown, Maryland

affil. link
"Siding: Step by Step Installation Techniques"
from Abe Books


affil. link
"Exterior Siding, Trim and Finishes"
from Abe Books



A. You could find exterior paint of the same shade and repaint it. While your new paint will not have the adhesion of the factory baked finish, my experience as a homeowner has been that in practical terms it's not a problem.

If your existing siding looks good when it is clean and still wet, it is possible to apply a clear coat from suppliers such as Everbrite [a supporting advertiser] -- which they claim will make it look when dry much the way it does when wet.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha


A. Just a note: Contact an RV repair dealer, they will tell you what type of "acid wash" they use to clean RVs and aluminum horse trailers. Also there are places, mostly truck stops, that "acid wash" aluminum trailers that semis haul down the road, they may be able to tell you what the compound is. I too have had this problem, with my aluminum horse trailer. I tried a bunch of aluminum polishes, oxidation removers, etc. Acid washing (pressure washing with a special acid solution) was the only thing that made it look new again.

Nancy Langford
- felda, Florida


thumbs up sign Hi, Nancy. Thanks. But were your horse trailer and the tanker trucks you are referring to unpainted aluminum? Although the siding on Warren's house is made of aluminum and is gray, I doubt that it is unpainted aluminum like a horse trailer or tanker truck ... personally I've never seen that on a house.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

To minimize search efforts and to offer multiple viewpoints, we combined previously separate threads onto this page. Please forgive any resultant repetition, failures of chronological order, or what may look like readers disrespecting previous responses -- those other responses may not have been on the page at the time :-)

Clearcoat on aluminum siding?


Q. Hi there,

We own a home that is sided with aluminum siding. It is a wine color but is so badly faded that we want to bring the color back up. A man stopped by last year and gave us an estimate on clear coating it and sprayed a sample section using Tremclad clear. It looks great. I have spoken with other companies who have never heard of anyone doing this.

We want to know more about what to expect if we decide to paint with this product and where we can buy it in larger quantities (all we can find are quarts size cans). Also, would brushing it on work OK.


Tracey J [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Newmarket


A. Everbrite [a supporting advertiser] offers what you are referring to. Follow the link to their website for sample photos and more info. They offer the general hint to look at your siding when wet with water, because if being wet restores the shine, a clearcoat can hopefully do that. If it's badly faded even when wet, a clear coat can't restore the look.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha


Q. I had aluminum siding put in about 10 years ago and it is oxidizing. The company will not use the warranty because they said the problem is mildew. Can mildew ruin aluminum siding?

Richard W [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Woodmere, New York

A. Hi, Richard. I don't think mildew can actually eat aluminum, but it could eat the paint, and treating it with bleach could dissolve aluminum.

Maybe you could pressure wash it with highly diluted bleach, rinse it, then give it a clearcoat? Good luck.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

January 31, 2020 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. I'm buying a house with painted aluminum siding that has oxidized. I'd like to repaint, then protect from future oxidation, rather than replacing the siding.

Is this practical? Is there a product made for this purpose? My goal is to save money, rather than incurring the cost of re-siding the entire house.

M Harris
- Vicksburg, Michigan USA

January 2020

A. Hi M. We appended your inquiry to a thread where the subject has been discussed. Wet down the siding, and if it looks okay when wet, you can pressure wash it and try to clearcoat it. If it still looks oxidized, pressure wash it, wire brush it for better adhesion, and paint it. Good luck.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading

February 1, 2020

thumbs up sign Thank you so much for your help!

M Harris
- Vicksburg Michigan USA

February 3, 2020

A. The white powder your seeing is the paint breaking down, the paint is designed to do that. It is a reaction to the sun and it is designed to be removed this way. The technical term is chalking. You can use a power wash or rain to remove.

Ron Zeeman
Retired - Brampton, Ontario, Canada

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