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topic 10494

Repaint aluminum siding or replace with vinyl?


Q. I presently have a problem. I bought this house which has aluminium siding which I believe may be about 25 years old. Although the aluminium is in structurally good condition, the paint is fading, thereby giving the property an "old look". Several painters have advised me that the aluminium siding, although very old,is a far superior material when compared to vinyl siding and that I should consider repainting the structure, the cost of which should only be a fraction of the cost of residing with vinyl.

I know that there are perhaps tens of thousands of people like myself asking the same question: What should I do? Should I repaint or replace with vinyl?

I would appreciate any advice on this matter. Thank you.

Frank Flandinette
- Hamilton, New Jersey


A. I painted my aluminum siding, old and new, when I couldn't get matching siding for a small addition.

But if the only problem is oxidation,you might think about a product from one of our supporting advertisers, Everbrite. They say to look at your siding when it's clean and wet, and if it looks good, their product can make it look like that.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey


Hi Frank,

A. Firstly, please have a look in the archives for # 8451 (vinyl siding).

In your case, heck, if your aluminum is OK, structurally!, then repaint. Why spend unnecessary $ ?

But check to find out HOW the painter prepares the surface and not just willy-nilly slams on the paint as adhesion is always a problem. If he suggests using a high pressure water jet system, that might well be sufficient. (you could buy a machine for around $ 200.00 for home use).

I am very biased towards vinyl ... but was never, ever in the siding business and just do not know the 'quality' of the vinyl you may be thinking of getting. Hence, caveat emptor. Go thou and paint the aluminum ... but check out not only the longevity of the paint used but also the precleaning method.


freeman newton portrait
Freeman Newton
White Rock, British Columbia, Canada

(It is our sad duty to
advise that Freeman passed away
April 21, 2012. R.I.P. old friend).


Q. Aluminium surface prep for painting. What products/procedures are recommended to prepare 35 year old oxidized siding for painting?

Jarrell Mitchell
home owner - Alexandria, Virginia


Q. I would like to receive an answer to the last question too.


Emma J Ward
- Columbus, Ohio


A. Don't have a definitive answer as yet but I am preparing to have my 40 yr old siding painted in the next week or two. The painters tell me that it is more economical than replacing and after they are finished I won't be able to tell the difference between my old repainted siding and my neighbors new siding (we'll see). They will start with power washing the entire surface followed by and undercoat containing zinc chromate followed by a coat of acrylic or alkaloid semi gloss. We are going from a white color to a bluish grey tint.

Ray Murphy
- Montreal, Quebec, Canada

March 27, 2012

A. Prepping the siding before primer. I did my house last summer. 35 yr old 10" wide aluminium. Most siding that age has both mildew and oxidization. Use a solution of water, bleach and TSP cleaner. Bleach for the mildew and TSP to remove oxy. Wear rubber gloves. Depending on the area you can do it by hand with one of those sponges that has abrasive on one side or if it's a large area use a pressure washer but be sure to spay in a downward direction because you don't want to force the solution up under that joints between the siding layers. Works like a charm and my house looks as good after the winter as it did a week after I painted.

Sam Labus
- Kitchener, Ontario, Cananda

June 30, 2012

Q. One related question. Will repainted aluminum siding stand up to powerwashing (assuming proper paint prep)? Not much use painting if the color comes off with my annual green mold cleaning.

Doug Cline
- Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, USA

July 3, 2012

A. That is going to depend on the quality of the siding. If it is Kynar coated, probably not.
It is going to depend on the surface prep and the primer/paint used.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

May 11, 2013

Q. I am planning to replace my aluminum siding with paint or vinyl. I need some input in regards to if I get it painted will it look good and last for another ten years?

Carol Thomas
- Valley stream, New York

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