Skip to main content

How to paint vinyl siding and give your home some much-needed curb appeal

house with vinyl siding and brick in winter

Years of exposure to varying weather conditions can cause the color of your vinyl siding to fade. If your home’s siding is no longer the vibrant hue it was when you installed it, you may need to replace it (if it’s still in good overall condition). The best part is, you don’t need any special tools or skills to revitalize your siding. Read on to learn how to paint vinyl siding.

How to paint vinyl siding

If you’re going to paint your vinyl siding, you’ll need to gather your tools first. This is what you’ll need:

  • Paint with acrylic and urethane resins
  • Primer (optional)
  • Hose
  • Store-bought or homemade cleaning solution
  • Bucket
  • Soft-bristled brush, cloth, sponge, or power washer
  • Plastic sheets
  • Painter’s tape
  • Ladder
  • Mask
  • Paint roller
  • Paintbrush

Do the prep work to paint your vinyl siding

Check the warranty. If your vinyl siding is still under warranty, check with the manufacturer before you paint it so you don’t void the warranty. You may have to adhere to specific instructions and restrictions.

Use the right paint. You can’t just use any paint for vinyl siding. For starters, you need to choose paint that’s intended for outdoor use. Vinyl siding expands and contracts as the temperature changes, so you need paint with acrylic and urethane resins that can accommodate those changes.

Stick with the same color or go lighter. You can stick with your siding’s current color or select a different shade. If you decide to go with a different color, pick one that’s lighter than the color you have now. Different types of vinyl siding are designed to absorb different amounts of heat. If you paint your siding with a color that’s darker than its original shade, that can cause the siding to absorb more heat than it can handle, which can make it warp or buckle. If you repaint your vinyl siding with a dramatically different color, you may run into problems with color banding. When repainted vinyl siding expands and contracts, stripes of its original color are sometimes visible near the seams.

Figure out if you need primer. You may need to use a primer if the vinyl siding is severely faded, porous, or pitted. If you aren’t sure if you should use a primer or not, check the instructions on the paint cans or just apply primer to be on the safe side.

house with white siding

Give the siding a thorough cleaning before you begin painting

Take the time to scrub your vinyl siding and get rid of any dirt, dust, mold, mildew, and other debris. Don’t cut corners here. If you paint the siding without thoroughly cleaning it first, you’ll be disappointed with the results. Your house may even look worse after a new paint job than it did before.

  • Start by spraying the siding with a hose to remove any loose dirt and debris. You can use a store-bought cleaner that’s designed for vinyl siding, or you can create your own cleaning solution by combining 1/3 cup powdered laundry detergent, 2/3 cup powdered household cleaner, 1 quart of laundry bleach, and 1 gallon of water. Cover any plants near the house so you don’t get harmful chemicals on them.
  • Clean the surface of the siding with a cloth, sponge, soft-bristled brush, or power washer. Before you use a power washer, check the siding manufacturer’s instructions so you don’t inadvertently cause damage or get water underneath the siding.
  • Work in sections and rinse each area before you move on to the next. Once you’ve cleaned all the siding, give it another rinse. Make sure it’s completely dry before you start painting.

Paint on a day with the right weather conditions

It’s critical to check the weather forecast before you paint your siding. Choose an overcast day with mild temperatures and low relative humidity. If you paint your vinyl siding on a day that’s hot, sunny, or windy, the paint may not properly adhere to the surface. You might not notice a problem right away, but you may find that the paint cracks and flakes as time goes by.

house with pink siding

Prime and paint the vinyl siding

Gather everything you’ll need before you get to work. That will include paint, possibly primer, a roller or paint sprayer, brushes, and a ladder. Use sheets of plastic or painter’s tape to avoid getting paint where you don’t want it, such as on window frames.

  • Wear old clothes and a mask. If you’ll need to climb a ladder, have someone hold it for you.
  • If you decide to use primer, apply that before the paint. You will be able to quickly paint most of the surface using a roller or a sprayer. For tight areas that you might miss, use a brush.
  • Apply the paint in thin, even coats. After you paint the first coat, make sure it’s at least mostly dry before you move on to the second. Allow the second coat to dry completely, then see how the house looks. In most cases, two coats are enough, but you may need a third.

Vinyl siding is popular because it’s durable, easy to care for, and able to stand up to a wide range of weather conditions, but nothing is completely resistant to the effects of Mother Nature. If your vinyl siding has faded, a simple DIY painting project may be all it takes to make it look brand new.

Editors' Recommendations

Jennifer Supernaw
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Jennifer Supernaw is a freelance writer who has produced home-related content for RISMedia, as well as blogs and articles for…
How to decorate your yard for Halloween in a timeless way
Try decorating your yard classy this Halloween
Lit up pumpkin sits on a wooden surface covered by fairy lights

If you're anything like us, you've already been scouting out Halloween decorations for both inside and outside your home since August. As Halloween stores crop up in every strip mall, you'll start to see tons of outrageous Halloween yard decorations. However, just because you see them doesn't mean you have to buy them (unless, of course, that's your jam). By doing your homework, you can keep it classy and outfit your yard with stunning decor that is both classic and fun.

The truth is, less is more when it comes to decorating, even for this stereotypically kitschy holiday. With a few tips and tricks, you can incorporate spooky and scary decor in your yard without making it look overdone.

Read more
How to decorate your front yard for fall on a budget
Welcome fall to the neighborhood on the cheap
Fall pumpkin decor and flowers on stairs

Redecorating every fall season is a fun way to add a little excitement to your home and put everyone in the mood for autumn. But buying new fall yard decorations every time can get expensive. If you're running out of decor options and don't want to break the bank by adding new pieces, you can still create an ode to the season with a few DIY decorating projects that don't cost a fortune. And fall DIY decorating is also a way to show off your personality. From finding the best deals on all things fall (think pumpkins, corn, hay bales) to repurposing previous decorative pieces, here are our easiest ways to bring in the fall season on a budget.
Reuse summer garden items
Why spend money purchasing new items when you can use what you already have? Those tools and fixtures that helped your summer garden grow can now help adorn your yard for the call.

Try repurposing old tomato cages by putting them on your front porch and filling them with baby pumpkins, winter squash, and decorative gourds. Whether it's full of decor or not, you can also wrap string lights or decorative leaves around the cages to make for a fun, seasonal statement piece.

Read more
What colors go with brown? How to make this seemingly drab hue look glam in your home
Brown doesn't have to be boring. Here's how it can jazz up your space
Brown living room walls with neutral color palette design

Brown tones have a reputation for being "boring." These earthy hues often have a tendency to feel dull and bleak for many people. However, this is largely due to poor design execution. If used well, brown shades can enhance a room’s design and bring a new sense of vitality to a space. Brown can be a wonderful hue to add to your home if you're looking to create a luxe and vibrant environment. These rustic shades can be natural, rich, and earthy when paired with complementary colors that let this hue shine.

Unfortunately, many homeowners struggle to find the best shades to pair with brown, which leads them to create spaces that feel drab, bland, or unfinished. Today, we’ll cover some of the best colors to pair with brown and how this stunning color can help revitalize your space.

Read more