‘Can You Paint Vinyl Siding?’ Yes, You Can! Here’s How to Do It. | Ep. 93

Vinyl siding, seen close up
If your vinyl siding is faded, or you’re just sick of the color, it’s easy to give your home a new look.  (©Алексей Власов, Adobe Stock Photos)

Have you ever wondered, “Can you paint vinyl siding?” It’s a reasonable question, because people usually think of vinyl siding as low maintenance. But “low maintenance” doesn’t mean “no maintenance!”

Oftentimes, people want to change the look of vinyl siding because it’s faded or they’re just sick of the color. That’s the situation that Richard, from South Dakota, faces. Not long ago, he had vinyl siding installed on his home, but he isn’t happy with the color, and he wants a custom look.

The good news is, you can paint just about everything, including vinyl siding. But first you need to prep the surface.

Start with a commercial house cleaner such as Simple Green’s Cleaner DeGreaser or Zinsser JOMAX House Cleaner and Mildew Killer. Apply the product as directed and scrub the siding with a long-handle brush.

While you can pressure-wash vinyl siding, you have to work your way from the top of the house downward, to avoid shooting water under the vinyl panels. That’s why it may be easier to manually clean the surface.

Right after folks ask us, “Can you paint vinyl siding?” they ask, “Do I have to prime beforehand?” Some professional painters say you should prime the siding after you’ve thoroughly cleaned the surface, but Sherwin-Williams says as long as the siding has weathered for at least a year, you don’t have to prime it.

Now, you’re ready to select the paint color. Don’t go too dark; otherwise, the vinyl siding could absorb too much heat, expand and then buckle. Look at vinyl siding manufacturers’ options and choose a paint color that’s no darker than their colors.  

Finally, it’s time to paint. Buy paint that’s specially formulated for vinyl siding. Use the best house paint you can get, which is acrylic latex house paint, and follow the directions on the paint can.

First, apply it with a roller and then back brush it, which just means go back with a brush to work the paint into the surface and smooth it out. You also can use a sprayer to add a nice, even coat of paint, and you won’t need to back brush!

So, the next time your friends ask, “Can I paint vinyl siding?” just send them to this page — and tell them to subscribe to the Today’s Homeowner Podcast for more home improvement tips!

  • [1:11] What to do with old composite decking and how to enlarge a landing
  • [5:02] How to make a tub and shower safer for senior citizens
  • [6:35] Can you use wood studs when raising a floor?
  • [9:58] How to set up the post on a new mailbox
  • [12:28] Best New Product – Werner LeanSafe 3-in-1 Ladder
  • [13:46] Can you paint vinyl siding, and what is the best way to do so?
  • [22:12] Simple Solution: How to keep your dog from getting under a gate
  • [25:27] How do you repair delamination on plastics? Wood casing on a front door?
  • [18:47] Question of the Week: How to get rid of odors in a washing machine

Simple Solutions 

Dog-Deterrent Gate — Dogs are notorious for digging escape routes under gates, so here’s a way to deter even the most determined pooch: First, dig a shallow trench across the gate opening from post to post.

Then, set into the trench a pressure-treated 4×4 or 4×6, creating a wood-timber threshold. Secure the threshold by toe-screwing into the posts on either end.

Now, with the timber in place, the dog will no longer be able to claw dirt out from under the gate. Watch How to Keep Dogs from Digging Under a Fence Gate for more information.

Leveling Slopes — Here’s how to use a level to establish the proper slope or pitch of a drainpipe, porch floor, rain gutter, or anything else that must be angled down slightly to drain away water.

First, determine the desired pitch, then tape a wood block to one end of the level to represent the desired amount of pitch. For example, let’s say you’re using a 4-foot level to install a drainpipe that must slope ¼ inch per foot. Tape to the level a 1-inch-thick wood block, which represents ¼-inch of slope per foot over 4 feet.

Set the level on the pipe with the taped-wood block end on the low side of the pipe. Now, adjust the pipe until the level reads level, resulting in a pipe that slopes ¼ inch per foot.

Question of the Week

Q: We bought a new front-loading washing machine last year, and about four months ago it developed a strong moldy odor. I’ve scrubbed the tub with bleach, but that only helps for a short while. Any idea how to get rid of the smell?

A: A common suggestion is to leave the door cracked so mold and mildew won’t build up inside a front-loading washing machine. But if you do that, bugs, pets and small children can easily enter the machine, and you don’t want that.

A door plunge latch is a better option. It keeps the door open just an inch or two so the machine can air out, but prevents pets and children from entering the machine.

In addition, open the door and regularly clean the gasket. Use hot soapy water diluted with some vinegar. Or you can use a special cleaning agent like Affresh, or a mold and mildew cleanser from the home center.

Finally, if you have a laundry room, and you have small children, lock that door to keep the kids out!

That way, you can protect them from harmful chemicals and possible entry in the machines.

Other Products and Links Mentioned


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