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Is it possible to paint asphalt-shingle siding?

Hope someone can help me. Our house is 100+ years old. It is sided in ancient asphalt and stone type of shingles, much like roofing shingles as far as I can see, but that old type of siding from decades ago. It is beyond hideous, being not really any color at all, kind of a weird grey.

Is there any way to paint or otherwise recolor this stuff? Is it even recommended to paint it? We can't really afford new siding but something needs to be done.

Any suggestions?

Many thanks

Re: Is it possible to paint asphalt-shingle siding?

I see no reason why paint wouldn't stick to that stuff. If the granules are in place, the paint would be sticking to the granules, not the underlying asphalt.

I'd take some latex paint (or oil based) and apply it in an unconspicuous area, and if it seems to have stuck fine after a week or so, go ahead and paint.

I don't think you'd need to use a primer. That stuff you're talking about is plenty rough enough for any paint to stick to as is. It may take more than one coat of paint to cover the underlying colour, tho.

Timothy Miller
Re: Is it possible to paint asphalt-shingle siding?

Consider elastomeric roof coating it's white and rolls on like paint but be sure to not apply it without 12 hours to dry as other wise it washes off _ ask me how i know... Can get it just about anywhere even wally world. Once it dries it lasts well and is likely less $$ then paint and made for coating shingles.

Re: Is it possible to paint asphalt-shingle siding?

Elastomeric coatings are sold in paint stores and applied like paints, but aren't technically considered paints.

If you remember the "Stretch Armstrong" toys of a few years back, Stretch Armstrong would always return to his original shape no matter how far out of shape you stretched him. Well, elastomeric coating work on exactly the same principle. They're meant to be used over active hairline cracks in typically masonary buildings (which can't be repaired because often the cause of the crack is ground movement which can't be prevented.) By painting over that crack with an elastomeric coating, the coating will stretch with the crack, but also shrink back again as the crack closes. In this way, it prevents rain water or snow melt from getting into those cracks and causing water damage to the building or freeze/thaw damage to the masonary.

Elastomeric coatings go on a lot thicker than paint and dry a lot thicker film than paint will, and so they'll typically last a lot longer than an exterior latex paint. Their higher viscosity would help to smooth out the rough surface of your siding, much like a block filler paint meant to be used over concrete blocks. But, by the same token, you might not like the way your siding looks with the granule texture filled either.

I'd say to see if you can get a small sample of elastomeric coating from any of the Paint Stores or places in your area that apply them, and see if you like what you see when it's applied to your shingle siding. Maybe do the same with any latex paint too, (since you'll be painting over it) cuz you might not like the way that looks any better.

When you're talking about doing something to the entire exterior of your house, you wanna like the way it looks after you've done it. Many of the paint company web sites allow you to upload a picture of your house and change the colour of certain areas, the trim, the doors and windows, etc., thereby allowing you to see what your house will look like with different colour schemes. You should be able to download freeware off the internet to do that too.

Re: Is it possible to paint asphalt-shingle siding?

I would agree with the advice to first try a test area to see what kind of results you might get.

You will want an acrylic based exterior primer, rather than an oil base. The solvents in oil primer will leach out the asphalt, leaving brownish stains.

I would first try regular exterior house paint. Personally, I would prefer a flat or eggshell finish rather then a semi-gloss. I don't think that gloss looks good on highly textured surfaces. Also, acrylic paints do hold their gloss for a long time, unlike old oil paints which form a dulling oxidized surface.

If regular house paint does not look good to you, or does not "glue" down the grit of the shingles, you might try the heavier elastomeric products.

Do have your primer tinted toward the finish color. this aids in getting better coverage and a truer color.

Re: Is it possible to paint asphalt-shingle siding?

Of course you can paint it. You could paint a horse, for that matter. The real questions are whether or not it will look good, and how long it will last.

I suspect that you won't have great results with either question. A big factor in the long-term results will be how good the binder (asphalt) is at holding the granules (gravel) to the substrate (typically fiberboard). Paint may affect this bond in ways that none of us can answer.

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