How to Repaint Aluminum Siding
Kevin O’Connor has some answers for a reader who wants the paint job on her aluminum siding to last
I’m getting ready to have my 25-year-old aluminum siding repainted. What should be done to get a good, long-lasting job? —Anna Rodiloso, Berlin, NJ
I asked painting contractor Rich O’Neil, owner of Masterwork Painting, what he would do. Here’s what he had to say about your siding.
“The prep work for factory-finished aluminum siding isn’t that different from what has to be done for painted wood siding, except for one step: There’s no need for a lead test. Lead was banned from residential paints in 1978, long before your siding was installed.
“So the first step is to clean off the dirt, mildew, and chalky, deteriorated pigments that interfere with adhesion. Wet down and cover the foundation plants with plastic sheeting, then scrub the siding with a scouring pad and a mold-killing house cleaner like Jomax (Rust-Oleum) mixed with water and bleach. Work from the bottom up, and make sure to rinse the cleaned areas thoroughly before they dry.
“You can speed up the cleaning process by using a pressure-washer with a wide fan tip to spray on the bleach-and-house-cleaner solution. Just make sure to always hold the spray wand at about a 45-degree angle to the surface, with the wand nozzle below the handle. If you don’t follow those precautions, the high-pressure spray can dent the metal and force water up behind the siding. It can also break glass, so take extra care around windows.
“Once the siding is rinsed and dry, apply a coat of acrylic exterior primer followed by two top coats of 100 percent acrylic exterior paint.”