What Kind of Paint Do You Use on Aluminum Siding: A Comprehensive Guide

If you are looking to freshen up the exterior of your home, painting your aluminum siding can be a great way to do it. However, before you jump in, it’s important to know what kind of paint to use on aluminum siding. Applying the wrong type of paint can lead to a subpar finish and can even damage the siding.

Aluminum siding is a popular choice for homeowners due to its durability and low maintenance. However, it does require occasional painting to maintain its appearance. When it comes to choosing a paint for your siding, it’s important to choose one that will adhere well to the surface and prevent peeling or fading over time.

There are several types of paint that are suitable for use on aluminum siding, including acrylic, latex, and oil-based paints. Each type has its own set of pros and cons, so it’s important to choose the one that works best for your particular situation. With the right paint and a bit of elbow grease, you can give your aluminum siding a fresh, new look that will last for years to come.

Types of Paints for Aluminum Siding

When it comes to painting aluminum siding, choosing the right type of paint is crucial. Not all paint types are created equal, and using the wrong type can lead to a subpar finish that won’t last. Here are the most common types of paints used for aluminum siding:

  • Acrylic Paint: This type of paint is water-based and easy to apply, making it a popular choice for DIY projects. Acrylic paint dries quickly and provides a durable, long-lasting finish. However, it may not be suitable for areas with extreme temperatures.
  • Oil-based Paint: Oil-based paints provide a high-quality finish and are resistant to chipping and peeling. They are also suitable for extreme temperatures and can be used on a variety of surfaces. However, they take longer to dry, are prone to yellowing over time, and emit strong fumes during application.
  • Epoxy Paint: Epoxy paint is a high-performance coating that provides excellent adhesion and protection. It is resistant to abrasion, chemicals, and weathering, making it a top choice for industrial and commercial applications. However, it is more expensive than other paint types and requires a thorough surface preparation process.

It’s also important to consider the finish of the paint. Satin and semi-gloss finishes are the most popular choices for aluminum siding as they provide a smooth, even appearance and are easy to clean. However, matte finishes may also be an option for those who prefer a more rustic look.

Factors to Consider Before Painting Aluminum Siding

Aluminum siding is a great option for homes due to its durability, resistance to rust and termites, and low-maintenance features. However, even the highest-quality siding may need to be painted or repainted every few years to maintain its appearance and prevent corrosion. But before you start painting your home’s aluminum siding, it’s important to consider a few factors that can impact the quality and longevity of the paint job.

Factors to Consider:

  • Cleanliness of the siding: Before painting your aluminum siding, it’s essential to thoroughly clean it to remove any dirt, grime, and loose paint. Failure to clean the siding can cause the paint to bubble and peel prematurely.
  • Weather conditions: The weather conditions during painting can significantly affect the quality and durability of the paint job. Extreme temperatures, high humidity, and rain can cause paint to dry too quickly, not adhere correctly, or wash away. It’s best to wait for fair weather before painting your aluminum siding.
  • Type of paint: Not all paints are created equal, and the type of paint you choose can affect the appearance and protection of your aluminum siding. It’s essential to select high-quality paint that is specifically designed for use on metal surfaces.

Preparation is Key

Once you’ve taken these factors into consideration, it’s time to start prepping your aluminum siding for painting. This involves cleaning the siding, inspecting for any damaged or corroded areas, and repairing any issues before you start painting. A good preparation process will ensure that your paint job will last for years to come.

The Best Paints for Aluminum Siding

There are few paint brands available on the markets that offer high-quality paints for aluminum siding. Some of the top brands that offer high-quality products specifically formulated for this type of job include Sherwin-Williams, Behr, and Benjamin Moore. These paints not only give an excellent finish but also come with long-lasting durability to shield your home’s aluminum siding from the extreme heat and cold for years.

Brand Product Benefits
Sherwin-Williams Duration Exterior Acrylic Coating Highly durable, fade-resistant, and comes with a lifetime warranty
Behr Marquee Exterior Paint & Primer One-coat coverage, UV and weather-resistant, and comes with a lifetime warranty
Benjamin Moore Regal Select Exterior High Build Excellent coverage, fade-resistance, and easy to clean

Preparation Steps for Painting Aluminum Siding

Painting aluminum siding is a cost-effective way to improve the appearance of your home’s exterior. However, before painting, some preparation steps need to be taken to ensure a successful outcome. Here are some crucial steps:

  • Clean the Siding: Before painting, the aluminum siding should be thoroughly cleaned. Accumulated dirt and grime can prevent paint from adhering to the surface, leading to chipping or peeling. Use a pressure washer or a hose to remove loose dirt and debris. For stubborn stains, use a cleaning solution and a soft-bristled brush to scrub the siding gently. Rinse the siding with a hose and let it dry thoroughly.
  • Remove Loose Paint: If there is existing paint on the aluminum siding that is peeling or chipping, it must be removed before applying a new coat. You can use a scraper or a wire brush to remove the old paint. Be cautious to avoid damaging the siding surface. After removing the loose paint, sand the surface with a fine-grit sandpaper to make it smooth. Clean the surface again to eliminate dust and debris.
  • Repair Damaged Areas: Check the siding for any damaged areas, including dents or holes. Create a smooth surface by filling the damaged areas with an appropriate filler and sand it flush with the surrounding surface. Ensure the filler is entirely dry before painting.

By taking these preparation steps, the aluminum siding will be ready for painting, and the new coat will have proper adhesion, look great and last longer.

Best Paint Brands for Aluminum Siding

When it comes to painting aluminum siding, choosing the right paint brand can make all the difference in achieving a long-lasting, professional-looking finish. Here are four of the best paint brands for aluminum siding:

  • Sherwin-Williams: Known for their high-quality paints, Sherwin-Williams offers a range of products suitable for painting aluminum siding. Their Duration Home exterior acrylic latex paint is a popular choice for homeowners and professionals alike, thanks to its durability, fade resistance, and ease of application.
  • Pittsburgh Paints: Another trusted name in the industry, Pittsburgh Paints offers several options for painting aluminum siding. Their Manor Hall Timeless exterior paint is a favorite among homeowners and contractors, thanks to its superior adhesion and resistance to peeling, cracking, and fading.
  • Benjamin Moore: With a wide selection of exterior paints to choose from, Benjamin Moore is a go-to brand for many professionals. Their Regal Select REVIVE exterior paint is a great choice for aluminum siding, as it can be applied in temperatures as low as 35°F and provides excellent coverage and color retention.
  • Behr: Known for their affordable yet high-quality paints, Behr offers several options for painting aluminum siding. Their Premium Plus Ultra exterior paint is a popular choice, thanks to its ability to resist both mildew and fading, as well as its easy soap-and-water clean-up.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Paint Brand

While the above paint brands are all great choices for painting aluminum siding, it’s important to keep certain factors in mind when making your decision:

  • Durability: Look for a paint that’s specifically designed for exterior use and can withstand the elements, including rain, wind, and temperature fluctuations.
  • Adhesion: Choose a paint that provides good adhesion to the aluminum surface, as this will help prevent peeling and cracking over time.
  • Color retention: Be sure to choose a paint that’s resistant to fading and won’t require frequent touch-ups.
  • Finish: Decide on a finish that suits your personal preference and the style of your home. Popular options for aluminum siding include satin, semi-gloss, and high-gloss finishes.

Application Tips for Painting Aluminum Siding

Before you begin painting your aluminum siding, it’s important to properly prep the surface in order to ensure a smooth, even finish. This includes cleaning the siding with a solution of warm water and a mild detergent, repairing any cracks or damage, and allowing the surface to dry completely before painting.

When it comes to applying the paint, consider using a sprayer or a paint roller with a 3/8-inch nap to ensure adequate coverage and to avoid the appearance of brush strokes. Be sure to work in small sections and avoid painting during overly hot or humid weather.

Comparison Table: Best Paint Brands for Aluminum Siding

Paint Brand Features
Sherwin-Williams Duration Home exterior acrylic latex paint Durable, fade-resistant, easy to apply
Pittsburgh Paints Manor Hall Timeless exterior paint Superior adhesion, resistance to peeling, cracking, and fading
Benjamin Moore Regal Select REVIVE exterior paint Can be applied in low temperatures, excellent coverage and color retention
Behr Premium Plus Ultra exterior paint Resistant to mildew and fading, easy to clean with soap and water

Painting Techniques for Aluminum Siding

When it comes to painting aluminum siding, there are several techniques that you can use to ensure a smooth and long-lasting finish. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get the job done right:

  • Clean the surface: Before you start painting, it’s important to clean the siding thoroughly. Use a pressure washer with a detergent solution to remove any dirt, grime, or debris. Rinse the surface with water and allow it to dry completely before you begin painting.
  • Use a primer: To ensure that the paint adheres properly to the aluminum siding, it’s a good idea to use a high-quality primer. Apply the primer in a thin, even layer and allow it to dry completely before you start painting.
  • Choose the right type of paint: When it comes to painting aluminum siding, it’s important to choose a paint that is specifically designed for use on metal surfaces. Look for a paint that is rust-resistant and durable, and that has a high-quality finish.

Now that you know some of the basic painting techniques for aluminum siding, let’s take a closer look at some of the specifics.

One of the most important factors to consider when painting aluminum siding is the type of paint that you use. There are several different types of paint that are suitable for use on aluminum siding, including:

Type of Paint Advantages Disadvantages
Acrylic Latex Paint Durable, long-lasting finish May require multiple coats
Oil-based Paint Provides a smooth finish May crack or fade over time
Epoxy Paint Extremely durable and long-lasting May be difficult to apply

Ultimately, the type of paint that you choose will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Acrylic latex paint is a popular choice for many homeowners, as it is easy to apply and provides a long-lasting finish. Oil-based paint may be a good option if you want a smooth, high-quality finish, while epoxy paint is ideal for those who want a very durable and long-lasting paint job.

Maintaining Painted Aluminum Siding

Painted aluminum siding is known for being low-maintenance and durable. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t require some basic upkeep to keep it looking great. Here are six tips for maintaining painted aluminum siding:

  • Clean regularly – One of the best ways to maintain painted aluminum siding is simply by cleaning it regularly. Use a mild detergent and warm water to gently scrub the surface clean. Be sure to rinse it thoroughly with clean water afterward.
  • Inspect for damage – Over time, aluminum siding can become dented or otherwise damaged. Inspect the surface regularly to identify any areas that need attention. If you do find any problems, address them as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
  • Touch up paint as needed – If you do find areas where the paint has chipped or faded, it’s important to touch them up quickly to prevent more significant problems. Use a high-quality exterior paint that’s designed for use on aluminum surfaces.
  • Remove mildew promptly – If you spot mildew growing on your aluminum siding, take steps to remove it immediately. A solution of bleach and water can be very effective for this purpose, but be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to avoid damaging the surface of the siding.
  • Invest in professional cleaning – Depending on the size of your home and the condition of your siding, you may want to consider hiring a professional to clean your painted aluminum siding periodically. A professional cleaning can help remove stubborn stains and maintain the appearance of the siding over time.
  • Protect against scratches – Finally, it’s important to take steps to protect your painted aluminum siding against scratches and other damage. Avoid using abrasive cleaning tools or harsh chemicals, and be careful when using ladders or other equipment around the siding.

By following these basic maintenance tips, you can keep your painted aluminum siding looking great for years to come.

Troubleshooting Common Aluminum Siding Painting Problems

Painting aluminum siding is an excellent way to upgrade your home’s exterior and give it a new look. However, often people encounter issues during the painting process. Here are some of the most common aluminum siding painting problems and how to troubleshoot them.

  • Peeling and Flaking: The most common problem with aluminum siding painting is peeling and flaking of the paint. This issue usually occurs due to improper surface preparation. Before painting, ensure that the surface is clean and free of dirt, rust, and loose paint. Use a scraper, sandpaper, or a wire brush to remove any flaking paint or rust. After that, wash the surface with a solution of water and trisodium phosphate (TSP) to remove any dirt or grime.
  • Bubbling: Bubbling of the paint occurs either due to trapped moisture or an incorrect painting system. If you are painting on a hot sunny day, the paint may dry too quickly, trapping air between the surface and paint. So, avoid painting in high temperature or direct sunlight. To avoid moisture trapping, ensure the siding is completely dry before painting.
  • Fading: Fading can happen due to multiple reasons such as using the wrong type of paint, not using primer, or using cheap paint. Always use high-quality paint and a primer before painting. It helps the paint bond to the surface and last longer. Also, avoid using painting products not explicitly designed for exterior use, such as indoor paint.
  • Chalking: Chalking occurs when the paint breaks down as a result of sun exposure, making a powdery substance on the surface. To solve this problem, add an alkaline-resistant primer before applying the paint. It helps with better bonding, which will prevent chalking.
  • Running or Sagging: Running and sagging of the paint may occur due to excessively applied paint, poor ventilation, or too much humidity. It is best to wait for dry weather to avoid humidity issues. Ensure to apply a thin, even coat of paint and let it dry completely before applying another coat.
  • Rust: If your aluminum siding has rust spots, remove them with a rust converter or sand them down to bare metal. After the surface is free of rust, use a primer explicitly made for metal surfaces. It will help protect the surface and prevent rust from returning.
  • Cracking: Cracking can be caused if the paint freezes before it dries. Ensure that the temperature is above the recommended paint temperature before applying the paint. Also, avoid painting when the temperature may drop below the freezing point.


To avoid aluminum siding painting problems, ensure surface preparation, use high-quality paint and primer, and follow manufacturer’s instructions. Also, paint in the right weather conditions and avoid painting in direct sunlight or high humidity conditions. Following these tips will ensure that your aluminum siding maintains its sheen and appearance for years to come.

By troubleshooting common aluminum siding painting problems, you can create a perfect finish that elevates the look of your home’s exterior. In relation to painting problems, troubleshooting is always the key to getting the best results and avoid having to re-do the entire process in the future.

What Kind of Paint do You Use on Aluminum Siding FAQ

Q: Can you use regular exterior paint on aluminum siding?
A: While regular exterior paint can be used on aluminum siding, it is recommended to use a paint specifically designed for metals, like aluminum.

Q: What type of paint finish is best for aluminum siding?
A: A semi-gloss or satin finish is best for aluminum siding, as it provides a smooth, easy-to-clean surface.

Q: Do I need to prime my aluminum siding before painting?
A: Yes, it is recommended to prime aluminum siding before painting to ensure better adhesion and long-lasting results.

Q: Can I use spray paint on aluminum siding?
A: Yes, spray paint can be used on aluminum siding, but it is important to use a paint designed for metal and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Q: How do I prepare my aluminum siding for painting?
A: To prepare aluminum siding for painting, you should clean it thoroughly, remove any loose paint, and sand any rough spots. It is also important to cover any nearby surfaces that you don’t want to get paint on.

Q: How long will the paint on my aluminum siding last?
A: The lifespan of your aluminum siding paint will depend on several factors, such as the quality of the paint and the climate in your area. In general, you can expect the paint to last for several years before needing to be repainted.

Q: Can I paint my aluminum siding myself, or do I need to hire a professional?
A: Painting aluminum siding can be a DIY project, but it requires careful preparation and attention to detail. If you’re not confident in your painting skills, it may be best to hire a professional to ensure the best results.

Closing Thoughts

Thanks for taking the time to learn about what kind of paint to use on aluminum siding! By using a paint designed for metals and following proper preparation techniques, you can create a beautiful, long-lasting finish that will protect your aluminum siding for years to come. Don’t forget to visit again for more helpful home improvement tips!