How to Paint Aluminum Siding

By Gene and Katie Hamilton

Tools Required
  • Power washer
  • Scrub brush, bucket
  • Garden hose
  • Screwdrivers
  • Ladders
  • Scrapers
  • Shop vacuum
  • Caulking gun
  • Utility knife
  • Paint pad
  • Paint roller and pan
  • Roller screen
  • 4-in. paintbrush
  • 3-in. sash brush
  • Airless sprayer
  • Brush/roller spinner
Materials Required
  • Household bleach
  • Drop cloths
  • Non-metallic scouring pad
  • Dust masks
  • Exterior acrylic-latex caulk
  • Foam backer rod
  • Exterior latex paint

Before You Begin

If you plan to paint the window and trim as well as aluminum siding, paint them before the siding.

If the siding is dirty, clean it first because new paint will bond better to the surface if it is clean. In addition, it is essential to remove and kill any mildew (gray or black spots) with chlorine bleach. Wash the siding by hand with a scrub brush or with a garden hose and scrubbing wand or rent a power washer. Use a phosphate-free cleaner such as Soilex for cleaning dirt but for mildew, mix in household bleach: 1 cup per gallon or according to manufacturer's instructions. Allow the solution to sit on the surface of the paint for at least 15 minutes before rinsing thoroughly with clean water. If washing by hand, wait until after scraping and sanding to wash the house.

Paint trim before siding

If power washing, make washing the first step because a power washer removes most loose paint. Keep the wand constantly moving at an equal distance from the siding and don't get too close to the surface with the nozzle or you may damage the siding. Wash from the bottom up to prevent the cleaner from causing streaks. Plan to rinse again after scraping and sanding to remove the dust.

Is this too big of a job to tackle yourself? You can find a painting contractor who has the skills and tools to do it right. Click Home Advisor and it will open in a new tab and you’ll have to answer some basic questions about your job followed by contractors in your area to do the job.

  • Step 1 : Prepare for painting

    Remove shutters and easy-to-remove fixtures. Cut or tie back overgrown brushes so that they are out of the way. Cover bushes with canvas drop cloths. (Don't use clear plastic drop clothes since they do not allow plants to breathe and, therefore, can kill them.).

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