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How Many Coats of Paint Do You Need On Aluminum Siding?

Aluminum siding is a popular exterior home solution offering weather protection and insulation. In fact, aluminum siding has stood the test of time due to its durability, easy maintenance, and fire, insect, and rot resistance. Who wouldn’t want that for their home?

However, siding eventually does wear out, fade, or look a bit dated. Thus, it requires fresh paint to restore it. With the right prep work, even the oldest aluminum siding can look brand new with fresh and beautiful coats of paint. But how many coats of paint do you need on aluminum siding? Read on to learn more. 

How Many Coats of Paint are Ideal for Aluminum Siding?

You cannot use just any exterior paint on aluminum siding. Only use acrylic paints that explicitly indicate their suitability for aluminum on the label. If you want the paint to last, spray or apply two coats. It would be best to get siding paint in a satin finish to make cleaning the dirt accumulating on the surface easier. 

If bare aluminum is exposed or the previous paint is peeling off, then you will need to apply acrylic priming first. You must sand the surface before applying primer, but we’ll get into the nuts and bolts of that in the next section. 

If your aluminum siding is faded but not weathered or peeling, you won’t necessarily need to use a primer. However, primer is always a smart step to ensure a smooth finish. For the paint itself, two coats of acrylic paint should do the trick. 

The Painting Process

If you’re planning to DIY your aluminum siding paint job, follow these basic steps. 

Step 1: Prep

First, clean off the surface. If it’s in good condition, you just need to wash off the dirt. If there’s existing paint or any rust, you’ll need to sand it down and clean it well. Then, tape and lay plastic sheets on items and areas close to the siding to protect them from any stray paint. 

Step 2: Prime

Apply galvanized acrylic primer on the surface. Use a polyester paintbrush to spread the primer on the aluminum surface. Wait for about four hours for the primer to cure. Take extra care to treat any areas with rust or damage. 

Step 3: Paint

Apply the acrylic exterior paint. Use a brush to paint the edges, then get the roller. Pour some paint into a tray and dip the roller. Run the roller back on forth over the surface to ensure an even distribution of the paint. Avoid causing drips by running over any paint oozing off with the roller. 

If the siding is horizontal, run the roller from left to right. If the siding is vertically designed, move the roller up and down. Also, start painting from the top and work as you go down. Use a clean paintbrush to smooth bumps as you go. Continue until the whole siding has been painted. 

Step 4: Repeat

Allow the first coat of paint to dry. Two hours or so is usually enough but err on the side of more time than less. 

Add a second coat (Follow the same procedure as Step 3). The second coat will help achieve a long-lasting finish and make you feel like a pro. We recommend you use a satin finish because they look great on aluminum siding and are easy to clean later. 

Which is Better: Roll Paint or Spray Paint?

The best way to paint your aluminum siding is with the airless sprayer, which professional painters commonly use. Sprayers cover more areas, reach areas a roller wouldn’t, paint faster, and do a better finish than a roller. 

Rollers are only the best option if you decide to DIY. However, doing it yourself might present some challenges. Aluminum heats up in the sun, and the paint thickens and sets quicker. So, if you use a roller, you might use too much paint, and if it dries up before you finish spreading it, uneven spots will be left on the surface. 

Sprayers have their challenges too. They require a lot of skill to use. Keeping the sprayer clean and spraying smoothly can be stressful for a first-timer. We recommend hiring a professional for a neat and clean paint job

Is It Cheaper to Paint Old Siding or Replace It?

Changing your siding is an expensive affair. You’d be throwing money down the drain replacing it while there’s a cheaper option of painting the sidings to the color of your choice. You can hire a professional to paint the siding instead. You can also save more money painting your exterior by yourself. However, if you doubt your skills, hiring a professional paint company to paint your siding is still an affordable solution. 

When to Call a Professional

If the previous painter used lead-based paint on your aluminum siding, it would be unsafe for you to remove the paint. Always hire a professional to remove it. Professionals have the proper protective gear and will know how to remove the paint safely. If you’re unsure what kind of paint you have, you can use a lead paint test kit to determine whether the paint contains lead. 

Additionally, you can always call a professional painting company when the job feels too large to manage. Exterior painting can be time-consuming and exposes you to harsh weather outside. Pro painters come as a team and split roles to finish the job sooner. 

Save Money and Increase Your Home’s Value

As a rule of thumb, two coats of paint are enough for your aluminum siding. The caveat is that this is if the job is done professionally. DIYers may need to add an extra coat to ensure even coverage, and even then, they might not get a perfect finish. 

However, if you need the help of skilled painters to spray your siding, Bravo Painting’s team of professional painters will come to your rescue. Our team uses advanced tools like the sprayer to deliver smooth and beautiful coats on your aluminum siding. Call us for a quote today!


Contact Bravo Stain Company today to discuss service options that best fit your needs or to schedule your free estimate. We promise to deliver high-quality craftsmanship, professional service, and to deal fairly and honestly with customers.


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Contact Bravo Painting Company today to discuss service options that best fit your needs or to schedule your free estimate. We promise to deliver high-quality craftsmanship, professional service, and to deal fairly and honestly with customers.