Can You Paint Vinyl Siding – Should You?


Paint Vinyl Siding | Madison WI | Sims Exteriors & Remodeling
Worst case – a new color made all the difference to this home until it showed all the weaknesses of applying paint over vinyl siding. Saving money can prove to be expensive.

Unfortunately, siding fades in the bright Madison WI sunshine and wears under the extremes of Wisconsin’s weather. While engineering and design factors extend its life there comes a time to consider: “Do I paint vinyl siding or replace it?”

A fresh new exterior color is a great way to energize your home. When the time comes you can replace siding or paint over it. Both are possible. Making the right decision isn’t always easy. There are pros and cons both ways.

Today’s vinyl siding is mostly maintenance-free. And that includes never needing a new paint job. If you opt for paint, maintenance will depend upon the quality and makeup of the paint.

Paint Vinyl Siding – Yes, No, Maybe

There are many more elements at work on and under your siding. Before deciding to paint or replace it, consider:

  • Age – a fresh coat of paint may make siding look newer but it cannot make up for the impact of time. If siding is 15-20 years old replacing it is a better option because that’s likely going to happen soon anyway. An inspection by a siding professional will provide valuable insight.
  • Warranty – high-quality siding comes with timely warranty coverage and, when installed by a skilled professional team, backup from the siding contractor. Replacement siding comes with new product warranties. Painting does not – in fact, it likely voids any existing manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Condition – is the siding damaged or showing its age? If there are buckles, bulges cracks of dents it’s time to replace it. Painting damaged siding just covers blemishes and delays repairs or replacement.
  • Value to the house – a fresh look increases the curb appeal of your home and can improve its market value. If you’re planning to sell soon, painting may be a way to attract buyers. If you’re planning to stay, new siding adds value in more ways than resale – lower energy bills, less maintenance and overall peace of mind.

Making A Case For New Siding

Paint Vinyl Siding | Madison WI | Sims Exteriors & Remodeling
When you want to add color, style and character to your home – with extended, lifetime warranties – look to the newest siding options.

There are plenty of resources telling you painting siding is the economical, savvy way to go. For some, it might be a viable option. However, siding manufacturers offer so many new colors, textures and options they make revitalizing your home with a new installation wiser than just painting. You can move away from boring horizontal lines to board and batten or even decorative shake-like creations and scallops.

Here are several reasons new siding is better than new paint:

  • Paint doesn’t last as long as modern vinyl siding.
  • You have a limited window of time to paint because of temperature limitations on the products.
  • Not all paint works on vinyl siding – pick the wrong one and your siding will be peeling or chipping after exposure to summer sun, storms and extreme cold.
  • The warranty for paint is never as good or long-lasting as for new siding.
  • Damaged siding panels will be harder to match and replace in the future. In addition, the paint will weather and matching it in the future is difficult, too.
  • Paint in a can or on a sample doesn’t always reflect how it will look on your house. Take to heart the caution: results may vary.
  • Vinyl siding is designed to move after it is installed. Called thermal expansion it moves with the changes in seasonal temperature. When the siding slips as it gets cold there may be a color gap at the seams.
  • Choose colors wisely – dark colors that are very popular these days absorb heat from the sun, possibly more heat than the siding beneath it is designed to handle. Excess heat leads to warping and buckling.

Additional Concerns Before You Paint Vinyl Siding

Siding is the first line of defense between your family and the elements. Making changes of any kind impact the effectiveness of the protective shield.

When new siding is installed, the old siding is removed. Professional siding contractors inspect what’s beneath for damage from things like excess moisture, pests or natural settling of the structure. Any problem encountered can be addressed immediately. Without this inspection you can literally be painting over serious problems.

Beneath the siding is where the elements attack your home. New, insulated vinyl siding products offer an additional layer of protection. In addition to protecting your energy bills, insulated siding offers a cushion for impact damage – hail, rocks tossed up by a lawn mower, etc.

Insulation is more and more important. Adding insulation to your home is a wise investment in energy savings.

Professionals also caution that painting over vinyl siding not only voids the siding’s warranty, but it can impact future insurance claims. Historically, in cases where a home is damaged by hail or some other accident where an insurance claim is necessary some insurance companies have refused to honor a claim if the vinyl siding has been painted.

If you’re home needs a face lift and you think a new, bright exterior is the first step, we’re ready to review all the pros and cons of the various options. Sims Exteriors & Remodeling has decades of experience related to siding, roofing and new windows in the Madison area. Call 608-825-4500, or email us before you decide to paint vinyl siding on your Madison WI home and take advantage of our expertise.

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