Paint Aluminum Siding Yourself

BEFORE

No after photos posted yet! I will take some tomorrow.  You will notice the tree that was growing in the middle of the yard is gone.  Ben cut it with the circular saw. You can see the baby stump there!  Instead, we planted a Yellow Bird Magnolia to the left.  It’s still a tiny baby!  I love the south facing windows and the sunlight pouring into the house, so I really don’t want major shade in the front.  The Magnolia tree will get big enough to be some shade for the grass but not big enough to block out sun from getting into the house.

The quotation I got from someone to paint the exterior of this home was $900.  Eek, right!? So I put it off forever, and as time went by, I wasn’t sure if I really knew how to paint siding myself.  What if I really messed it up without realizing?  Well, after a great friend offered to come paint it with us, it fueled the fire under my butt to start searching Youtube videos on how to do it.  It seemed like there wasn’t much out there, other than the fact that yes, you can paint aluminum siding.  PROCEED with caution while power washing.  I can’t tell you what the “official way” to do this is, but here is how we did it:

Paint Colors

1.  Went to SW 1.5 weeks before the painting weekend, looked for a navy blue called “Naval” based off of navy blue door searches I did on Google.  In the store, it looked so dark I thought it was almost black.  So I instead bought a different color that had more purple.  After putting that sample on my door, I realized that the Naval was probably the right color.  So I went back and bought a sample of Naval.  Perfect.
2.  Looked to see if there was a sale on paints at Sherwin Williams. They run sales pretty frequently.  There were none.
3.  A week before painting weekend was actually a Labor Day Sale, so after I went a few days without paint, I went online again to see if there were any sales promos at SW, and luckily one had just started that day!  30% off your whole purchase!  So I went in and bought 8 gallons of un-tinted paint a week early.  I did this because you can’t return tinted paint, but you can return un-tinted paint.  They will tint your paint for free any time.  You just bring your unused, un-tinted can.   If my base gray turned out to be too light, I could make sure to get a darker color for the second coat. And, if I didn’t end up needing all gallons, it would leave me the possibility of returning one un-tinted can.
4. The day before painting day, I went in and tinted half the cans.  I ended up going to the store on the day of painting to get the second coat of paint tinted while getting lunch for everyone.

Washing and Painting

1. Bought Crud Kutter from Wal Mart in the painting aisle.  It is some kind of soap solution to wash grime off your siding.
2. Put Crud Kutter in spray bottle, and set out to wash the siding several days in a row (each day a different side).  Set a day to dry before painting.
3. When washing, first rinse off the siding starting from the bottom up. Do not spray up into the seams of the siding, because you will end up rotting the drywall and stuff that the siding is attached to.  This is the most important thing to be careful about when washing aluminum siding.  Then, spray with cleaning solution bottom up as well.  When rinsing, rinse top down.  The order matters because this is the order that will prevent streaking of dirt and other cleaning streaks.  I used my regular hose with a spray attachment.  Sometimes I put it on Power Wash but I tried not to, so that I can avoid sharp currents of water going up in the seams.
4. Let everything alone to dry for a day or two (make sure the weather will be non-rainy)
5.  Get 5-6 people to help, and have brushes ready and little pails for everyone.  Go to town!!  The more strokes in one spot, the better.  If you get a glob of paint on your brush and only brush a couple times through, you will get brush marks.  You will get less brush marks if you just keep stroking back and for the same spot over and over until you thin it out.  I do it as a really fast movement.  This took about 14 hours to complete and there were four of us, and then five the last hour.  Remember to feed your helper friends : )

-AFTER PHOTO WILL GO HERE-

Door and shutters: Naval by Sherwin Williams
Siding: On the Rocks by Sherwin Williams (a very light gray)
Trim: White
Total cost: $303.36 paint (8 gallons) + $20 lunch for everyone + $10 on 3 jars of sample paint = $316.36 v $900 professional
Good friends: Priceless- be a good friend and invest time in your relationships. People matter most 🙂

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