How to Paint Aluminum Siding

Updated: Feb. 29, 2024

If your aluminum siding has developed a chalky residue or is faded, stained or just flat-out the wrong color, don't worry— you can paint it. Here's how to prepare the surface and choose your paint.

Can You Paint Aluminum Siding?

Have you ever wondered if you can paint aluminum siding? The key to painting aluminum siding is to get it really clean and to use 100-percent acrylic latex paint. Check the label to be sure it’s recommended for metal siding. Expect to pay a premium for good paint.

The best way to get this siding clean is to pressure wash it. Or you could wash it by hand with TSP (trisodium phosphate) or a similar product and rinse it thoroughly. Finally, since metal is such a good heat absorber, avoid painting siding while it’s getting direct sunlight.

Tools You’ll Need to Paint Aluminum Siding

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Garden hose/pressure washer
  • Power sander
  • 80 grit sandpaper
  • 220 grit sandpaper
  • Paint tray
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint roller brush
  • Power washer

You’ll also need an oil-based primer and acrylic latex exterior paint.

How to Paint Aluminum Siding

  • Prep the siding for painting by cleaning it with a garden hose, pressure washer or scrubbing it by hand.
  • Scratch off any peeling paint or any other residue from the surface using a paint scraping tool.
  • Sand down the siding, first with 80-grit sandpaper and then a second with 220-grit.
  • Apply a coat of primer with a paint roller, working across the siding from left to right. Once that coat has dried (this usually takes up to four hours) apply a second coat using the same method.
  • Apply a coat of exterior paint with a brush. Paint the same direction as your siding.
  • Once your first coat has dried, apply a second coat with the intention of covering any flaws or gaps in your first coat.
  • Inspect your work once your final coat has dried.

Painting Aluminum Siding FAQs

How long does paint last on aluminum siding?

Aluminum siding paint typically lasts from 5 to 10 years and aluminum siding is easy to paint.

How much paint do you need?

One gallon of paint typically covers between 250-400 square feet of siding, but you’ll need to know how many coats of paint you’ll need to apply to estimate how many gallons of paint you need.

What is the best paint for aluminum siding?

As mentioned before, 100 percent acrylic latex paint is the best paint to use to paint aluminum siding.