What are the Best Paints for Aluminum Siding?

Types of paints for aluminum siding

Aluminum siding is frequently lauded for its resilience and minimal upkeep needs. Nonetheless, prolonged exposure to the elements can lead to a lackluster and faded appearance over time.

If already painted, the paint may begin to peel or chip, particularly in areas subject to weathering.

Another challenge arises when attempting to repair painted aluminum siding. The paint forms a barrier that complicates the adhesion of new siding pieces to the existing ones, making repairs cumbersome.

Hence, seeking guidance from a professional is crucial before embarking on any repair endeavors.

What’s the Best Aluminum Siding Paint?

Many DIYers are apprehensive about repainting their aluminum siding, but with the right preparation and paint, it can be a relatively easy process.

Picking the best paint for your aluminum siding is, however, important to ensure that your home looks its best and is protected from the elements.

When considering the ideal paint for aluminum siding, exterior acrylic latex paint often delivers the best results. One of the most favored choices is Sherwin-Williams Weathershield Exterior Paint & Primer, valued for its user-friendly application, eco-friendliness, and long-lasting properties.

KILZ, Behr, Rust-Oleum Zinsser, and Benjamin Moore are also some trusted brands that can be checked out for this type of hybrid paint for painting aluminum siding.

These paints typically range in price from $20 to $50 per gallon, providing coverage for approximately 250 to 400 square feet per gallon.

A few advantages and disadvantages of using acrylic latex paint for aluminum siding are:


  • Easy to clean
  • Retains color well
  • Offers excellent adhesion
  • Resistant to peeling, cracking, and flaking


  • Not suitable for unprimed metal surfaces
  • Slightly prone to rust formation
  • Higher cost compared to regular acrylic paint

Do I Need Primer Before Painting?

Primer plays a vital role in aluminum siding paint projects, ensuring consistent coverage and lasting color. However, some high-end paint brands advertise themselves as user-friendly, eliminating the need for an initial coat of primer. Therefore, the final decision depends on your preferences and budget, provided you thoroughly review the paint manufacturer’s instructions beforehand.

When picking the primer, it’s best to use a self-etching primer for aluminum siding as it enhances the vibrancy and longevity of your paint job while offering additional protection. These typically cost between $50 to $65 per gallon and are readily available at most big-box stores.

Matte or Flat Finish for Aluminum Siding?

Opting for matte or flat finish paint can lend aluminum siding a contemporary aesthetic. However, it’s important to note that matte paint tends to be less resilient to cleaning efforts. Therefore, it’s vital to take into account the environmental factors your home’s exterior will encounter throughout the seasons.

Alternatively, satin finish paint offers greater durability and can endure scrubbing when necessary to clean the siding. This makes satin a practical choice for maintaining the appearance of your aluminum siding while withstanding the elements.

Things to keep in mind when choosing paints for aluminum siding

Considerations When Choosing the Right Paint for Aluminum Siding

When choosing the right paint for aluminum siding, several considerations should be taken into account. Here are some important ones to consider:

1- Color

First and foremost, it’s important to consider the color of your siding when choosing paint.

Lighter colors will reflect more heat, making them a good choice for hotter climates. Darker colors will absorb more heat, making them a better choice for cooler climates. No matter what color you choose, make sure to pick a high-quality paint specifically designed for metals like aluminum.

2- Durability

You’ll also want to consider how durable you need the paint to be.

For example, if you live in an area with severe weather, you’ll want to pick a paint that can withstand high winds and heavy rains. On the other hand, if you live in a mild climate, you may not need as durable paint.

3- Low Odor

Some paints have a strong odor that can be difficult to deal with, especially if you’re painting a large area.

If you’re sensitive to smells or just want to avoid the hassle, look for low-odor paints that won’t make your eyes water and your nose burn. Most of these paints are also eco-friendly, non-toxic & UV protected.

4- Easy to Apply

Another factor to consider is how easy the paint is to apply. Some acrylic latex paints are thicker than others, making them more difficult to spread evenly. If you’re not an experienced painter, you may want to choose a thinner paint that will be easier to work with.

5- Fast Drying Time

For exterior sidings, you’ll want to pick a paint with a fast drying time. Some paints can take days or even weeks to fully cure, which can be frustrating if you’re trying to get the job done quickly.

Paints with a shorter drying time will be easier to work with and will allow you to get back to your normal routine sooner.

6- Looks Smooth and Tidy

Some of the coatings can leave behind brushstrokes or other imperfections on metals like aluminum, so it’s important to choose one that will give your sidings a neat and tidy look along with a smooth professional-looking finish.

7- Budget

There are a variety of paints available at different price points, so it’s important to find one that fits your needs without breaking the bank.

High-quality paints tend to be more expensive, but they will also last longer and provide a better finish. If you’re on a tight budget, there are still a few good options available that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Can You Paint the Outside Aluminum Siding with Interior Paints?

You should never paint aluminum siding with interior paints as these are not designed to withstand the elements and will quickly peel or flake off.

Instead, use a premium quality 100-percent acrylic latex paint, which is specifically formulated to resist moisture, fading, and other common problems outdoors. While selecting, check the label to ensure that the paint is recommended for metal siding.

After selecting the appropriate paint, follow these straightforward steps:

  1. Begin by power washing the siding to eliminate any dirt or grime.
  2. Utilize a paint scraping tool to remove any peeling paint from the surface.
  3. Sand the siding using 80-grit sandpaper followed by a finer grit like 220-grit.
  4. Apply a coat of primer with a paint roller, ensuring even coverage across the siding from left to right.
  5. Allow the primer to dry (typically up to four hours), then apply a second coat using the same technique.
  6. Use a brush to apply a coat of paint. After the first coat has dried, apply a second coat, paying attention to covering any imperfections or gaps from the initial coat.
  7. Once the final coat has dried, carefully inspect your work for any missed areas or flaws.

What is the Cost to Paint Your Aluminum Siding – DIY vs. Professional

The expense of painting aluminum siding is a significant factor for many individuals when deliberating whether to undertake the task independently or engage a professional. Fortunately, both avenues tend to be quite affordable.

For those inclined towards DIY, the primary cost lies in paint and supplies. A satisfactory paint job can typically be achieved for approximately $200, employing a mid-range brand of paint.

Conversely, opting for professional assistance entails an average cost of around $1,000 for labor and materials. Naturally, this figure may fluctuate based on factors such as the size and condition of your home.

It’s really important to understand that hiring a professional to paint your aluminum siding has many advantages besides just thinking about the money.

Pros know a lot about painting and have done it a bunch of times, so they can make your siding look really good and make it last longer, even against bad weather.

They also have special tools and tricks that regular folks might not have, which can make the job faster and better. So, even though it might cost more at first to hire a pro, in the end, you’ll probably be happier with how your siding looks and how long it lasts.

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