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Dow's Paint Quality Institute Suggests Painting as a Replacement for Vinyl or Aluminum Siding

Published on 2011-08-31. Author : SpecialChem

PHILADELPHIA -- With the weak economy, few homeowners will be running out to replace their vinyl or aluminum siding. But that's not to say they can't improve its appearance or simply change the color by painting it.

"One of the best-kept remodeling secrets is that it's actually very easy to repaint these materials, especially vinyl siding," says Debbie Zimmer, Spokesperson for the Paint Quality Institute. "And, it's a lot less expensive than replacing the siding."

While it can cost up to $20,000 or more to re-side a home, a professional painting contractor might charge $5,000 to paint it. Homeowners who do their own painting can often complete the job for just a few hundred dollars.

That said, do-it-yourself exterior painting isn't for everyone. Since spray-painting is best when painting vinyl or aluminum panels, it's preferable to have a little experience with this equipment. But for some homeowners, doing their own painting is a great way to save a bundle of money.

Zimmer says there are two secrets to painting vinyl or aluminum siding: good surface preparation and use of a top quality 100% acrylic latex exterior paint.

Surface preparation is simple when painting vinyl siding: just remove dirt and mildew from the panels with a commercial cleaner and garden hose, or rent power-washing equipment to speed the work. If any stubborn mildew remains, remove it with a solution of one-part bleach to three-parts water, then rinse the surface clean.

With aluminum siding, follow the same cleaning procedures. If excessive "chalk" is present afterward (run your hand across a panel to check for residue), repeat the procedure. Use bleach solution on any stubborn mildew, and rinse clean.

Keep an eye out for surface oxidation on aluminum. The tip-off is the presence of a white powdery substance on panels that are worn down to the bare metal. If oxidation is present, carefully remove the powdery material with a non-metallic scouring pad, then rinse the surface clean. Apply a quality exterior latex metal primer anywhere bare metal shows through. That will complete your surface preparation.

Choosing the right paint to use on vinyl or aluminum siding is simple, according to Zimmer: "These panels tend to be smooth to the touch, almost slippery, so you must use a paint with great adhesion. The paint that adheres best to these surfaces is top quality 100% acrylic latex exterior paint."

Paints made with 100% acrylic are a great choice on vinyl and aluminum siding for another important reason: They are extremely flexible. When siding panels expand or contract in very warm or very cold weather, these paints will tend to stretch or contract along with them.

Top quality paints also have superior "leveling", which means they will naturally tend to duplicate the original appearance of the siding, whether it is smooth or textured. They also resist fading, fight mildew growth, and are very durable.

When it comes to color choice, Zimmer offers one caution when painting vinyl siding: "It's wise to select a color no darker than the original. Dark shades tend to absorb the heat of the sun and can cause the panels to warp or buckle."

For those who truly desire a darker color, seek out one of the technologically-advanced paints that use reflective pigments to ward off some of the sun's heat. But be sure to ask the paint salesperson whether the color you like can be used on vinyl siding.

About the Paint Quality Institute

The Paint Quality Institute was formed by Rohm and Haas Company (now a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company ("Dow")) in 1989 to educate people on the advantages of using quality interior and exterior paints and coatings. The Paint Quality Institute's goal is to provide information on the virtues of quality paint as well as color trends and decorating with paint through a variety of vehicles, including television appearances, newspaper and magazine articles, and instructional literature.

About Dow

Dow combines the power of science and technology with the "Human Element" to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help address many of the world's most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow's diversified industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 160 countries and in high growth sectors such as electronics, water, energy, coatings and agriculture. In 2010, Dow had annual sales of $53.7 billion and employed approximately 50,000 people worldwide. The Company's more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 188 sites in 35 countries across the globe.

Source: Dow Chemical Company

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