Can You Paint Aluminum Siding? Yes, You Can!

Have you ever come home from work, gotten out of your car, and brushed up against the aluminum siding on your house only to have the fading, chalk-like color rub off of the aluminum and onto your jacket or pants? You’re not alone. But you have options…….

Aluminum siding that has the original color—that is, it has never been painted outside of the factory—will “chalk” with age. The chalking process occur slowly and over many years as the sun’s ultraviolet rays break down the resins that bond the color pigments and paint to each other and to the aluminum. The chalky substance staining your cloths (or staining your brick, your driveway, your front porch, or any other area of your home where rain runs off of the house) is actually the dried up, loose color pigments that are no longer bound to your aluminum siding. And every time it rains, those loose dry pigments get re-activated, until hey dry again somewhere else on your home (or clothes!!!)

Ok, so now you know the cause of your problem. And you’re wondering, “do I have to re-side my entire house, or can I paint my aluminum siding?” To which I say, “Yes, you can paint your aluminum siding.”

To paint your aluminum siding, first you’ll need to treat the entire home with a non-toxic, plant-friendly detergent, something like “Simple Green.” A pump sprayer works great for applying the pre-treatment solution to the house. This pre-treatment will loosen up any stubborn pigments as well as any other dust, dirt, or mildew. After you’ve pre-treated the house, the next step is a strong pressure-washing of the entire exterior surface—work top to bottom so that you’re cleaning the home of all of the chalkiness.

Finally, you’re ready for primer and paint. On aluminum-siding homes, we only use premium exterior products like Sherwin Williams “Duration” or Benjamin Moore Regal Select. Both of these products are self-priming over aluminum, so you can skip the primer and go directly to applying 2 coats of the color if you would prefer to save a little time and money. But for the most durability and longest-lasting finish, applying 1 undercoat of a top-quality exterior primer is never a bad idea.

Have questions about painting your aluminum siding yourself? I’m here to help. Not interested in painting your aluminum siding yourself? I’d be glad to do it!

Either way, drop me a note at

Happy Painting!