Aluminum siding is a long-lasting and easy-to-install material that has been used for decades. It comes in a wide range of colors and styles that can mimic wood. While the material is fairly durable, the color on aluminum siding fades over time. When this happens, your home’s exterior may become chalky and dull, and the chalky paint may wipe off on clothes or hands if you brush against the home. To correct this issue, the siding must be painted.
The national average range to paint aluminum siding is between $3,000 and $6,000. Most people pay around $4,500 for cleaning and painting 1,500 sq.ft. of aluminum siding. This project’s low cost is around $1,500 for painting 1,500 sq.ft. of unoxidized siding, while the high cost is around $7,500 for cleaning and painting 1,500 sq.ft. of siding with multiple color changes and decorative trim.
|Aluminium Siding Painting Prices|
|National average cost||$4,500|
The cost to paint aluminum siding ranges from $1 to $5 a square foot, although most homeowners pay between $2 and $4 a square foot. Aluminum does not rust, but it corrodes and oxidizes. When this happens and the factory baked finish ages, the siding becomes chalky. Attempting to paint directly over this chalky finish causes the new finish to fail.
For that reason, aluminum needs to be cleaned and prepped properly before it can be painted. If there is no corrosion or oxidation, you can paint directly over the old color with a mild wash first. Most jobs require some prep, however.
|Area to Be Painted||Average Costs|
|500 sq.ft.||$500 - $2,500|
|1,000 sq.ft.||$1,000 - $5,000|
|1,500 sq.ft.||$1,500 - $7,500|
|2,000 sq.ft.||$2,000 - $10,000|
|2,500 sq.ft.||$2,500 - $12,500|
Many factors influence the total cost to paint your aluminum siding. The number of square feet is the biggest, but others may impact costs.
One is access. The more difficult it is to reach the area, the higher the cost of painting that section. There is often little difference in the cost to paint aluminum between one and two sidings, but having a cupula, eaves, dormers, and other features near the roofline can raise the project’s cost.
Color changes also increase the cost. While some homes may be painted a uniform color, it is very common to change the color as you change stories. For example, you may have a darker siding on the lower half and a lighter color above.
If this is the case, then the cost to paint your home is higher than using a single color. The more that the painter needs to stop and adjust, the longer it takes to paint that section, and the higher the cost.
So while painting a one or two-story home with no unique features and a solid color both cost $2 a square foot, painting a two-story home with decorative features and two or more colors can cost $4 a square foot, even if the size of the home is the same.
While some siding can be painted with many paints, including oil and latex, aluminum siding is different. Aluminum is metal and non-porous, so it does not absorb the paint. It does not swell or shrink like wood, so it does not require the paint to flex, and the paint does not peel. However, it gets hot in the sun. The paint may dry more quickly in some areas because the siding heats up. This can cause it to become too thick in places. Other paint types do not adhere or cure on aluminum.
Ensure that the paint is 100% acrylic. This is sometimes referred to as acrylic latex. It adheres to the aluminum, dries quickly for less variation in thickness, and can last much longer on the surface than the original baked-on finish.
Aluminum siding must be painted with paint made with 100% acrylic solids. No other type adheres to aluminum. Not every paint manufacturer makes acrylic paint, and the company you contract with to paint your home may have a preferred brand they recommend and work with.
However, there are a few popular brands to consider when choosing paint colors for your home.
|Brand||Average Costs (Material Only)|
|Behr (Premium Plus)||$30 - $50/gallon|
|Valspar (Professional Exterior)||$40 - $50/gallon|
|Sherwin-Williams (FlexTemp)||$70 - $75/gallon|
|Benjamin Moore (Aura)||$70 - $80/gallon|
If you choose Behr paint, expect costs between $30 and $50 a gallon. The right choice for Behr paint on aluminum is Behr Premium Plus. This is a 100% acrylic solid latex paint. It cleans easily with soap and water and has lower VOCs than some older paints. It comes in all colors. While it is advertised as having a primer included, you still need a primer when applying this paint to aluminum.
Valspar exterior paint ranges from $40 to $50 per gallon of paint. The correct choice from this company is Valspar Professional Exterior paint. This is also a 100% acrylic solid latex paint. It is designed to be easy to clean and perform well outdoors.
It comes in a wide range of colors and is considered easy to apply. This paint also requires a primer on aluminum siding.
Sherwin-Williams paint costs between $70 and $75 a gallon. The correct paint from this brand to use on aluminum is FlexTemp. This paint stays flexible at multiple temperatures - a very good thing with aluminum, which can have issues with paint getting hot and drying too thick. This is a 100% acrylic solid latex paint. It cleans easily with soap and water and is easy to apply. It also comes in a wide range of Sherwin-Williams colors. You must use a primer beneath this paint on aluminum.
A gallon of Benjamin Moore paint costs $70 to $80. The paint that is best for aluminum from this brand is Aura. This is a low VOC acrylic latex paint. It is easy to apply and clean with soap and water. It comes in the full range of Benjamin Moore paint colors. While it contains a primer, you still need a separate acrylic primer before applying this paint to aluminum.
Like the paint you use on your aluminum siding, the primer must also be 100% acrylic. Because the aluminum must be well cleaned before the new paint goes on, in most cases, you will be down to the bare metal before painting can begin. The primer helps the paint adhere to the metal. This means that the paint does not wash off when it rains, and it also ensures a smoother, longer-lasting paint job.
Because aluminum can oxidize and corrode, using an acrylic primer and paint protects it longer. This means that there is less chalky fading in the future. A gallon of primer averages $20 to $50, depending on the brand.
While there are many finishes for painting, they are not all recommended for aluminum. This is mostly due to how the material behaves in the sun and oxidizes over time. The recommended finish is satin, which has a slight sheen rather than being completely flat or having a bold gloss. Flat paint and eggshell are not recommended for aluminum because paint eventually becomes chalky on its surface. Flat and eggshell paints tend to become chalky faster than the other types.
Having a glossier paint is also not recommended on the metal surface because it reflects light and heat. While some shady areas can use a semi-gloss, high-gloss paint is never recommended.
Painting aluminum siding is an exacting and time-consuming job best done by professionals. Because it tends to become chalky and oxidize, it must first be “white glove” cleaned. This is usually done by pressure washing and adding chemicals to strip the finish. This may need to be done repeatedly in some instances until a white cloth can be wiped on the siding and come away clean without any chalky residue.
After the siding is clean, it can be primed. The primer needs time to dry properly, and then the siding can be painted. Aluminum siding can be rolled on but is best applied using a sprayer in small sections. Because the siding is metal, it can get very hot in the sun. When applied incorrectly, it dries unevenly and becomes thicker in some areas. This is why it is best applied by someone who has experience with painting aluminum siding.
Most painters charge by the hour, with an average hourly cost of $49. Each “square” of siding, or 100 sq.ft., takes roughly 2 to 4 hours to paint. This is in addition to any time needed to prepare the home and siding for painting, which varies by how many decorative features the home has and the siding’s condition. Siding that is stained or heavily oxidized may need more preparation than siding with little-to-no oxidation, which means that it costs more to paint.
Aluminum siding can be painted in a wide range of colors. However, it is not recommended to paint aluminum in a darker color than it was originally. Aluminum siding is metal and gets hot in the sun. Using a dark color on aluminum siding causes it to heat even more, which can cause the color to fade faster and your home to become superheated in the summer.
It is recommended to paint aluminum in a color similar to its original color or a lighter color. Popular shades to paint aluminum include:
Aluminum siding is sold with a baked-on paint finish. So anytime you need to paint your aluminum siding, you are repainting it. This is true whether you are painting it for the first time since installation or painting it for the second, third, or fourth time.
Every aluminum siding paint job starts with cleaning the siding. This is followed by applying the primer, then spraying on the paint. Some colors require a second coat, especially when moving more than 1 shade from the original color. This makes the total cost range of repainting aluminum between $1 and $5 a square foot, with most people paying between $2 and $4.
All aluminum siding needs to be prepped before painting. This includes pressure washing to remove the old finish and surface stains. This is because the finish grows chalky. You cannot paint over this because the new paint will not stick.
Beyond this, preparing your aluminum siding for painting is much like preparing any siding. Shutters should be removed, and windows, doors, and edging should be taped off to prevent overspray.
This process can be done in a few hours, or it may take a full day before painting can begin, depending on the decorative detail and the siding’s condition.
If you have aluminum siding on your home, you are likely aware that it needs repainting roughly every 4 to 6 years. This adds up and can get expensive. The only reason to replace the siding with new aluminum is if it has significant denting or corrosion. Even the new siding requires painting again within a short time.
If you are looking to invest in a lower-maintenance siding, consider replacing your aluminum with steel. Steel siding does not become chalky over time, and some finishes are considered lifetime, meaning that they never need to be repainted unless you want to change the color of the siding.
Otherwise, replacing your existing aluminum siding does not lower its long-term maintenance costs and only delays your need to repaint by another 4 to 6 years.
If you have existing aluminum siding and it is time to repaint, consider replacing it. Vinyl siding is considered a lower-maintenance material than aluminum because it does not require painting.
However, vinyl can be considered higher maintenance than aluminum in some ways. Vinyl siding can melt and warp in hot climates and become brittle and crack in cold climates. Aluminum siding holds up in all climates, so the only area where vinyl is lower maintenance than aluminum is a moderate climate.
The cost of new vinyl siding is around $9,000 on average, so repainting is a lower cost in the short term. Aluminum must be repainted regularly, while vinyl siding usually lasts up to 20 years. Over this time, the costs of repainting aluminum can make it more expensive.
However, aluminum is a more durable material than vinyl. It is also more environmentally friendly, even with frequent painting.
Aluminum siding does not peel like wood siding. It also does not chip or flake, so it may be more difficult to tell when your siding must be painted.
The issue with aluminum is that it oxidizes and corrodes over time, rather than rusting. This makes it chalky to the touch. The paint also fades and becomes chalky with time. This means that the color is lighter, and if you brush against the siding, the chalky color comes off on your hands or clothes.
This chalkiness is a sign that it is time to repaint. Repainting brightens the color, removes the chalkiness, and reduces the corrosion to last longer.
Yes, you can paint it, and it is a good idea because it lasts longer. Without frequent repainting, it becomes chalky and faded.
This depends on several conditions, but the paint typically lasts about 4 to 6 years before it gets chalky.
In the short term, it is cheaper to paint. In the long term, it may be cheaper to replace it with a lower-maintenance material.
Yes, even if the paint has a primer in it, you still need to prime the siding to ensure the paint sticks.
Absolutely! It brightens the color and reduces the chalkiness.
On average, most people pay between $2 and $4 a square foot to wash, prime, and paint their aluminum siding.