A fresh coat of paint can dramatically improve the appearance of a home, but many experienced homeowners swear off repainting their siding. Understanding why some homeowners have decided that repainting their siding is foolish is a great way to determine whether repainting your siding is a good idea.
Should I Paint My Siding?
While repainting your siding might be a good idea, there are a variety of factors to consider before paying contractors to pick up a brush or doing so yourself.
Factors You Should Consider Before Painting Your Siding
Five factors deserve consideration before you decide to paint your siding:
- The type of siding you have on your house.
- Concerns unique to vinyl siding.
- The cost of repainting your home.
- The relative pros and cons of repainting siding vs. replacing siding.
- How repainting your siding can affect its warranty.
The Type of Siding
The four most common types of siding are stucco, wood, aluminum, and vinyl. Repainting stucco, wood, and aluminum siding requires far less consideration than repainting vinyl siding. Repainting stucco, wood, and aluminum have always been relatively straightforward. On the other hand, repainting vinyl siding offers unique challenges that might make you rethink a decision to repaint your home.
One reason to avoid repainting vinyl siding is that you need to select a coat of paint that is lighter than the original paint. Painting over vinyl siding with a darker coat than its original paint will trap heat and cause the underlying paint to warp, which will destroy your siding.
The biggest reason to avoid repainting vinyl siding is the durability of its original coat of paint.
Vinyl Siding Never Fades
The original coat of paint on vinyl siding does not fade. When someone paints vinyl siding, the paint they apply will likely require more maintenance than the siding itself. After roughly five years, painted vinyl siding will degrade and will need to be repainted. Painting over vinyl makes your siding less durable and require more maintenance.
Cost of Painting
Getting your home professionally painted will likely cost between $1,500-$4,000. If you decide to paint your home yourself, you can save a huge chunk of money, but lose lots of time. Moreover, you need to carefully research your existing siding to find a paint that's compatible with your home. Using the wrong paint can chemically damage your siding, and may require you to replace it.
Cost of Repainting vs. Replacing
Replacing your siding will likely cost around twice as much as repainting. The cost of re-siding your house will largely depend on the type of siding you select and the labor costs associated with tearing down your existing siding. If you replace your siding with vinyl, it will likely cost between $4-$9 per square foot. Re-siding with aluminum will probably cost between $5-$8 per square foot. Re-siding with wood generally costs between $8-$14 per square foot.
Checking Your Warranty
Before you repaint your siding, it is essential that you understand how repainting your siding will impact your siding’s warranty. Some warranties explicitly prohibit repainting and will become void as soon as you begin to repaint.
Repainting your siding is a relatively cheap way to improve its appearance. However, painting siding comes with definite drawbacks, particularly if you have vinyl siding. While repainting your home may be a great decision, given your circumstances, the decision to repaint should not be taken lightly.