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Commercial Painter | Residential Painter - Arch Painting

Paint On a Vinyl House? The Dos and Don’ts

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Vinyl siding is an incredibly popular option for home exteriors. There’s no real question why. It tends to retain color for long periods of time, it’s durable and can withstand a variety of conditions, and it’s low maintenance. 

But, that doesn’t mean you want to keep the same color of your siding forever. 

Maybe you just moved into a home and you love the siding but not the color. Or, maybe you’ve been living somewhere for years and know it’s time for a change. 

Whatever the case, you might be asking yourself if it’s okay to paint on a vinyl house? What should you expect? 

The simple answer is yes, you can paint on a vinyl house. But, there are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind as you get started. Taking care to do the right things and avoid the wrong ones will make for a much easier project and better end result. 

Do: Choose the Right Weather

No one wants to paint when it’s raining or extremely cold. But, it’s a good idea to check the forecast beyond those extremes when you’re considering painting. 

Even days when it’s hot, humid, or windy should be avoided when it comes to painting vinyl. Not only will it be miserable for you, but it will make it harder for the paint to adequately adhere to the surface. 

It’s also smart to check the forecast a few days before you plan to paint as heavy rain on paint that has not fully cured (dried) can impact the finished appearance.

Commercial Painter | Residential Painter - Arch PaintingDon’t: Use Harsh Chemicals or Abrasive Tools

It’s important to make sure your siding is clean before you start painting. The last thing you want is to paint over layers of dirt and dust. 

But, using tools that are designed to “scrape” away paint will damage your siding. Cleaning products that use harsh chemicals can also damage the texture, which may cause the paint to have a negative reaction, or not adhere to the siding properly. That can impact your final result. 

Soap and water and a little elbow grease are the best ways to clean vinyl siding. If there is a lot of dirt built up, you may consider a pressure washer. 

Do: Choose the Right Paint

It’s incredibly important to pick out the right paint (and be picky about it!) when you’re painting vinyl siding. Remember, vinyl is a different material from wood or drywall. You shouldn’t be using the same paint you used to redo your bedroom on your home’s exterior. 

Instead, you should be looking for paint that is specifically meant for exteriors & vinyl. Look for options that advertise vinyl, and long-lasting color. In fact, you should inform the paint store that you are painting vinyl and you require a vinyl safe formula.

If you don’t choose the right paint, the end results could be patchy and you might have areas that don’t dry properly. 

The color itself is also important. Try to avoid extremely dark colors as they can absorb more heat from the sun, which could damage the vinyl underneath. 

Don’t: Use the Wrong Tools

Painting the vinyl exterior of your home is going to require more than a standard roller and paint brush. In fact, these traditional tools might not get into all the grooves and gaps in the siding. One option is to use a paint sprayer to ensure an even application everywhere. 

Do: Take Good Care of Your Siding

Some people might tell you to avoid painting on your vinyl siding. But, if you do it the right way, there is no reason it can’t look great and last a long time. With proper care, a vinyl siding paint job can last up to ten years. Keep it as clean as possible, and maintain certain areas as necessary. 

So, should you paint your vinyl house? If you keep these tips in mind and avoid making careless mistakes, painting on vinyl can look great, and depending on the color you choose you might even be able to convince people you got completely new siding. 

But, painting on a vinyl house can be tricky. If you want to change the look of your home but you’re worried you won’t be able to get the job done by yourself, it’s always best to contact a professional. When you do, you’ll know everything from the right tools to the right types of paint are being used, and you can have peace of mind in knowing your house will look new in no time. 

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Commercial Painter | Residential Painter - Arch Painting

Choosing the Right Paint Sheen

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You’re standing in your local hardware store or paint shop. You’re looking at row after row of paint options for your home. Even if you’ve already decided on the perfect color, you’re faced with another decision to make: Which sheen is the right one for your project? 

Of course, you can always ask the person working at the store. But, even they might have limited knowledge about which sheen would look best or what each one is made for. 

The best thing you can do is to inform yourself about the different sheens for painting projects. So, whether you’re hiring a professional or tackling a paint job yourself, you’ll know you’ve chosen the right sheen to fit your needs. 

With that in mind, let’s look at a few common finishes and which one(s) you should be going after. 

What Are the Types of Sheens?

Before you know which sheen will work best for you, it’s important to know the different kinds and where they tend to work. The most common are: 

  • Flat: A flat base has almost no sheen to it at all. It won’t leave a reflective finish, and tends to be better for covering up existing imperfections. 
  • Matte: Matte has a subtle sheen, but it is low-luster and easy to clean. Because of that, it’s great for places like bedrooms or hallways. If you’re just looking for a bit of reflection in your walls, matte is the way to go. 
  • Eggshell: Eggshell, also referred to as eggshell enamel, works great in common areas like living rooms. It has a soft look and feel to it and can be incredibly comforting. 
  • Satin: Satin sheens are best used in areas that tend to receive a lot of moisture, like the kitchen or bath. While it isn’t super shiny, it gives off a sort of “pearl” like quality that can be comfortable and elegant all at once. 
  • Semi-gloss: Most people have at least heard of semi-gloss enamel, but you may not know what it really is. Semi-gloss looks sleek and sharp, especially when you’re able to apply multiple thin coats. As the name suggests, it is a bit glossy and reflective. Typically, a semi-gloss is applied to woodwork. 
  • Hi-Gloss: If shiny and reflective is what you’re looking for, a hi-gloss base is absolutely for you. Hi-gloss can make almost any surface look just like glass, and it is often used in areas that see a lot of use. 

Many times, the sheen you choose will be a matter of preference. But, knowing where each one “belongs” and what you can expect from them can make it easier to feel confident in your decision. 

How to Know the Right Paint for Your Project

So, now that you know a bit more about the different types of sheens, which one best fits your needs? It depends on which room in the house you’re thinking of painting, and how that room is going to be used. 

For example, if you have texture problems on the walls or ceilings that you want to hide, a matte or flat sheen might work better. If you have kids or rooms in your home that get a lot of traffic, a semi-gloss or hi-gloss might be better, as they are much easier to clean up. Unfortunately, hi-gloss paints also show cracks and imperfections in the walls and ceiling more clearly, too. 

Commercial Painter | Residential Painter - Arch PaintingWhich Paint Sheen is the Best?

There is no clear “winner” when it comes to choosing a paint sheen. Again, it depends on where you’re painting. Eggshell and satin tend to be the two most popular bases for home interiors. If you’re painting your home’s exterior, you might want to consider things like weather, the material of your home, and how certain types will handle wear and tear. For example, shinier sheens are easier to clean but can show any damage your house might have. 

Keep this knowledge about different sheens in your arsenal the next time you’re considering a painting project. Different sheens will work best for different rooms and purposes. When you know exactly which room(s) you’re painting, you can choose your sheen based on that. Having knowledge when you’re buying paint is extremely important for a successful project!

If you’re still not sure about which paint sheen to get, or you’re confused by the differences, feel free to contact us for more information, and consider hiring a professional for your paint job to make sure it looks fantastic when all is said and done. Download our free app now to receive a quote within two days!

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