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Can You Paint Vinyl Siding a Darker Color?

Close up of a home with gray vinyl siding.

Choosing a darker paint color for your home exterior's vinyl siding can make your home look bold and contemporary but should you even consider it and more importantly, how do you choose the right color for your home facade?

Have you ever come across a building where the vinyl siding panels appear to have buckled or popped out of place? Well, they weren’t always like that. That appearance is usually brought on by a process known as warping, and it’s what happens when you paint vinyl siding a darker color. It doesn’t always happen, but it increases the chances significantly.

The real question isn’t – can you paint vinyl siding a darker color? It’s – should you? Is it even worth it?

This guide explores the answers to these questions in depth.

Painting Vinyl Siding

House siding only still half-done.

Since its introduction in the 1950s, vinyl siding has been and continues to be marketed as the “install-it-and-forget-about-it” home exterior solution. This is partly why it is one of the most sought-after exterior cladding for many homeowners everywhere.

However, what people later came to realize was – while it does fade significantly slower than conventional outdoor paint, it is not immune to the harsh effects of the sun and other outdoor elements. Replacing worn drab-looking vinyl siding wasn’t a realistic option for many and living in a house that looked dingy wasn’t either.

That’s when someone came up with an ingenious idea to paint it instead. Fast-forward to several decades later, and it remains the number one way to spruce up dull and faded panels to give them a fresh new lease on life.

Benefits of Painting Vinyl Siding

Back view of a woman painting slot and key board in white with a brush.

When it comes to painting vinyl siding pros and cons, the benefits certainly outweigh the drawbacks. Here are some of the top ones.

Cost-Effective

At the risk of stating the obvious, vinyl siding replacement is quite an expensive undertaking. When you compare the cost to paint vinyl siding, replacing the entire outdoor cladding of a home simply doesn’t make financial sense to most homeowners, more so when the panels look like they still have several good years left in them. Painted vinyl siding delivers the same lustrous results as installing new ones without breaking the bank while you’re at it.

Pick Your Own Colors

There is something very “cookie-cutter-like” about the colors and design of vinyl siding. It is quite possible to stroll through your neighborhood and find several houses with the exact type and color of painted vinyl siding as yours.

Most panels come in a standard range of colors, which, for the most part, are considered safe and conservative. So, if a color that once warmed your heart, now seems to make your skin crawl, you can switch things up and paint your home exterior in vinyl siding paint colors that fill your soul.

Promotes Longevity

The lifespan of standard vinyl siding is 20 to 40 years. You might be wondering why there’s a 20-year long window between the lower and upper age limits. Well, it’s simple: Vinyl siding will last you up to 20 years without paint and up to 40 years with paint.

Painting adds a protective layer that safeguards the vinyl surface against harsh outdoor elements that increase its propensity for damage. So, if you want to extend the life of your panels for two decades before you have to replace them, there’s only one way to do it – paint!

Drives up Your Property Value

Your house is an investment – whether or not you’re living in it. If you’re not, chances are you’ve rented out. Either way, you may want to sell it at some point and move to something bigger or better.

If that’s the case, you want to be able to sell your house quickly and at a great price. This can be difficult to do if your vinyl siding makes your house look old, dated, and dingy. The best and most effective way to give your home exterior a quick, painless, and effective facelift is to paint those old dogs.

Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Paint Your Siding

Young man looking pensive while sitting at a home office.

Painting is a great way to upgrade the overall look of your home and enhance its curb appeal. It saves you a ton of money and makes your home look like a million bucks in the process.

But, are there any reasons why you shouldn’t paint your siding? Here’s what you should know before you whip out your paintbrush.

Warranty

Most of the vinyl siding panels you’ll find on the market today are backed by a lifetime warranty. Those that don’t, have warranties that are valid for anywhere between 20 and 40 years.

However, the warranty terms expressly state that if the product is altered in any way – including painting – it effectively voids it. If it’s already expired, then it doesn’t matter. But, if it’s still valid, take a time-out, think about the implication of painting, and decide if it’s still worth it.

It’s the Wrong Time of Year

You’ve been bitten by the painting bug and just have the urge to get on with it and give your vinyl siding the touch-up it desperately needs. Before you do, you need to be aware of the fact that you can only paint vinyl under very specific weather conditions.

It shouldn’t be too hot, too windy, nor should it be raining. It shouldn’t be too cold either so that the paint can dry quickly. Experts recommend that the perfect time to paint is mid-spring or early fall. You shouldn’t paint siding panels at any other time of the year.

The Numbers Don’t Make Sense

A new coat of paint should last you a couple of years – seven if it’s done properly. New vinyl siding has a shelf life of approximately 20 years, without painting. While it costs more to buy new siding than new paint, if the expenses associated with painting every few years overrun the cost of buying new siding, then you should consider replacing the old panels entirely.

Can You Paint Vinyl Siding a Darker Color

Paint cans of different colors with a paint brush and color samples.

Yes, but it’s a bit of a tricky affair, to be honest. It has lots of moving parts. You need to choose the right shade, pick the right color, and use the right type of paint; otherwise, you’ll end up with an expensive disaster on your hands.

Here are a couple of things you need to know.

Pros of Going Darker

For one, it will certainly look great. There’s something about dark home exteriors that exude boldness infused with a contemporary style. It certainly pushes the envelope on what would be considered the norm of home design and décor.

Dark colors also work perfectly to camouflage any architectural defects that you would rather not draw attention to. So, if there’s a crack in a corner wall or you have mold overgrowth because of a persistent plumbing leak that just won’t go away, dark colors will buy you time while you get those issues eradicated.

Cons of Going Darker

Vinyl siding is very temperature sensitive and tends to buckle and warp under high heat conditions like those on a hot summer’s day. Darker-colored paint absorbs more heat, which increases the chances of the siding warping, especially if you use the wrong kind of paint. If you want to paint vinyl siding a darker color, then you have to contend with this possibility, even when using “vinyl-safe” paint.

Choosing the Right Paint and Colors for Vinyl Siding

So, you’ve decided you want to paint your panels a darker color. Slow your roll! There are a couple of things you need to know.

Choose the Right Type of Paint

If you don’t want the paint to chip or the vinyl to warp when using dark-colored paint, you need to ensure that you use only high-quality products. Make sure that they have urethane and acrylic resins in their ingredients and also have a “vinyl-safe” label on the container. That way, you know they’re specifically designed for vinyl siding. A high-quality paint will last for seven to 10 years before it starts to peel off, and you need to repaint.

Choosing the Right Schemes and Designs

Facade of a luxury colonial Georgian style townhouse with symmetric double pan shutter windows and blue-painted brick exterior.

Going darker isn’t a problem per se, but you need to do it the right way. If you have an older home, it’s always a great idea to honor its history by maintaining the existing color scheme. Go darker but not by more than two shades.

You also want to bring out a bit of contrast. Dark blue vinyl siding, for instance, goes quite well with white or off-white trims. Dark grey and white also complement each other brilliantly. If you’re going to go dark, ensure that you contrast it with light tones to give your home that “wow” factor.

Understanding the Type of Siding You Have

If you’re wondering: Can you change the color of vinyl siding – you first need to understand the type of siding you have.

The rule of thumb is to maintain the same shade as the original color. If it was already dark, to begin with, then going darker shouldn’t be a problem. But, if the original color was a medium to light tone, then going several shades darker increases the chances of the vinyl warping. Always ensure that you use vinyl-safe paint with a light reflective value (LRV) rating of 55 and higher.

If you have aluminum siding instead, the best type of paint to use is an exterior acrylic paint over oil-based primers. This, however, wouldn’t stick on vinyl siding.

The Best Dark Colors for Vinyl Siding

Some of the top picks for dark exterior paint colors include all shades of black and dark blue. If you’re bold enough, a deep dark shade of red works too.

Here are some dark color palettes from the Benjamin Moore range of vinyl-safe paints to give you an idea of how dark you can go.

Options for gray paint colors

Options for blue paint colors

Options for red paint colors

Ideas and Inspiration

Here are some great dark paint ideas that you can draw inspiration from for your next home improvement project.

Luxury home with gray vinyl siding, white trims, lower stone facade, and an attached three-car garage.

Black is the new… well – black. It is a neutral color that comes in many marvelous shades. While you shouldn’t go for a pitch-black color for your siding, dark grays ooze a quiet elegance and, when paired with lighter tones, create a contrast that enhances the appearance of your home.

House exterior with blue wood siding.

Blue is a powerful and gorgeous color that many homeowners find intimidating. It has a relaxing and soothing effect, mainly because of the connection it draws from the ocean and the sky. If done right, there’s truly no better way to say “home” than with dark blue sidings.

Red mill wall with a hung window.

Red isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s for the daring and adventurous. It’s bold, dramatic, and passionate. When contrasted with white trim, it lends a fiery feel to your property and will certainly stand out against a suburban city backdrop.

Have you ever come across a building where the vinyl siding panels appear to have buckled or popped out of place? Well, they weren’t always like that. That appearance is usually brought on by a process known as warping, and it’s what happens when you paint vinyl siding a darker color. It doesn’t always happen, but it increases the chances significantly.

The real question isn’t – can you paint vinyl siding a darker color? It’s – should you? Is it even worth it?

This guide explores the answers to these questions in depth.

Painting Vinyl Siding

Hand painting the groove on white walls.

Since its introduction in the 1950s, vinyl siding has been and continues to be marketed as the “install-it-and-forget-about-it” home exterior solution. This is partly why it is one of the most sought-after exterior cladding for many homeowners everywhere.

However, what people later came to realize was – while it does fade significantly slower than conventional outdoor paint, it is not immune to the harsh effects of the sun and other outdoor elements. Replacing worn drab-looking vinyl siding wasn’t a realistic option for many and living in a house that looked dingy wasn’t either.

That’s when someone came up with an ingenious idea to paint it instead. Fast-forward to several decades later, and it remains the number one way to spruce up dull and faded panels to give them a fresh new lease on life.

Benefits of Painting Vinyl Siding

Facade of a home with double-hung windows and blue vinyl siding.

When it comes to painting vinyl siding pros and cons, the benefits certainly outweigh the drawbacks. Here are some of the top ones.

Cost-Effective

At the risk of stating the obvious, vinyl siding replacement is quite an expensive undertaking. When you compare the cost to paint vinyl siding, replacing the entire outdoor cladding of a home simply doesn’t make financial sense to most homeowners, more so when the panels look like they still have several good years left in them. Painted vinyl siding delivers the same lustrous results as installing new ones without breaking the bank while you’re at it.

Pick Your Own Colors

There is something very “cookie-cutter-like” about the colors and design of vinyl siding. It is quite possible to stroll through your neighborhood and find several houses with the exact type and color of painted vinyl siding as yours.

Most panels come in a standard range of colors, which, for the most part, are considered safe and conservative. So, if a color that once warmed your heart, now seems to make your skin crawl, you can switch things up and paint your home exterior in vinyl siding paint colors that fill your soul.

Promotes Longevity

The lifespan of standard vinyl siding is 20 to 40 years. You might be wondering why there’s a 20-year long window between the lower and upper age limits. Well, it’s simple: Vinyl siding will last you up to 20 years without paint and up to 40 years with paint.

Painting adds a protective layer that safeguards the vinyl surface against harsh outdoor elements that increase its propensity for damage. So, if you want to extend the life of your panels for two decades before you have to replace them, there’s only one way to do it – paint!

Drives up Your Property Value

Your house is an investment – whether or not you’re living in it. If you’re not, chances are you’ve rented out. Either way, you may want to sell it at some point and move to something bigger or better.

If that’s the case, you want to be able to sell your house quickly and at a great price. This can be difficult to do if your vinyl siding makes your house look old, dated, and dingy. The best and most effective way to give your home exterior a quick, painless, and effective facelift is to paint those old dogs.

Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Paint Your Siding

Scrubbing algae and mold off a vinyl siding.

Painting is a great way to upgrade the overall look of your home and enhance its curb appeal. It saves you a ton of money and makes your home look like a million bucks in the process.

But, are there any reasons why you shouldn’t paint your siding? Here’s what you should know before you whip out your paintbrush.

Warranty

Most of the vinyl siding panels you’ll find on the market today are backed by a lifetime warranty. Those that don’t, have warranties that are valid for anywhere between 20 and 40 years.

However, the warranty terms expressly state that if the product is altered in any way – including painting – it effectively voids it. If it’s already expired, then it doesn’t matter. But, if it’s still valid, take a time-out, think about the implication of painting, and decide if it’s still worth it.

It’s the Wrong Time of Year

You’ve been bitten by the painting bug and just have the urge to get on with it and give your vinyl siding the touch-up it desperately needs. Before you do, you need to be aware of the fact that you can only paint vinyl under very specific weather conditions.

It shouldn’t be too hot, too windy, nor should it be raining. It shouldn’t be too cold either so that the paint can dry quickly. Experts recommend that the perfect time to paint is mid-spring or early fall. You shouldn’t paint siding panels at any other time of the year.

The Numbers Don’t Make Sense

A new coat of paint should last you a couple of years – seven if it’s done properly. New vinyl siding has a shelf life of approximately 20 years, without painting. While it costs more to buy new siding than new paint, if the expenses associated with painting every few years overrun the cost of buying new siding, then you should consider replacing the old panels entirely.

Can You Paint Vinyl Siding a Darker Color

Close up of a dark gray vinyl siding.

Yes, but it’s a bit of a tricky affair, to be honest. It has lots of moving parts. You need to choose the right shade, pick the right color, and use the right type of paint; otherwise, you’ll end up with an expensive disaster on your hands.

Here are a couple of things you need to know.

Pros of Going Darker

For one, it will certainly look great. There’s something about dark home exteriors that exude boldness infused with a contemporary style. It certainly pushes the envelope on what would be considered the norm of home design and décor.

Dark colors also work perfectly to camouflage any architectural defects that you would rather not draw attention to. So, if there’s a crack in a corner wall or you have mold overgrowth because of a persistent plumbing leak that just won’t go away, dark colors will buy you time while you get those issues eradicated.

Cons of Going Darker

Vinyl siding is very temperature sensitive and tends to buckle and warp under high heat conditions like those on a hot summer’s day. Darker-colored paint absorbs more heat, which increases the chances of the siding warping, especially if you use the wrong kind of paint. If you want to paint vinyl siding a darker color, then you have to contend with this possibility, even when using “vinyl-safe” paint.

Choosing the Right Paint and Colors for Vinyl Siding

So, you’ve decided you want to paint your panels a darker color. Slow your roll! There are a couple of things you need to know.

Choose the Right Type of Paint

If you don’t want the paint to chip or the vinyl to warp when using dark-colored paint, you need to ensure that you use only high-quality products. Make sure that they have urethane and acrylic resins in their ingredients and also have a “vinyl-safe” label on the container. That way, you know they’re specifically designed for vinyl siding. A high-quality paint will last for seven to 10 years before it starts to peel off, and you need to repaint.

Choosing the Right Schemes and Designs

Back view of two persons choosing among color samples.

Going darker isn’t a problem per se, but you need to do it the right way. If you have an older home, it’s always a great idea to honor its history by maintaining the existing color scheme. Go darker but not by more than two shades.

You also want to bring out a bit of contrast. Dark blue vinyl siding, for instance, goes quite well with white or off-white trims. Dark grey and white also complement each other brilliantly. If you’re going to go dark, ensure that you contrast it with light tones to give your home that “wow” factor.

Understanding the Type of Siding You Have

If you’re wondering: Can you change the color of vinyl siding – you first need to understand the type of siding you have.

The rule of thumb is to maintain the same shade as the original color. If it was already dark, to begin with, then going darker shouldn’t be a problem. But, if the original color was a medium to light tone, then going several shades darker increases the chances of the vinyl warping. Always ensure that you use vinyl-safe paint with a light reflective value (LRV) rating of 55 and higher.

If you have aluminum siding instead, the best type of paint to use is an exterior acrylic paint over oil-based primers. This, however, wouldn’t stick on vinyl siding.

The Best Dark Colors for Vinyl Siding

Some of the top picks for dark exterior paint colors include all shades of black and dark blue. If you’re bold enough, a deep dark shade of red works too.

Here are some dark color palettes from the Benjamin Moore range of vinyl-safe paints to give you an idea of how dark you can go.

Options for gray paint colors

Options for blue paint colors

Options for red paint colors

Ideas and Inspiration

Here are some great dark paint ideas that you can draw inspiration from for your next home improvement project.

Upscale single-family home with vinyl siding, double gable roof, bay windows, and a double-car garage.

Black is the new… well – black. It is a neutral color that comes in many marvelous shades. While you shouldn’t go for a pitch-black color for your siding, dark grays ooze a quiet elegance and, when paired with lighter tones, create a contrast that enhances the appearance of your home.

Home with dark vinyl siding, a chimney, and a terrace.

Blue is a powerful and gorgeous color that many homeowners find intimidating. It has a relaxing and soothing effect, mainly because of the connection it draws from the ocean and the sky. If done right, there’s truly no better way to say “home” than with dark blue sidings.

Family home with a dark vinyl siding, a double-car garage, and a covered front porch.

Red isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s for the daring and adventurous. It’s bold, dramatic, and passionate. When contrasted with white trim, it lends a fiery feel to your property and will certainly stand out against a suburban city backdrop.

 

Related: How to Get Paint Off Vinyl Siding | Types of Vinyl Siding Tools

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