Money makes the world go round, and it certainly plays a huge role in determining the scale of any home improvement project you embark on. Sure, we would all love to go the Extreme Makeover route and knock down a couple of walls, change the whole kitchen set up, and even get rid of that tacky-colored vinyl siding that eats away at your soul bit by bit every day.
But, in most cases, your bank balance appears to have a mind of its own and doesn’t always support you in your grand home-renovation plans. It’s not all doom and gloom, though. You can change one of those things – well, two actually, if increasing your account balance is a feasible option.
Have you considered painting the panels instead? That’s right; the cost to paint vinyl siding isn’t remotely close to what you would spend to replace the entire exterior cladding of your home.
This guide breaks down everything you need to know about the costs associated with painting vinyl siding.
Table of Contents
- So You’ve Decided to Paint Your Vinyl Siding… What’s Next
- Can You Successfully Paint Vinyl Siding?
- Is It Cheaper to Paint a House or Put Siding on It?
- Before You Get Started
- Calculator to Estimate the Cost to Paint Vinyl Siding
- Chart: Cost Breakdown to Paint Vinyl Siding
- Total Cost Analysis to Paint Vinyl Siding
- How Long Will My Vinyl Siding Last If I Paint It?
So You’ve Decided to Paint Your Vinyl Siding… What’s Next
That’s great! It’s a cost-effective solution to give your home a fresh new look without breaking the bank to do it. However, your vinyl siding needs to be in pretty decent shape to achieve a near fresh-off-the-factory look once you slap on some new paint.
If you’re thinking of repainting the panels on a 30-year-old house, whose bare vinyl bore the brunt of three decades’ worth of sun, rain, wind, and storm exposure, then there’s nothing much a coat of paint will do to restore them to their glory days. It’s not magic, after all.
But, if you have a good surface to work with, the paint will bring back their original luster and protect them from the harsh weather elements for several years to come.
Can You Successfully Paint Vinyl Siding?
This is a popular question many homeowners have when trying to decide if painting their vinyl siding is well worth the effort. You can successfully paint it and restore your home’s exterior to its original magnificence. But, there’s a way to do it.
If you use the wrong type of primer, the wrong type of paint, or even too dark a shade, it could end up physically ruining your panels. Have you come across buildings with vinyl that looks bumpy, buckled or warped with chipped paint that’s flaking off? Believe or not, they might not be as old as they look.
Someone probably thought it would be a great idea to grab a couple of gallons of cheap paint and spread it on. After all, if it’s good enough for wooden siding or concrete walls, it’s good enough for vinyl, right? Wrong.
Painting vinyl siding requires a special type of paint designed to be “vinyl-safe,” allowing it to expand and contract in the same way that the panels do. Any other type of paint that doesn’t have this capability will start to chip in a matter of days. It also needs to have a light reflective value (LRV) rating of 55 or higher if you intend to paint vinyl siding a darker color.
So, keep these in mind if you want to get the best results from your paint job. When in doubt, always involve an expert from the get-go.
Is It Cheaper to Paint a House or Put Siding on It?
Ah, the age-old question indeed. At the risk of stating the obvious, vinyl siding panels aren’t exactly cheap. They’re quite expensive since they’re engineered to last several decades before you need to replace them.
Without paint, they have a 20-year shelf life on average. With paint, they can last up to 40. So, you may only have to replace the entire exterior cladding only once in your lifetime. It’s not the sort of thing you do every other year.
If you compare painting costs versus the cost of buying and installing new panels, the two are worlds apart. As long as your siding is in good shape, painting will always be the cheaper option.
Before You Get Started
So, you’re now ready to kick off your siding painting project. Before you do, here are a couple of things you need to keep in mind.
- Make sure to involve a paint and vinyl expert at the very beginning and have them do a site inspection for you. They’re best placed to advise you on whether your siding is a viable candidate for painting, the type of paint to use, how dark you can go on vinyl siding paint colors or if your panels are damaged beyond repair, in which case, you may need to get new ones installed.
- Once you get the nod to proceed, get a couple of quotations from different painting contractors in your area code to get a rough idea of how much the entire painting project would cost versus how much it would be to install new vinyl siding. Weigh this against the painting vinyl siding pros and cons to determine what the most cost-effective solution is.
- With all the figures in hand, it’s now time to do your own projections to determine how much you would save if you bought all the painting materials and equipment and did the entire project yourself. If you’re a newbie with no prior painting experience, ensure that you collaborate with someone who has some background in home exteriors.
- If you find that you’ll save between 50 and 70 percent of the total cost of getting professional painters to do it, then you better get on with it!
- If this isn’t your first rodeo, ensure that you get someone who knows how to get paint off vinyl siding without damaging it to help you. This is an important part of the prep process to get the best results.
Calculator to Estimate the Cost to Paint Vinyl Siding
Chart: Cost Breakdown to Paint Vinyl Siding
Numbers don’t lie. Here’s an estimate of what you can expect to spend on your vinyl siding painting project based on 1500, 2,500 and 4,500 square foot homes.
|Cost per Unit||Quantity Required||Total Cost|
|Paint||$45 – $75 per gallon|| || |
|Primer||$25 – $40 per gallon|| || |
|Caulking||$3 per tube|| || |
|Painter’s tape||$7 per 1.41-inch 60-yard roll|| || |
|Masking paper||$12 per 2.9 x 140 ft. roll|| || |
|Painter’s Plastic Sheeting||$25 for 12 x 400 ft. roll|| || |
|Paintbrush||$2 per 1-inch, 2-inch, or 3-inch brush|| || |
|Paint rollers||$10 for a pack of 3, 9-inch high-density foam roller|| || |
|Roller cage frame||$3 for a 9-inch frame|| || |
|Roller tray||$18 for an 18-inch tray|| || |
|Paint bucket||$4 per 5-gallon bucket|| || |
|Respiratory mask||$22|| || |
|Brim hard hat||$25|| || |
|Painter’s overalls||$35|| || |
|Aluminum ladder||$100 for a 16 ft. extension ladder|| || |
|Paint remover and stripper||$25 per ½ gallon pack|| || |
|Heavy-duty detergent and brush||$50 worth of cleaning supplies|| || |
|Pressure washer hose||$80 for a 3/8 inch x 50 ft.|| || |
|Grand Total|| |
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
If you’re working on a two-story house, you need a ladder that extends up to 16 feet. Higher buildings will naturally require taller ladders, but if you need one for your home exterior project, 16 feet should suffice. The best types of ladders to get for exterior painting projects are extension, step-, and straight ladders.
You might be wondering why a pressure washer would be included in the cost to paint vinyl siding. Before you embark on painting vinyl siding or any painting project for that matter, you always need to make sure that you’re working with a clean, pristine surface. A pressure washer works like a charm to remove dirt and grime build-up from the surface of the vinyl. Don’t skip this step if you want to increase the lifespan of your paint.
Other Factors That May Affect Pricing
The estimate provided here is based on the assumption that you’ll do all the heavy lifting yourself – which in this case is the actual painting. If you use a painting contractor, you can expect to pay more since the price of labor and their markup will be factored in there.
The size of your home will also affect the price. Painting vinyl siding on a 4,000 square foot home will cost dramatically more than painting one that’s 1,500 square feet.
Finally, the quality of the siding materials used for the project also plays a major part in the overall cost. High-quality paint and primer, for instance, costs substantially higher than your run-of-the-mill types. However, this pays off in the long run since it will be several years before your siding needs a little zhushing up.
Total Cost Analysis to Paint Vinyl Siding
Replacing vinyl siding panels is generally in the ballpark of $200 to $300 for every 100 feet of square footage. This translates to about $3,000 to $4,500 per 100 square feet for a 1,500 square-foot home.
Painting the same house would cost roughly $1,366. This translates to a 55 and 70 percent saving on the lower and higher end of the spectrum, respectively. It’s a no-brainer.
How Long Will My Vinyl Siding Last If I Paint It?
It’s a well-known fact that painting doubles the lifespan of vinyl siding. Without paint, the shelf life is 20 years, but with proper maintenance and paint, you can expect it to last up to 40. If you compare this to what it would potentially cost to paint vinyl siding, the numbers don’t lie. It’s a cost-effective solution both in the short and long term.
While bombing around on his bike, Nathan dreams up cool interior design article ideas for Homestratosphere.com. He loves penning the perfect introduction or clever description of a particular design. When not writing about design, he cycles, reads crime novels, barbecues (ribs are his specialty), entertains friends and hangs out with his beautiful wife and amazing kids.