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aribert 03-10-2013 10:13 AM

Another Aluminum Siding prep question
I have very limited aluminum siding repaint experience - one house that had a bad peeling repaint - I pressure washed (at 2500 psi with a concentrated stream) to bare aluminum, Behr latex prime and semi-gloss topcoat - 10 years now and still looking good.

Now I am getting ready to repaint the aluminum siding on my own house. The 41 year old factory finish is still good looking from a distance except where it is adjacent to a lower roof and rain (and possibly tiny roof particles) striking the siding. The siding next to roofing looks translucent (factory finish is quite thin with numerous very small pits). I have rubbed my hand over the siding and I do get some "chalk dust" on my fingers.

I've been migrating over to SW and SuperPaint will be the topcoat. I have looked a a number of prior postings, especially and

The first prep question is can: I pressure wash, keeping the nozzle at a distance, with a fan nozzle to keep the pressure low enough not to cut thru the factory finish and still remove the chalk? THere is no observable mildew. Second question is minimum air temp for painting - I have a small area (about 150 sq ft) that is over my wife's flower garden and I need to paint above it before too much sprouts in the Spring (or I am waiting till mid/late October to finish this area). With southern exposure, can I paint with an air temp of low to upper 50's F? THird question - assuming that I don't remove more finish with pressure washing and with only small pits thru the paint, would it be reasonable to skip priming? I also contacted SW tech and their only mention of priming was a product for high sheen on siding.

Final question - I typically use semi-gloss on exterior of houses. SW does not have a semi in SuperPaint - instead they have gloss & high gloss. I am thinking of using gloss instead of Satin. In another thread, a number of responses to painting w/ SW in anything more than satin was "blinding". I have to admit that on other houses the semi-gloss was applied to a textured surface such as Masonite, cement fiber or asbestos siding - not smooth as aluminum. My only aluminum repaint was Behr semi and I didn't find it objectionable. Your thoughts?

Thanks for reading this long post.

housepaintingny 03-10-2013 04:04 PM

When pressure washing a house 2500 psi of pressure is way to much. It causes damage and water intrusion. You really don't want to wash with any more than 1000 psi. We use about 500psi, sometimes less house washing and prepping substrates for paint.
When prepping aluminum siding for painting its key to wash the surface well removing all chalk, as the chalk is oxidation, its aluminum siding that has broken down and failed. Tsp works well for paint prep for aluminum siding, use low pressure and a nylon scrub brush. Be careful to keep the tsp off of glass, as it can etc h it.
When painting aluminum you only need to prime any areas that are raw-bare. I like using Sherwin Williams DTM bonding primer for this and then I like appling 2 top coats of Sherwin Williams Superpaint, satin sheen sprayed on.

Gymschu 03-10-2013 04:50 PM

Aluminum is the simplest of all substrates to paint. Gentle pressure wash as HPNY stated. All you want to do is get the majority of the dirt and chalkiness off. No need to blast off the factory finish that is still sound. Apply 2 coats of SuperPaint satin. You will regret using a high gloss. It will show every ding, dent, and imperfection on your siding & is actually more difficult to apply. Thank God you are not planning on using Behr paint. That is all.

aribert 03-12-2013 06:45 AM

Thanks for the responses.

Glad to hear that low pressure is adequate - I had no intention of removing the original (and in this case sound) finish.

How much brushing is typically involved? How many passes over the same area? What kind of a brush would you use? What is the benefit of the TSP over other cleaners? I have never used TSP - some quick reading leads me to believe that using it may be an issue for my wife's flower garden up against the house. How do you protect vegetation when using TSP?

I am trying to figure out how much time to budget for the surface washing/prep.

BTW, I don't want a high gloss finish but I think I want a semi-gloss finish. I think that SW gloss is similar to semi-gloss from other manufacturers since the SW high gloss appears to have similar reflectivity to other manufactures gloss - just my perception.

Again - thanks for the responses.

Gymschu 03-12-2013 09:37 AM

This is just my way of doing things so don't take it as gospel, although I have done it this way for 34 years. Rarely do I use TSP or any cleaner for that matter. It usually isn't necessary unless you have some stubborn mildew stains or lots of dirt on the siding. Why, you ask? Cleaners leave a residue on the siding no matter how well you rinse. Add to that, what you mentioned about plants, etc. and the potential to harm leaves, roots, etc. Good old water under pressure is the best cleaner IMO. As for brushing/painting, I use a quality Wooster brush, usually 3 inches and team it up with a Whizz 6" roller. Most of the siding I simply roll with the Whizz.......I use the brush for tight spots and trim. It isn't as fast as spraying but you get the paint where it's supposed to be and to me, it adheres better. Don't over think this.......aluminum is a cakewalk compared to most substrates.

jagans 03-12-2013 10:42 AM

The guy just said he used Behr paint on his previous aluminum paint job and it still looks good after 10 years. I have used Behr Premium Eggshell in my home and it goes on beautiful and covers in one coat, so can you so called pros tell us what is wrong with Behr Paint, because I have heard most of you knocking that brand all over the place, and I would like to know why. Other than the fact that it is sold by HD and not a place where the "Pros" hang out. Maybe SW has better coffee?

Gymschu 03-14-2013 01:48 PM

Well, Jagans, I'm sorry you feel that I am a "so-called" pro. I'm open to using any quality paint. Some homeowners like a certain brand and I try to accommodate them as much as possible. Well, long story short, in 34 years of doing this painting gig I have been in 3 knock-out, drag-out fights with customers and all 3 were a result of the Behr paint WHICH THEY SELECTED . I applied the paint after telling the customers of my reservations about using Behr. In one case I applied 3 coats of white to white doors and the surface was grittier than 150 grit sandpaper. I had never had results like that in my life. So, as a "so-called" pro, after having 3 disasters using Behr, I decided, NO MORE. It costs a guy like me BIG MONEY to redo a job with REAL paint, so no one will get an endorsement of Behr paint from me. BTW, if you have read any of my other recent posts, you will see that I highly endorse sticking with what has worked for the homeowner in the past. Just because I had no success doesn't mean someone else can't make it work for them.

I'm sure there are certain roofing products you will never use for the same reasons. And, I certainly frequent many of the box stores including HD......I have no bias against them. Well, their coffee does suck!!! :)

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