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Old 05-20-2015, 08:07 PM   #1
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What's the best paint for old aluminum siding?


My house has the original siding on it, and it's 50+ yrs old. The color on the siding is fading away and chalky. I've been searching for info on what kind of paint is best for aluminum siding. The more I search the more confusing this is becoming. I read some where that you should not use latex on aluminum because it will have a chemical reaction that will cause the paint to blister and peel. My local Benjamin Moore paint store recommended Pittsburgh Paints manor hall. Reading the description, it has latex in it. I feel that they are just "selling" me this paint cause there is a rebate offer.
Any one have a definitive answer on using latex paint on al siding?
Another related question is: How can a paint be 100% acrylic exterior Latex Paint, if its 100% acrylic how can it have latex in it??

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Old 05-20-2015, 08:18 PM   #2
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What's the best paint for old aluminum siding?


The key to painting aluminum siding is the prep.
Got to get off all the old chaulking.
Pressure washing and scrubbing with TSP.
Acrilic Latex is the way to go.
I use Sherwin Williams Super Paint.

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Old 05-20-2015, 09:28 PM   #3
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What's the best paint for old aluminum siding?


Most definitely perfectly fine to use acrylic on aluminum. In fact it's much preferred over an oil based paint because of flexibility.

The chalk Must be completely removed before painting. Wash and scrub the siding well then check it again for chalk by rubbing your hand over the dry surface. Sometimes old coatings are so severely oxidized that no amount of cleaning short of scrubbing all the paint off will totally remove the chalk.

If that's the case, you'll need to use something to stabilize the chalk. I like Seal Krete Original for this purpose. It binds chalk residue and acts as a primer on aluminum and several other surfaces. It's not necessary to prime aluminum as long as it's clean, but if any chalk residue remains it can cause adhesion problems.

The Manor Hall would be a fine choice. Any good quality acrylic will work.

The word "latex" as used to describe water based paint is a bit of a misnomer. There is no actual latex in paint, it's just a general term that includes most paints that use synthetic polymers including acrylics.
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Old 05-21-2015, 07:48 AM   #4
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What's the best paint for old aluminum siding?


Aluminum Siding
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Old 05-21-2015, 06:14 PM   #5
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What's the best paint for old aluminum siding?


What if, when pressure washing it washes everything(or random areas) down to bare aluminum? Still ok to go without primer?
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Old 05-21-2015, 06:38 PM   #6
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What's the best paint for old aluminum siding?


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Originally Posted by JohnnyBlades View Post
What if, when pressure washing it washes everything(or random areas) down to bare aluminum? Still ok to go without primer?

Well, that will depend on the specific paint you use. The Manor Hall for instance cautions against possible adhesion problems on raw aluminum and recommends a spot adhesion test before proceeding with coating the whole surface.

BM Aura exterior does not recommend a primer at all on properly prepared aluminum.

Honestly, it's unlikely you will wash to bare aluminum. In any case, an acrylic DTM would work no matter what.

There are some high performance metal primers out there that are awesome, like SW Pro-Cryl that you could use and they may very well improve the lifespan of your top coat.

Really, aluminum siding is not a challenging substrate to paint. A lot of things can work well as long as the prep is right. Whatever you decide though stick with acrylic. Oil paints and primers simply don't have enough flexibility to do well on aluminum.
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Old 05-21-2015, 09:56 PM   #7
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What's the best paint for old aluminum siding?


[QUOTE=JohnnyBlades;2074098]My house has the original siding on it, and it's 50+ yrs old. The color on the siding is fading away and chalky. I've been searching for info on what kind of paint is best for aluminum siding. The more I search the more confusing this is becoming.[quote]

Lemme de-confuse you. The only kind of paint that you should ever apply over heavily chaulked paint would be an oil based or alkyd paint. That's because latex paints develop a fairly strong film tension as they form a film, and if the paint is sticking to chaulking, it could literally pull off the siding. So, you need to remove any loose chaulking before applying the latex paint. Oil based paints don't develop any tension in the film as they cure, and so there's no liklihood that the paint will peel off even a heavily chaulked surface (unless that chaulked surface can't even support the weight of the new paint film). So, ideally, the best paint to use over chaulked paint is an oil based paint, but those are no longer readily available, so your best alternative is to remove the chaulk as much as possible and use a latex paint.

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Originally Posted by JohnnyBlades View Post
I read some where that you should not use latex on aluminum because it will have a chemical reaction that will cause the paint to blister and peel. My local Benjamin Moore paint store recommended Pittsburgh Paints manor hall. Reading the description, it has latex in it. I feel that they are just "selling" me this paint cause there is a rebate offer.
I don't know anything about aluminum that would cause a latex paint to blister and peel. I think all you have to do is look at the paint spatter on the aluminum ladders that painters use to see that the latex paint on them isn't blistering or peeling off. In fact, I expect the latex paint on aluminum ladders sticks much better than the painters would like it to.

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Any one have a definitive answer on using latex paint on al siding?
Yes, there isn't any problem. People paint aluminum siding with latex paint all the time.

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Originally Posted by JohnnyBlades View Post
Another related question is: How can a paint be 100% acrylic exterior Latex Paint, if its 100% acrylic how can it have latex in it??
Most of the latex primers and paints made and used in North America are made from either one of two different kinds of plastic:

1. PVA or polyvinyl acetate. This is the plastic you probably know better as white wood glue. PVA plastic is most commonly used to make general purpose primers and budget priced interior latex paints. In paint circles, a PVA paint or primer will be said to have "Vinyl Acrylic" resins in it. So, look in the fine print on the label on the can, and if it says it contains vinyl acrylic resins, it means those plastic resins in the paint are made of polyvinyl acetate.

2. PMMA or polymethyl methacrylate. This is the plastic you probably know better as Plexiglas. PMMA resins are used in ALL exterior latex paints, most good quality interior latex paints and alkali resistant primers for painting fresh concrete. PMMA resins make for a superior paint in every category except price. PMMA resins generally cost more, so they are used in mid-priced to top-of-the-line interior and exterior latex paints. In paint circles, any primer or paint will be said to be "100% Acrylic" if the plastic resins in it are made of PMMA plastic. There is no such thing as 75% Acrylic resins or 50% Acrylic resins. If the plastic resins in the paint are made of PMMA plastic, those kinds of resins are called "100% Acrylic" resins, and the manufacturer of the paint will slap that wording "100% Acrylic" all over the label on the can to convince people that somehow this paint is as good as much higher priced paints that are also "100% Acrylic".

But, there are literally hundreds of different kinds of "100% Acrylic" resins used to make everything from latex paints, to water based stains, to floor finishes to grout and masonry sealers to nail polish for women, all of which are "100% Acrylic" resins made out of PMMA plastic under different production processes so that they vary in their hardness, in their water resistance, UV resistance, alkali resistance, adhesion and all kinds of other properties. So, that wording "100% Acrylic" on a can of paint means as much as the wording "100% Cow" does on a piece of meat. You have to know which acrylic resin is in the can, or which cut of meat is in the package to know if you're buying Prime Rib or dog food.

You should also know that it's the resins I've been talking about in the last few paragraphs that are the "latex" in any "latex" paint. Latex is simply the white colour of the paint before it's been tinted, and it's the tiny particles of PVA or PMMA plastic that give the paint the white colour just as water particles in a clowd give the clowd a white colour or ice particles give snow a white colour. Each of those clear hard plastic particles called "paint resins" reflect and refract light just like droplets of water in a clowd or ice crystal in a snow bank, resulting in the liquid paint appearing white to your eyes.

And, the reason why latex paints darken slightly as they dry is because as the plastic resins inside the paint film fuse together, there are fewer and fewer plastic/water interfaces to reflect and refract light. So, latex paint darkens as it dries for exactly the same reason that snow loses it's white colour as it melts to form water. It's the reduction in the amount of white light your eyes see coming from the paint that causes the paint to appear to darken as it dries.

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Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 05-21-2015 at 10:08 PM.
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