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Can You Paint Vinyl Siding on a Shed?

Many people find that the vinyl siding on their homes looks like it’s seen better days and find that painting it is much cheaper than replacing it. If they can paint the siding on their homes, you can certainly paint that vinyl siding on your shed.

So, you can paint vinyl siding on a shed but, you’ll need to do some prep work and use the right type of paint.

Vinyl siding has improved in quality in recent years, making it withstand UV rays better. This means that the color won’t fade as quickly as in recent years. However, it does fade eventually, which is why people turn to painting.

Is it a Good Idea to Paint Vinyl Siding?

We’ve all heard that vinyl siding doesn’t need to be painted. That’s one of its selling points. However, can you paint vinyl siding? The answer is yes.

Actually, if your vinyl is showing signs of age or sun fading, painting it can add another five to ten years to its life. If it’s 20 years old or more, it’s probably seen its better days, and you may want to consider replacing it rather than painting it.

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Of course, if you bought a home with a shed sided with vinyl, you really have no idea of its age, so why not go ahead, and paint it. You can always replace it later. Besides, you have a far larger choice of color with paint than you do with siding, so that’s always a plus.

What are the Pros and Cons of Painting Vinyl Siding?

Pros of Painting Vinyl Siding

Siding life – You’ll extend the life of your siding, obviously, and put off that larger job of replacing it. This is because the original protective coating that the vinyl comes with fades over time. The paint will help prevent damage from the sun and make the vinyl more durable.

Cost and time – It costs a lot less to paint your vinyl siding rather than to replace it. Likewise, it’s a much quicker job to paint than to replace the siding. It does take time to prep the siding so that the paint will adhere properly, so don’t skimp on this. Still, it takes much less time than removing the old siding and installing new siding.

Home value – If your shed looks tired, a coat of paint can brighten it up considerably. Even if you’re planning on moving in the near future, painting that vinyl shed can make it look brand new and be an asset to selling your home. However, if you’re not moving, painting the vinyl won’t really affect the home’s value.

Cons of Painting Vinyl Siding

Warranty – Most vinyl siding manufacturers have a warranty on their products. Sometimes painting the vinyl will void that warranty. When asking can you paint vinyl siding you should check your warranty or check with the manufacturer first before painting.

Defects – Any damage to your siding, such as dents or holes caused by weather or a rock thrown by your lawn mower, won’t be improved or covered up with paint. This should be repaired before you start the painting process.

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Appearance – Obviously, your shed will look better with a coat of new paint, but it still won’t look as good as new siding, so don’t get your hopes up too high.

Damage – If you aren’t careful with prepping the siding and choosing the right paint, you could actually damage the siding. Problems such as peeling, flaking, fading, and even warping the siding could occur. This is why painting can sometimes interfere with the manufacturer’s warranty.

Wrong Color – No, we’re not talking about your shed looking ugly after you paint it. Bright or dark colors can cause the siding to absorb even more UV rays than it did previously. This can cause your paint to crack, showing the original color underneath. Even worse, this can actually cause your siding to warp from the extra heat. Then it really needs replacing. Stick to light colors, lighter than the original color if possible.

Vinyl may not accept paint – When asking can you paint vinyl siding, there is some vinyl siding that just doesn’t play well with paint. This means that when you use vinyl siding, it’s a good idea to check to see which brands take paint well before choosing the vinyl to begin with. Of course, if you bought a home with a vinyl-sided shed, you won’t know the brand. Just keep this in mind.

What Kind of Paint Will Stick to Vinyl Siding?

This is a very important consideration. The paint used needs to be able to live with the expansion and contraction that vinyl naturally undergoes with temperature changes. You can paint vinyl siding but using paint leftover from painting any other kind of surface won’t do the job.

There is paint available that is made specifically for vinyl siding. It usually is made with urethane and acrylic resins, which provide the expansion capabilities needed for vinyl siding. If you get the wrong paint, it may very well crack and start peeling off when summer comes. If you can’t find paint specifically for vinyl siding, make sure you get latex urethane paint that’s labeled for exterior use.

Is it Cheaper to Paint Vinyl Siding or Replace It?

It’s much cheaper to paint the vinyl siding rather than replacing it. However, if your siding is 20 years old or nearing that point, you may as well go ahead and replace it. You’ll need to do it soon anyway. While paint can extend the life of siding in good condition, it can’t really help old siding that needs replacement.

How to Paint Vinyl Siding

Choose the right paint. As has been mentioned, you need to purchase paint made for vinyl siding or at least a latex urethane paint meant for outdoor use.

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Choose the right color. Stick to paint that’s the same as the original color or lighter. Stay away from dark or bright colors to minimize excess sun damage. All your work will be for nothing if the paint starts cracking from excessive expansion from the heat on the siding. You don’t even want to imagine it warping.

Check the weather. Since painting vinyl siding can be tricky, especially in getting the paint to adhere to the vinyl, you’ll want optimal painting conditions. Try for a day with low relative humidity, mild temperature, and an overcast sky if possible. You don’t want the sun shining on that vinyl while you’re painting.

Prepare the surface. This is probably the most important step in ensuring the paint stays where you want it. Just borrowing the neighbor’s pressure washer isn’t going to cut it. You’ll need to actually wash the siding. You want to get off any debris, mold, mildew, or that chalky buildup that appears on aging vinyl. Any skimping on this part may result in the paint not sticking in places, so play it safe.

Try a solution of 1/3 cup laundry detergent, 2/3 cup powdered household cleaner, and a quart of laundry bleach. Mix these into a gallon of water. Apply this solution using a cloth or a brush with soft bristles or both. The cloth will get it covered all over while the brush will ensure that any pattern formed in the vinyl will get attention.

If you have trouble with soil or grass stains near the bottom, a household cleaner such as Lysol, Windex or Murphy’s Oil Soap can help. Avoid any cleaners containing organic solvents, grease remover, nail polish remover or furniture cleaners, any of which can damage the siding surface.

Be sure to rinse the solution off completely. There is a bit of argument over whether or not a pressure washer should be used on vinyl siding. If you do use one, use lower pressure and be sure to keep the spray horizontal. If you spray upwards, you may force water behind the siding. To play it safe, the old thumb over the garden hose opening won’t disappoint. Then you have to let the siding dry completely.

Primer. This may or may not be needed if the vinyl is in good shape. However, it’s recommended in order to ensure good adhesion of the paint itself. If the vinyl has small pits, primer can help fill in these spots and make them less noticeable. If the original color of the vinyl is quite faded, the vinyl may have become a bit porous, so primer here is a must. As with the paint, choose a primer that is formulated for vinyl siding.

Paint. Once your siding or primer is completely dry, now you can paint. Try to paint in the shade if at all possible. You can use a roller or paint sprayer, but you will need a brush for the edges and corners. Make sure your coverage is complete and uniform.

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If you’re not familiar with using a paint sprayer, you may want to stick to a roller to prevent drips and keep the coverage even. Once the first coat has dried completely, apply a second coat. After the whole job has dried for at least 24 hours, look it over. It may just need another coat of paint.


It may seem like a lot of work, especially considering the prep work, but it sure beats replacing the siding in both time and cost. Once you’re done, you can sit back and admire your work and your attractive shed. You’ll also know that your siding is protected for at least a few more years from sun damage. Now go have that cold drink.