Sunday, May 1, 2011

Prepping Aluminum Siding for Painting

Hello little panels - soon you will be painted and we will
stop hating you and laughing behind your back.
The purple aluminum siding that covers most of the exterior of our home has been oxidized and faded beyond recognition. You would never know that, one day more than 50 years ago, it was a beautiful, rich, deep purple! We plan to repaint the aluminum and honor the original color... just as soon as we get a hundred panels off the side of the house.

What we didn't realize until we started to pull them down is that the large aluminum panels are actually numerous thin, tall panels that interlock and are individually attached to the house with screws. And, in some parts, rusted nails that refuse to loosen up!

No more priming! Huzzah.
 We did a lot of reading on painting oxidized aluminum panels, so hopefully our current approach is the right one. We're starting by power washing each panel to remove the dirt, spider webs and dead bugs. Next, we planned to prime the panels with an oil-based primer... but after a test, we realized that the primer was showing through the paint. Luckily, after a paint test without the primer, we determined the oil primer was unnecessary. Hooray, another opportunity to save some time!

And that's as far as we've gotten. Isn't it depressing? Thanks to snow, rain, wind, more snow, even more rain, and lots of kitchen demolition, we haven't made much progress on the panel painting.

On the positive side... how PUMPED are you for the exterior reveal?!

This is what the aluminum panels currently look like... Bonus that they're totally nasty up close.
This is what's behind the panels. Bonus that there is NO mold here! Unlike the kitchen.
Remember the part about the panels being nasty up close?
Here we see what's leftover of a large and very hungry city of spiders. Nooo thank you, spiders.
Ummm, you're not a screw. And that is bad.


  1. I am trying to reach you. I am purchasing an identical home in Grand Rapids MI and am looking for some ideas and help for materials. My email is

  2. I want to put up aluminum siding on my home. At this point, I can't find any siding in a color that I like. From your photo it is nice to see that I can repaint the siding before I put it up. When I was thinking of this siding project, I didn't consider that I'd need to put a new coat of paint on the panels.