Painting Aluminum Siding - Brush Strokes a Good Thing?!??

Old 10-22-10, 07:59 AM
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Painting Aluminum Siding - Brush Strokes a Good Thing?!??

We have a 110 year old two-story colonial that has aluminum siding. Because the siding is in otherwise perfect shape we plan to paint it.

I'm not the biggest fan of aluminum siding, especially on colonial homes because it is rather sterile due to its lack of texture. The original clapboard and to some extent vinyl siding is nice because it shows the wood grain. But it will cost $600-800 to paint the siding and thousands to re-side re-paint it is.

My question is.....would it look good if I intentionally left brush strokes? I'm not talking brush strokes in every random direction but a continous left-to-right pattern. Do you think it would add some texture to the paint or would it simply look like a did a sloppy job and left, well, brush strokes???

Thanks... And before you ask...yes I am aware that I will need to remove all chaulk and prime with a no-ammonia primer in order to properly repaint the aluminum siding.
Old 10-22-10, 10:55 AM
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I saw some textured walls and they looked nice but it was paint that had some aggregate added in and I dont think it was intended for use on metals. I dont know if there is such metal paint.
If you entirely cover the wall with the paint will there be any brush strokes visible after?
Do you mean intentionaly leave some of the wall unpainted in a pattern?
Old 10-22-10, 11:40 AM
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I don't like the look of brush strokes but I do like the stipple left behind by a high-nap roller (like 3/4")
Old 10-22-10, 11:46 AM
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I've been using Sherwin Williams Duration paint for the trim and porch. Although I am very happy with the quality, unless you are very careful you will have an excessive amount of visible of brush strokes. This is mostly due to the fact that I am a DIY'er and not a pro painter but even read about the professionals having difficulty with it. I've learned that I needed to add a healthy dose of FloeTrol, make sure there is zero wind, use a top notch brush and only paint during cooler temperatures on overcast days. This would minimalize the brush strokes.

I'm not going for a faux finish nor do I plan to add any texture additive. My experience with SWP Duration is that unless I am very careful, the brush strokes will be very obvious due to how fast it sets up. I will be painting with one coat of primer and probably two coats of Duration so there will be more than adequate paint coverage.

I am wondering if I paint like I don't care about brush strokes and just have at it....will it actually look good? I guess due to the fact that the texture of the aluminum siding is perfectly flat and the brush strokes would now add some texture do it?

If the brush strokes will look like crap than I'll just go at it with a 4 inch roller and live with the sterile texture.
Old 10-22-10, 11:57 AM
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I'd be concerned somewhat about how it will look later...with bug splat and bird crap and so forth...even just normal dust and pollen. Any sort of a texture or stipple would seem to me to be a problem later?

Embossed vinyl siding is at least slick and smooth even in the grooves of the grain.
Old 10-22-10, 12:29 PM
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I'd also be leery of intentionally leaving brush marks..... but I've spent my career trying to limit any sign of brush or roller marks

Because your applying 1 coat primer, 2 coats finish - all latex and applied with a brush, the aluminum won't look like a factory slick finish [like it would if you sprayed] I'd suggest applying it by brush the best you know how. If you intentionally leave brush marks, I'd be afraid it would just look like a bad paint job
Old 10-22-10, 10:56 PM
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I dont know this paint and I cant really guess how its coverage and workability is but I once painted a wooden surface with a water based enamel paint (ripolene) and it had less coverage and adhesion then the acrylic paints I used for walls etc. I had better results using a foam type roller and careful application with not much pressure on the roller. After two coatings the surface seems evenly painted. This was indoors though. Maybe you can also get a spray applicator and try with that.
If you like the result with the intentional brush strokes then it could be ok, but it might look a bit "rough" or not well painted to some (probably including me ).
If you want to have a textured surface then maybe you can check for texturing the techniques. I dont think I ever saw a metal surface with textured painted surface though.
Old 11-11-10, 07:05 PM
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Spray painting is much better. I have used a brass metal paint lately from Metakolors. Its a real metal so may tarnish in time but polishing would do wonders. I'm quite sure there's also aluminum.
Old 11-11-10, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by BigOldXJ View Post
And before you ask...yes I am aware that I will need to remove all chaulk and prime with a no-ammonia primer in order to properly repaint the aluminum siding.
OK, I give up. What's a "no-ammonia" primer?

Does that mean a primer that no one's poured any ammonia into?

Quite honestly, there is no such thing. I think you might have been told to use an ALKYD primer, (or maybe a "non-acrylic" primer, but that doesn't make sense either since PVA primers would be considered "non-acrylic" as well, and they develop just as much tension).

Yes, you definitely need to remove the old chaulking, which is what happens when paint deteriorates from exposure to UV light. However, once the old chaulked paint is removed, it's normally safer to use an alkyd primer rather than a latex primer.

(I'd use a drywall sanding tool to remove the old chaulked paint to ensure you remove all the weak and deteriorated paint. That way you know that everything you didn't remove is putting up a respectable fight to stay on.)

The reason for using an alkyd primer over chaulked paint lay in the difference between how oil based and latex primers form films. In both latex primers and latex paints, there can be considerable tension in the latex film as it forms, and if the deteriorated paint is not sufficiently strong to withstand that tension, then your latex primer will crack up and peel off as it dries. That would mean that the deteriorated paint under the primer is too weak to withstand the tension generated in latex films as they form.

The recommendation to use an oil based (or alkyd) primer over previously chalked paint arises because oil based or alkyd primers and paints don't develop any tension in them as they form a film. They form a film by chemically reacting with the oxygen in the air, and there's no tension created or involved in that process whatsoever.

So, if it wuz me, I would remove as much of the chaulked paint as you can by sanding it off, and then prime with an interior or exterior ALKYD primer, meaning an "oil based" primer. Then once the primer dries, test it in several spots. Do that by sticking some painter's masking tape to the primer in various spots and pulling it off quickly. If the primer comes off with the tape, then the weak link in the chain is the deteriorated paint under the primer. In that case, I'd avoid the risk of having the latex top coat crack up and peel off on you by using an EXTERIOR ALKYD (meaning "oil based") paint as your top coat. Since alkyd paint films don't develop any tension in them as they cure, they won't cause any cracking and peeling as they cure.

Hope that makes sense to you. Post again if you have any questions.

I said that you could use either an interior or exterior alkyd primer here. Ask yourself: If the primer is going to be covered by paint, does it need to have any mildewcides and UV blockers in it?
And, the dimensional change of metals from summer to winter is tiny compared to the dimensional changes that occur in wood from summer to winter. So, do you need to have the greater elasticity of an exterior alkyd primer over that aluminum? Hint: No, you don't need UV blockers, mildewcides or much elasticity in your primer. An interior alkyd primer will work fine here.

Last edited by Nestor; 11-11-10 at 10:41 PM.

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