Painting Aluminum Siding: Will Our Marriage Survive?

Our House  2010 - Before painting the aluminum siding

Our House 2010 (yes, that’s a 1982 truck – hubby refuses to retire it until he does)

Painting Aluminum Siding – Home Improvement

My husband has been cleaning the aluminum siding the last couple of days. It’s maintenance he does every few years and he’s done it since we moved in here in 1988. It turns out this time he’s planning on painting it because the siding can’t take another washing beyond this one. And that’s when things went south tonight….

You see he planned on painting the same color it’s been for 25 years. To make it worse, he planned on repainting the trim the same Krylite Green it’s been since 1988 as well. And being a woman, I looked at him like he was insane. Who chooses the same color the first time they get the opportunity to change it? Not me!

Oh wait. That’s not fair. It’s not EXACTLY the same. Some time in the 90’s I convinced him to go “crazy” with color and I talked him into painting the door and shutters in a contrasting trim color. Not an easy color to choose with a beige/tan house and glowing green trim. We settled on a nice redwood color instead of the dark brown left over from the previous owners….yep, baby steps.

House 1988 - before painting the door and shutters rust colored. Don't you love the hubby's stach :)

House 1988 – before painting the door and shutters rust colored. Don’t you love the hubby’s stach :)

I’ve always wanted a gray house. I don’t know why, I just like them. So I tried to convince him to do it my way. New trim colors and new body color, after all, haven’t I put up with colors I hated for 25 years? Um….yea. He’s not going for it. First because he chose the green and he still loves an and second because he thinks that as long as he paints the same colors the homeowners association won’t have to know about it. Yea, like they won’t notice.

But I suppose since it’ll be him up on the scaffolding on the 3rd floor he should be the one to make the decision. Our house is huge on the outside because it’s a tri-level built into a hill. There are 3 floors, lots of siding, and lots of trim.Still, selfish me wants a color that will attract buyers because after all, at this late stage in our life we really have to design our home for its next owner. Oh, and there’s the homeowners association to deal with.

Washing the Aluminum Siding 2013

Washing the Aluminum Siding 2013 – the hubby washes it by hand with a hose and a brush. A pressure washer is too damaging to the siding. 

Home DIY and Home Improvement are Tough on a Marriage!

Yea, I think my husband may have won the round on the base color because of the homeowners association argument, but I’m going to be pushing for the two new trim colors.

We’re researching tonight on the best paints to use for old aluminum siding. Ours in 35-years old and I can’t wait to see how much better our house looks when it’s got paint on it like real houses :).

Wish us luck during the planning process…here’s hoping our marriage of almost 30 years survives this one.

Have you ever painted aluminum siding? I’d love to hear how it worked out and please tell me we’re not the only ones saddled with this 1970’s eyesore.

Author: Connie Ott

A mom and wife, Connie blogs about entertainment, travel, living green, products, technology, DIY home remodeling and decor, and more. She's a vegetarian and animal lover and lives in the Pacific Northwest near Seattle, WA. Find out more about Connie and all the bloggers here at Baby to Boomer Lifestyle on our About Us page.

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20 Comments

  1. We own a VERY VERY old Brick 3 Flat – which we’ve been “rehabbing” and “renovating” for quite a few years now (with wonderful, artistic and patient tenants along the way…

    The building is VERY tall (about 4 stories and all with very high ceilings!) Anyway, we finally finished rebuilding the lang front porch and replacing the leaky roof. He had the porch, windows and trim all painted and everything is looking pretty OK (every improvement DOES call even more attention to the places that still need work!)

    Which leads me to your important post about painting aluminum siding…

    At some point, probably 40+ years ago the back of the building was extended (or at least open porches enclosed forming indoor sunporches and large 3rd bedroom – with an aluminum siding exterior.

    Everyone has told not only not to – but that it would be impossible to paint it. But it’s going to be quite awhile before we can afford to do anything else – and right now – given the contrast with the rest of the exterior – it sticks out like an infected sore thumb!

    But now I am going to look into it (first) choose three color shades I love and then kind of talk my precious Honey/Hubby into doing it… ; – ) Thanks (again.)

    Post a Reply
    • We started painting the siding yesterday. First we put up some samples and let them weather for a month. The pain adhered beautifully! We’re using a paint that’s a paint and primer in one so one-coat application. We’re almost donw with the backside of the house.

      We still haven’t picked out a trim color yet – we’re working on the main part of the house which means cutting back bushes to get to some areas. When we’re done the deck is next.

      I’d love to see pics of your progress and I’ll be posting pics soon, too!

  2. Well I am happy you agreed with your hus in the first argument, it will also be wise to let him have his way if he insists because he has a strong reason there. I wish you happy conclusion.

    Post a Reply
  3. Great compromise…you get to at least choose the trim. Your hubby has a huge job ahead it sounds like. Good luck y’all and keep us informed with some pics on how things are going. Can’t wait to see.

    Post a Reply
    • My travel schedule and his two jobs have prevented us from starting the job. Well that and the weather – sunny one day, rain for two. We hope to start it next month. Wish us luck! :)

  4. Is the homeowners association that picky? I mean you’re not exactly going for neon stripes with fur trim are ya. I think you should stand your ground ..you’re going to be walking into your house for the next 15 years or so and be thinking how nice it would look grey. That being said I came close to filing divorce papers the time my husband and I tried installing a ceiling fan together so I know where you’re coming from.

    Post a Reply
    • Yep, but we knew when we moved in the HOA was strict and we’re ok with it. Our houses are worth $20K more than those less than a mile away because they don’t enforce their HOA’s. :) And 15 years? NOT THIS GIRL! I’ve told the hubby we’re out of here in 5. We’ve already lived here 25 years….that’s enough :)

  5. I feel like I can so relate to this post, not with the hubby thing, but with painting and “re-siding” our house. We are residing a 325 foot section this weekend and the following week we are painting the entire house a new color. Currently it is this dingy off white color with that weird forest green trim and we are changing it up to a blue house, I’ve always wanted to live in a blue house with bright white trim and dark blue shutters. I am so beyond stoked about it because I’ve hated the color since we moved in, but that was only a year ago. I’m glad your hubby compromised on the trim color, maybe in a few years he’ll compromise on the house color! Fingers crossed for ya!

    Post a Reply
    • I love your color scheme! I’ve come to be ok with the house color because we’ve been using a paint visualizer and we’re DEFINITELY changing the two trim colors and painting the deck. I’m happy! Good luck with your painting project!

  6. You have a beautiful family and a beautiful house. I’ve always lived in apartments – I’d give anything to be able to have to worry about painting siding!

    Post a Reply
    • Ah Sandy, you’re so kind. And yes, I’m very fortunate to own a home. I know by most people’s standards it’s not much, but it’s the home we raised our family in and it’s full of wonderful memories.

  7. Good luck lol I know nothing about DIY projects when it comes to the house.. so I just let my husband go at it!!

    Post a Reply
  8. goog luck! i was unaware you could paint the aluminum siding too! im with you, time for some new colors!

    Post a Reply
  9. I wish you the best of luck, I know going through home improvements is very tough whether you do it yourself of someone else is doing the work. I do wish you the best of luck.

    Post a Reply
  10. Gosh, he cleans it by hand!? That seems like a nightmare of a job when you’re talking about three stories. I’ve never painted aluminum either but I dislike it on my house here. I’m with you on changing at least the trim!

    Post a Reply
    • My husband is the hardest working man I’ve ever known. Seriously, he has a full-time job as a lieutenant in a fire department, does construction with his brother on his days off, and does wildland firefighting as a hobby. He NEVER sits. down.

  11. Never painted aluminum siding before. I hope you both can come to an agreement!

    Post a Reply
    • We will as soon as the paint has to be purchased :)

  12. I had no idea that you could paint aluminum siding, aluminum of any kind for that matter. I do not like painting with my hubby. He did it for a while in his younger days which means I am totally clueless in his eyes. Funny, I seem to do just fine when I am doing it by myself! Maybe you should let him take this one…sounds like a lot of work!

    Post a Reply
    • We’ve always had an informal agreement – he reigns the outside, I do the inside. I’ve painted and wallpapered (and then removed) every room in this house several times. Plus I never complained in 25 years how much I truly hate the green he picked. I’m hoping that buys me some bonus points when it comes to choosing the trim color :)

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