1980 Aluminum Siding - Cleaning for Paint

Repair help for the do-it-yourselfer.
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Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:38 pm

Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:34 pm

Hi, I have a 1980 SW. It has never been painted to my knowledge. The aluminum siding is in ok shape, no rust or dents, but I do want to paint it.

So when I started washing it, I just used a 5 gallon bucket of water with some bleach in it (for algea) and a long handled brush. The algea came off fine, but so did a lot of pigment? Old paint? Not sure what it is, but the water ran in the color that was on the siding: white for the top third, and tan for the middle stripe.

I'm just wondering, do I have to get all that stuff off, like wash until water runs clear? Or can I do a basic wash with a pressure washer and leave it at that? I was planning on using BIN Primer.

Thanks for your help!
Laurie G

Posts: 246
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2008 8:33 am
Location: Anna, Tx

Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:11 am

You can prep the aluminum for paint by spraying it with a 50-50 solution of water and vinegar. Spray it on, scrub where you need to (dirt, mold, etc.) then wash it off completely. Then use a leaf blower to 'dry' it thoroughly.

Now - paint like a crazy person.! Once the aluminum has been etched and rinsed - it will begin to oxidize as any protective coating was removed. You need to get it primed as quickly as possible! Personally, I would use a good oil-base primer (XIM from Sherwin-Williams or Kilz) - one or even two coats - to make certain all is sealed up.

Once the primer is on, you're in good shape and ready for whatever top coat you desire.

FWIW - the 'color' you saw running off was all oxidation of either paint or the aluminum. No worries.

FWIW2: If your final color is going to be anything other than white - you can have the primer tinted to somewhat match the top coat color. A little bit of colorant in the primer goes a long way in helping the fullness of color in the topcoat.
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