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How to Remove Paint Stains From Vinyl Siding

how to remove paint stains from vinyl siding

Paint stains are a common problem for homeowners. It’s difficult to remove paint from vinyl siding without harming the surface if it gets spilled on it.

This blog post discusses how to remove paint stains from vinyl siding using simple household items and techniques that anyone can do!

Challenges in Removing Paint Stains from Vinyl Siding

Acrylic-and-urethane-based paint can soak up vinyl rather quickly. If you must paint your home, try to avoid using this sort of paint on the siding. Following are the steps for removing various forms of paint stains.

If you are using the following, please note what you should lookout for:

Spray Paint 

You’ll need to use graffiti remover to remove spray paint. Shop for a remover that won’t leave streaks on the siding.

After the paste has been applied, rinse with a clean cloth and then mild soap and water.

Oil-Based Paint 

You’ll need mineral spirits, a piece of fabric, and a soft-bristle brush for oil-based paint. Wipe the paint with a cloth soaked in mineral spirits.

Allow for a few minutes before scraping off the mineral spirits. Repeat the procedure until no longer needed. 

Water-Based Paint 

To remove a water-based paint coating, use a cleaning solution composed of laundry detergent and water. Brush away the paint after spraying the solution onto the stain.

Using an empty bucket, fill it with water and detergent. While the solution is still wet, use a power washer that comes with a rinse nozzle to clean it.

Continue until only a few tiny patches of paint remain. Alcohol isopropyl should be used to remove any of these.

how to remove paint stains from vinyl siding

Notes on Vinyl Siding and Paints

When properly installed, this material is designed to be durable and weatherproof. It has been popular for years because of how easy it is to maintain and install.

In addition, the low price of installation has made it an increasingly popular choice for new home construction.

  • Vinyl siding is a very common type of exterior wall covering on both homes and commercial structures.
    • It can also be found on mobile homes, trailers, RVs, and boats.
  • The term vinyl itself is used to describe a few different products that can be combined to make a finished product.
    • Vinyl siding is a composite of a few different materials, but its basic makeup consists of vinyl and plastic resins along with wood fibers for strength.

Most people choose to have their siding painted or stained because it extends the lifespan of the material and provides added protection from weather damage.

Accidentally getting some paint on your siding is pretty much inevitable for anyone who decides to do their own painting.

Knowing how to safely remove paint from your siding is important for anyone who wishes to keep their vinyl in good condition.

Everyone knows how easy it can be to accidentally get some paint on surfaces you didn’t intend to, such as the exterior of your home or even personal property like a vehicle.

It’s important to learn how to safely remove paint from vinyl siding because it can easily become a permanent stain if left to dry and cure completely.

Why and Why Not Paint Your Vinyl Siding?

Vinyl siding is durable, inexpensive and good looking; but it will fade.

Over time, sun exposure causes dark colors to lighten or “fade” resulting in unattractive dulling of the surface color. This may be one reason why painting vinyl siding has become increasingly popular.

However, something else is driving the increased use of exterior paint on vinyl siding.

Vinyl is now available in hundreds of colors, patterns and textures as well as several styles such as architectural grade (which simulates the look of wood or stone) and authentic (which simulates real wood grain).

These options allow for endless design possibilities. The vinyl itself can be painted just about any color your heart desires, and that is driving the increased use of paint on vinyl siding.

But be forewarned: painting vinyl siding has its downside.

  • One reason for not painting exterior surfaces is durability.
    • Although there are new paints on the market today which claim to meet the same standards as paint for other exterior surfaces, the fact is that vinyl siding is not made to be painted and painting can reduce its durability.
  • Another reason for not painting exterior surfaces – including vinyl siding – is warranty.
    • If you choose to go this route, and your paint suffers premature wear and tear (due to fading, peeling, chalkiness, cracking or flaking), your warranty may not cover that issue.

Here are some other things to consider:

  • Painting a vinyl surface is a difficult task and requires a lot of work.
    • You can expect to do several coats of paint, sometimes more than one color if the patterned siding has any detail.
    • It takes time, patience and skill…not to mention the expense, which will be about the same as painting an exterior surface.
  • You won’t be able to paint your vinyl siding in freezing weather or in direct sunlight, both of which are tough on exterior paint jobs.
  • If you don’t do a good job painting your siding, it could lead to peeling and bubbling, and that may just drive you crazy.
  • You can’t paint any surface of your vinyl product, such as the rails or trim if they are made from vinyl.
    • Paint won’t stick to vinyl well at all, so you’ll need to make sure these surfaces are covered with a higher quality material, such as brick molding or aluminum trim if you want to paint them.
  • If your siding was installed with a color on the edges, don’t expect that color to show if you choose to paint it.
    • There will be no way for those colors to “show through”.
    • The only option may be cutting back trim and masonry surfaces until they reveal the original raw vinyl surface underneath (which will most likely be a color different from what you want).
  • If your vinyl siding is part of a large surface area, such as the exterior of your house, painting may not save any money.
    • You might end up spending more on paint than you would have spent buying and installing replacement siding (and this leaves out the costs of preparation and cleanup).

Final Thoughts

There are good reasons for painting vinyl siding, and there are pros and cons to doing so.

However you decide to proceed with your project, make sure all surfaces of the vinyl product have been cleaned thoroughly before applying paint; otherwise you may end up peeling or flaking it off later on.

Paint removal is not necessary if the new paint job will be a color close to the original. However, if you plan on changing colors substantially or going with an entirely different design altogether, then removal of old layers is probably necessary.

how to remove paint stains from vinyl siding