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Can You/Should You Paint Over Steel Siding? (How To)

Painting the steel siding of the house

Prefinished metal siding was a very popular choice for homes. Steel siding is still used in some cases, but there may be times when you want to paint over this siding after it has been installed for some time. Can you do it? Should you do it?

It is possible to paint over steel siding if you prepare it in advance. This would include scuffing the surface with sandpaper and removing the rust that may exist. You can then prime the surface and paint it the color of your choice.

Steel siding is sometimes painted because it does rust. It may not rust if it has not experienced any damage but any little scratch that gets down to the metal can easily rust and over time, the rust can spread.

Painting steel siding is a better choice than replacing it. It is less expensive to paint steel siding and at the same time, you can get a great look at your home with a minimal amount of effort.

Can You Paint Over Steel Siding?

Painting the steel siding of the house

When it comes to painting steel siding, you need to keep a number of things in mind. First of all, the siding may have been on the home for quite some time and it can take a lot of damage.

One of the issues that it may experience is the old finish could be chalking. If you run your hand over the siding and the paint comes off on your hand, that is what has happened. This is something that needs to be addressed as part of the preparation process.

You may also have some damage to the siding and that can be problematic as well. Any dents or bumps to the siding could eventually lead to rust and painting over it is not necessarily going to stop that problem from occurring.

Fortunately, you can repair the steel siding with Bondo and remove the rust before you proceed with the process of painting it. It’s a step that should not be overlooked.

We will cover more about preparing the steel siding for painting in this article. We will also discuss a step-by-step process for painting the steel siding so it will last for a long time in the color of your choice.

Should You Paint Over Steel Siding?

confused woman standing

The possibility of painting steel siding does exist and it is something that many homeowners choose. Whether you should do it or not, however, is a different story.

The choice to paint over steel siding is personal and may be different from one homeowner to another. A common reason why it happens is that the homeowner wants to update the look of the home but doesn’t want to go through the expense associated with removing the siding and installing another type of material.

We all want our homes to look as good as possible and one of the best ways to do so is with a coat of paint. Regardless of whether you are painting over wood, steel, or aluminum siding, it can dress up the home in a short amount of time.

This does more than making the home look good, it adds what is known as curb appeal. It’s an excellent choice for selling the home, but it also is a choice that is made by many homeowners, simply because they want to feel good about their property.

Of course, painting the siding a different color may mean that you have to take things a step further and then paint the doors, window frames, and shutters. This will add consistency to the home and it’s something to consider because it will add additional expense.

One thing that you may want to think about is the damage to the steel siding. It can take some time and money to repair it, especially if it has plenty of dents and dings that have accumulated over the years. Repairing the siding first would require that you use some Bondo and sand things down. This is only part of the preparation process, as you will see.

In the end, it really is a personal choice as to whether you should paint over steel siding or not. Many homeowners do it and are happy with the look. Just keep in mind that it’s a look you will have to live with for a long time.

What Tools And Preparation Do You Need To Paint Steel Siding

Painting the steel siding of the house

Painting steel siding does require some preparation. Without preparing in advance, the paint is not going to adhere for very long.

Cleaning the siding is an important step associated with painting it. Regardless of whether it has the original finish or a new coat of paint, you want to clean it before adding additional paint to it. This can be done with a pressure washer, but you may also need to use a degreaser and denatured alcohol.

The following tools should be gathered before you start preparing the steel siding:




Soap and Water Solution

Pressure Washer

Denatured Alcohol

Paint Scraper

Wire Brushes


Belt Sander

Oscillating Sander

Paint Rollers


Extension Poles


Drop Cloths

The first step in the process of preparing your steel siding for painting is to inspect it thoroughly. Look for any damaged areas and take note of any rust that may have started.

Rub your hand over the siding and see if the paint comes off. This type of chalking can be problematic and it is not always going to be easily addressed with a pressure washer.

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on August 13, 2022.

You can remove the chalking by using denatured alcohol. Soak a rag in denatured alcohol and wipe the steel siding. It may take a few applications before the chalking is gone.

Continue to clean the siding with a pressure washer using a degreaser. You can also wipe down the siding in advance with soapy water, but that is not always a step that is necessary.

The real key is to clean the siding until it is as close to a factory finish as possible. You should then repair any visible damage with Bondo, scrape away any loose paint and use a wire brush to ensure that all the loose paint is gone.

Use a high-quality primer that is associated with the type of paint you are using. Most people will use exterior-grade latex paint but you can also use oil paint. Oil paint will require more cleanup.

After the primer has dried, you can apply the paint.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on August 13, 2022.

What Paint Can You Use To Paint Steel Siding?

confused man standing

Paint choice is an important part of painting steel siding. It involves more than color, which is of consideration, it involves the type of paint you are using.

The most common paint used for painting steel siding is exterior-grade latex paint. If it has a higher level of acrylic, it will be preferable. Oil-based paint can also be used but that requires additional cleanup with solvents.

When painting steel siding, always opt for the second coat at a minimum. The first coat may cover, but the second coat will make it look great.

How To Paint Steel Siding Properly

confused man standing

It is a good idea to understand how to paint steel siding before you begin the process. That will help you to prepare and to know what step is coming so you can take the appropriate action.

Step 1: Clean

Before you paint steel siding, you have to clean it. This may include using a pressure washer, denatured alcohol, or a soapy solution. The cleaner you can get the siding, the better the paint will look.

Step 2: Prepare

Don’t underestimate the importance of preparing for paint. This can include scraping loose paint and using a wire brush, cleaning up any rust, and repairing dents or holes with Bondo.

Step 3: Prime

Apply a high-quality primer for the type of paint you are using and then you are ready for the next step. You may be able to see the factory finish through the primer, but that is to be expected. A single coat of primer is all that is needed. Adding a second coat of primer may be counterproductive.

Step 4: Trim

Cut in the trim for the entire job. This may also include painting the soffits and window frames, as it could be more difficult to do so after the steel siding has been painted. Take your time and cut in everything before you go to the next step of painting the siding.

Step 5: Siding Paint

Now that everything is trimmed in and prepared, you can paint the siding. This can be done with high-quality brushes and rollers. Work from the top down and try to get as much of an area done as possible in a single session.

Always opt for the second coat of paint. It will make a difference in the overall look and how long it lasts.

You can paint over steel siding if you prepare the surface in advance. After cleaning, wiping it down with denatured alcohol, and pressure washing, you can apply a quality primer and then apply the paint of your choice. Most homeowners use exterior latex paint for this purpose.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on August 13, 2022.

Can You/Should You Paint Over Steel Sink? (How To)