Choosing the Best Paint for Metal Siding: A Comprehensive Guide

Choosing the Best Paint for Metal Siding: A Comprehensive Guide

Introduction to Metal Siding

Metal siding is popular for residential and commercial buildings due to its durability and low maintenance requirements.

However, can you paint metal siding to keep it looking its best and protected against the elements? The answer is yes!

Choosing the right paint is crucial in maintaining your metal siding.

In this comprehensive guide, I will walk you through how to paint metal siding, the factors to consider when selecting the best paint for your metal siding, and even how to paint steel siding for a professional finish.

With step-by-step instructions, you can tackle this project confidently and rejuvenate the appearance of your metal siding.

So, can you paint metal siding? Absolutely! Let’s now delve into the details of how to go about it.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Paint for Metal Siding

Before diving into the various types of paint, you must consider a few key factors that will influence your decision.

  1. First, you must assess your area’s climate and weather conditions. If you live in an area with harsh winters or extreme heat, you’ll want to choose a paint that can withstand these conditions without cracking or fading. This is especially important when considering how to paint steel siding.
  2. Another critical factor is the type of metal siding you have. Different metals, such as aluminum or steel, may require specific types of paint or primers to ensure proper adhesion and longevity.

So, can I paint metal siding? The answer is yes, but you must use the right paint and primers to achieve the desired results. This is why it’s crucial to understand how to paint metal siding correctly.

Also, please consider the color you want for your metal siding.

Some paints offer a more comprehensive range of colors than others, so if you have a specific color, choose a paint that can deliver.

When asking yourself, “Can you paint metal siding?” remember that choosing the right paint is essential to achieving the desired color and finish.

In conclusion, when deciding on the appropriate paint for your metal siding, it’s essential to evaluate your area’s climate and select a paint that can endure extreme weather conditions.

Also, it’s essential to know how to paint metal siding correctly and select the right paint type and color to achieve your desired results.

So, can steel siding be painted? Absolutely, but choosing the right paint and following the proper procedures are crucial to ensuring a successful and long-lasting finish.

Painting steel siding is doable with proper preparation and tools.

Different Types of Paint for Metal Siding

There are several types of paint to choose from when painting metal siding. Understanding the differences between these options will help you make an informed decision.

  1. Acrylic Paint: Acrylic paint is a popular choice for metal siding due to its versatility and durability. It offers excellent adhesion, resists cracking and peeling, and provides a long-lasting finish. Acrylic paint is also available in a wide range of colors, making it an excellent option for those wanting to add a pop of color to their metal siding.
  2. Latex Paint: Latex paint is another option for metal siding, particularly if you want an environmentally friendly and easy-to-clean choice. Latex paint is water-based, making it easy to clean up with soap and water. However, it may not be as durable as other types of paint and may require more frequent touch-ups.
  3. Oil-based Paint: Oil-based paint is known for its durability and smooth finish. It offers excellent protection against moisture and rust, making it a suitable choice for metal siding. However, oil-based paint has a longer drying time and requires solvents for cleanup, which can be inconvenient for some.

What Can I Paint Steel Siding With? Indoors and outdoors.

When selecting paint for metal siding, whether for indoor or outdoor use, it’s crucial to consider several factors to ensure the best results:

Best Type of Paint for Metal Siding Indoors and Outdoors:


  • Acrylic Latex Paint: This type of paint is suitable for indoor metal siding due to its durability and ease of application. It dries quickly and emits fewer odors compared to oil-based paints.
  • Epoxy Paint: Ideal for indoor metal surfaces that may be exposed to moisture or require a high level of durability, such as in kitchens or bathrooms.


  • Acrylic Latex Paint: Also suitable for outdoor metal siding, acrylic latex paint offers excellent weather resistance, flexibility, and UV protection.
  • Alkyd Paint: Oil-based alkyd paints are durable and suitable for outdoor metal siding, especially in high-wear areas.

Factors to Consider for Choosing Paint for Metal Siding Indoors and Outdoors:

  1. Durability: Ensure the paint is formulated to withstand the specific conditions it will be exposed to, such as moisture, UV rays, and temperature fluctuations.
  2. Adhesion: The paint should adhere well to metal surfaces to prevent peeling, flaking, and corrosion.
  3. Weather Resistance: For outdoor applications, the paint should resist fading, cracking, and blistering caused by exposure to the elements.
  4. Indoor Considerations: For indoor use, consider factors such as ease of cleaning, resistance to stains, and suitability for high-humidity areas.
  5. Surface Preparation: Properly prepare the metal siding by cleaning it thoroughly and, if necessary, applying a primer designed for metal surfaces to promote adhesion and enhance durability.
  6. Environmental Impact: Consider any environmental regulations or restrictions that may apply to certain paints, especially for indoor applications.

Can Any Paint Be Used on Metal Siding Indoors and Outdoors?

While some paints may adhere to metal siding, not all are designed to provide durability, protection, and performance for indoor and outdoor applications. It’s essential to use a paint specifically formulated for metal surfaces and suitable for the intended environment to ensure long-lasting results.

Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and consider any specific environmental factors, such as humidity, temperature, and exposure to sunlight, that may impact the performance of the paint.

The best paint for steel siding varies from place to place, a good place to start is a local paint store and what they recommend and can tell about their products.

Best Exterior Paint Options for Metal Siding

There are multiple types of exterior paint for metal siding around the world. I recommend looking for your local products as local providers often try to market for their common weather conditions.

It’s also nice to support local businesses.

What is the best type of paint to use for metal siding? Can any paint be used on metal siding? What are the factors to consider when choosing a paint for metal siding?

Now that we’ve covered the different types of paint, let’s explore some of the best exterior paint options specifically designed for metal siding that I could find as an example. I’m not connected with any of them.

  1. Sherwin-Williams Duration: Sherwin-Williams Duration is a top-rated exterior paint that offers excellent protection and durability for metal siding. It boasts exceptional color retention and resistance to fading, cracking, and peeling. With its advanced acrylic formula, Sherwin-Williams Duration is a reliable choice for long-lasting results.
  2. Benjamin Moore Regal Select: Benjamin Moore Regal Select is another high-quality paint option for metal siding. It provides excellent coverage, adhesion, and durability. This paint offers a wide range of colors and finishes, allowing you to achieve the desired look for your metal siding.
  3. Behr Premium Plus Ultra: Behr Premium Plus Ultra is popular for DIY enthusiasts and professionals. This paint offers superior protection against the elements, including resistance to fading, cracking, and peeling. It also provides excellent coverage and adhesion, ensuring a beautiful finish on your metal siding.

Advantages of Using Specific Types of Paint for Metal Siding

Choosing the right paint for your metal siding offers numerous advantages that contribute to its longevity and overall appearance.

  1. Durability: The best paint for metal siding is designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, such as rain, snow, and UV rays. It provides a protective barrier that prevents rust, corrosion, and fading, ensuring your metal siding looks pristine for years.
  2. Adhesion: When applied correctly, specific types of paint adhere well to metal surfaces, preventing peeling, cracking, and bubbling. This ensures that your paint job remains intact and maintains its original appearance.
  3. Color Retention: High-quality paints formulated for metal siding offer exceptional color retention, meaning your chosen color will remain vibrant and true for an extended period. This is particularly important for those seeking a specific aesthetic or matching existing structures.

How to Prep and Prime Metal Siding Before Painting

Prepping and priming metal siding before painting is crucial to ensure a smooth and long-lasting finish. Here’s a detailed guide on how to do it:

Materials Needed:

  • Power washer or hose
  • Wire brush or sandpaper
  • Degreasing cleaner
  • Rust inhibitor
  • Metal primer
  • Paint brushes or rollers
  • Exterior metal paint

Steps to Prep and Prime Metal Siding Before Painting:

  1. Clean the Surface:
    • Start by cleaning the metal siding to remove dirt, dust, and grime. Use a power washer or hose to thoroughly rinse the surface.
  2. Remove Rust and Flaking Paint:
    • If there’s rust or old flaking paint, use a wire brush or sandpaper to remove these imperfections. Ensure the surface is smooth and free from loose debris.
  3. Degrease the Surface:
    • Use a degreasing cleaner to remove grease or oil from the metal siding. This step is crucial for ensuring proper adhesion of the primer and paint.
  4. Apply Rust Inhibitor:
    • If there are any signs of rust, apply a rust inhibitor to prevent further corrosion. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the application and drying time.
  5. Choose the Right Primer:
    • Select a high-quality metal primer that is specifically designed for exterior use. Ensure the primer is compatible with the type of paint you intend to use.
  6. Prime the Surface:
    • Using a paintbrush or roller, apply the metal primer evenly across the entire surface of the siding. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding the number of coats and drying times.
  7. Inspect for Uniformity:
    • After you apply primer, dry the primer. These inspect the surface for any uneven areas or missed spots. Touch up any areas that may need additional primer.
  8. Select Exterior Metal Paint:
    • Choose an exterior metal paint in the color of your choice. Ensure it is designed for outdoor use and compatible with the primer you have applied.
  9. Paint the Siding:
    • Once the primer is completely dry, use a paintbrush or roller to apply the exterior metal paint to the siding. Apply the paint evenly and consistently across the entire surface.
  10. Allow Sufficient Drying Time:
    • Follow the paint manufacturer’s instructions regarding drying times between coats. Ensure the paint has completely dried before applying additional coats.
  11. Apply Additional Coats if Necessary:
    • Depending on the desired finish and the paint manufacturer’s recommendations, apply additional coats of paint as needed.
  12. Inspect the Finished Surface:
    • Once the final coat has dried, inspect the painted metal siding for uniformity and coverage. Touch up any areas that may require additional paint.


Following these steps will help you properly prep and prime your metal siding before painting, ensuring a professional and long-lasting finish. Proper preparation and priming are essential for the durability and aesthetic appeal of the painted metal siding.

Step-by-Step Guide on Painting Metal Siding

Now that you’ve prepped and primed your metal siding, it’s time to paint! Follow this step-by-step guide on how to paint already prepared metal siding:

Materials Needed:

  • Exterior metal paint
  • Paint brushes or rollers
  • Drop cloths or tarps
  • Painter’s tape

Step-by-Step Guide to Painting Already Prepared Metal Siding:

  1. Prepare the Work Area:
    • Lay down drop cloths or tarps to protect the surrounding area from paint splatter. Use painter’s tape to mask off any areas you don’t want to paint, such as windows, trim, or doors.
  2. Select High-Quality Exterior Metal Paint:
    • Choose an exterior metal paint in the color of your choice. Ensure it is designed for outdoor use and compatible with the prime applied to the metal siding.
  3. Stir the Paint Thoroughly:
    • If using a can of paint, stir the paint thoroughly using a paint stir stick to ensure an even consistency.
  4. Start Painting:
    • Dip a high-quality paintbrush or roller into the paint, ensuring it is evenly coated but not overloaded with paint.
  5. Apply the Paint:
    • Starting at the top of the siding, apply the paint using smooth, even strokes. Work in manageable sections to ensure uniform coverage.
  6. Work from Top to Bottom:
    • Work your way down, painting in sections and blending each section into the next to avoid visible lines or marks.
  7. Ensure Even Coverage:
    • Make sure the paint is applied evenly, and inspect the surface as you work to ensure no missed spots or uneven areas.
  8. Allow the First Coat to Dry:
    • Follow the paint manufacturer’s instructions regarding the drying time for the first coat. Ensure it has completely dried before applying additional coats.
  9. Apply Additional Coats if Necessary:
    • Depending on the desired finish and the paint manufacturer’s recommendations, apply additional coats of paint as needed. Follow the same painting process for each additional coat.
  10. Inspect the Finished Surface:
    • Once the final coat has dried, inspect the painted metal siding for uniformity and coverage. Touch up any areas that may require additional paint.
  11. Clean Up:
    • Clean your brushes, rollers, and other painting equipment according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Properly dispose of any materials used in the painting process.


Following these steps will help you paint already prepared metal siding successfully, resulting in a professional and long-lasting finish. Proper painting techniques are essential for achieving the desired aesthetic appeal and durability of the painted metal siding.

Tips for Achieving a Professional Finish on Metal Siding

To ensure a professional finish on your metal siding, consider implementing the following tips:

  1. Choose the Right Weather: Paint your metal siding on a day with mild temperatures and low humidity. Extreme heat or cold can affect the drying time and adhesion of the paint.
  2. Use High-Quality Tools: Invest in high-quality paintbrushes, rollers, or sprayers to achieve a smooth and even finish. Cheap tools may result in brush marks or uneven coverage.
  3. Protect Surrounding Areas: Before painting, cover any nearby surfaces or landscaping to prevent accidental paint splatters or drips. Use drop cloths or plastic sheeting to protect the surrounding areas.
  4. Follow Manufacturer’s Instructions: Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the paint can for the best results. This includes recommended drying time, proper application techniques, and safety precautions.
  5. Maintain a Consistent Technique: Maintain a consistent painting technique throughout the project to achieve an even finish. Whether using a brush, roller, or sprayer, keep your strokes or spray patterns consistent.

Best Practices for Maintaining Painted Metal Siding

To ensure the longevity of your painted metal siding, it’s essential to implement proper maintenance practices. Follow these best practices to keep your metal siding looking its best:

  1. Regular Cleaning: Use mild detergent and water to clean your metal siding. This will remove dirt, grime, and any environmental pollutants that may dull the appearance of the paint.
  2. Inspect for Damage: Periodically inspect your metal siding for any signs of damage, such as peeling or chipping paint. Address any issues promptly to prevent further damage and maintain the integrity of your paint job.
  3. Touch-Up as Needed: Over time, your painted metal siding may require touch-ups to maintain its appearance. Keep extra paint on hand and touch up any areas with fading or damage to ensure a consistent look.
  4. Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that may damage the paint when cleaning your metal siding. Please stick to mild detergents and soft brushes or sponges for gentle cleaning.
  5. Protect Against Moisture: Ensure your metal siding is adequately sealed and protected against moisture. Regularly inspect any areas where water may be entering and promptly address these issues to prevent rust or corrosion.

Popular Color Options for Metal Siding

When choosing the color for your metal siding, the options are endless. However, certain color options have gained popularity due to their aesthetic appeal and versatility. Consider the following popular color options for metal siding:

  1. Classic White: White is a timeless choice for metal siding, offering a clean and fresh look. It pairs well with a variety of architectural styles and allows for easy coordination with other elements of your home’s exterior.
  2. Warm Neutrals: Earthy tones, such as beige, tan, or light brown, provide a warm and inviting appearance. These colors blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings and create a cozy atmosphere.
  3. Bold and Vibrant: For those seeking a statement look, consider bold colors like deep blue, forest green, or black. These colors add drama and can highlight architectural features, creating a striking visual impact.
Rust resistant metal paint will most often be a good choice on the bottom layer.

Case Studies: Successful Projects Using the Best Paint for Metal Siding

To provide real-life examples of successful projects using the best paint for metal siding, let’s explore two case studies:

  1. Farmhouse Transformation: A farmhouse with outdated metal siding underwent a transformation using Benjamin Moore Regal Select paint in a warm gray tone. The durable paint provided excellent coverage and adhesion, instantly updating the exterior and giving it a modern farmhouse aesthetic.
  2. Commercial Building Makeover: A commercial building with faded and peeling metal siding was revitalized using Sherwin-Williams Duration paint in a vibrant blue shade. The long-lasting formula and superior color retention ensured the building maintained its fresh and professional appearance for years.


In conclusion, painting metal siding is an excellent way to rejuvenate its appearance and protect it from the elements.

When selecting paint for metal siding, it’s crucial to consider factors such as the area’s climate, the type of metal siding, and the desired color and finish.

There are several types of paint to choose from, including acrylic, latex, and oil-based paints, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

When painting metal siding indoors and outdoors, durability, adhesion, and weather resistance are key factors to consider.

By understanding these factors and choosing the right paint, you can achieve a long-lasting and beautiful finish for your metal siding.