How to Paint Asbestos Siding

Can You Paint Asbestos Siding?

It is recommended to paint asbestos siding in order to prevent deterioration. When a product containing asbestos weakens, asbestos fibers may become friable and get into the air. Asbestos siding poses minimal health risk, but painting it will eventually prevent some potential health issues.

Benefits of Painting Asbestos Siding

1. Paint can easily adhere to asbestos siding.

2. Durable – paint can hold out for a long time without cracking or chipping.

3. Affordable – you always have a choice whether you want to paint or remove and replace the siding. Remember that it is more affordable to keep the old asbestos siding and simply paint it.

Prevent asbestos siding from deteriorating by painting it


Precautions before Painting Asbestos Siding

Do not power-wash asbestos siding. This may cause the siding to be damaged or chipped, releasing asbestos fibers that may be hazardous when inhaled.

In case you do a power-wash, be as gentle as possible. Then, stop immediately when you see that you are pulling down some pieces of the siding.

Before painting, you will spend some more time prepping and cleaning the siding. Moreover, instead of power-washing, you can just depend on sponges and garden hose.

Painting Asbestos Siding

Compared to other similar Hardie board or fiber cement siding, there is not much difference in terms of painting asbestos siding after you prepped and cleaned the surface.

Preparation before coating is the key to a successful paint job. When you are done cleaning, paint the siding with a suitable primer. It should be completely dry before applying the finish coating.

With regard to the manner of painting, you will have a choice between spraying and rolling. At times, rolling can be hard because of the surface of the asbestos siding. Regarding the amount of paint that you will need, the coverage is almost the same.

Painting Asbestos Siding vs. Replacement

Removing or abating siding can be really expensive, not to mention the hefty cost of putting on new siding when you remove and dispose off the old siding.

No matter what kind of siding you have, painting it will always be the more affordable choice because replacement of siding of a house is an expensive home renovation project.

In terms of the overall health hazard concerning handling materials with asbestos, siding is on a really low category. It is much less dangerous compared to asbestos found in pipe wrap, insulation, or sheetrock.

Siding is naturally durable and it will be hard for asbestos fibers to mix up with the air. In case fibers become airborne, it is usually outside in the open air. This will even further reduce health risk.

How to Paint Asbestos Siding


Choosing the Best Paint for Asbestos Siding

With regards to asbestos siding, there is really no “best” paint because it does not need anything extraordinary. All you have to do is decide on a brand that you trust and then select a suitable exterior paint.

Do not just pick the most affordable paint that you see. There is no difference between painting asbestos siding and painting other exterior surfaces as they are all exposed to various elements.

You may save some money if you choose the cheapest paint. However, you will most likely deal with the need of painting the exterior of your whole house again after a few years once the cheap paint weakens and cannot hold up anymore.

Safety Guidelines for Painting Asbestos Siding

You may be worried about the possible health risks that you may encounter while painting asbestos siding. If this is the case, consider adhering to the following safety measures:

  1.  Do not sand or scrape the siding this might release asbestos fibers that can be inhaled, and this could be risky to one’s health.
  2. Use a dust mask – do this particularly when the surface needs thorough cleaning.
  3. Throw away the clothing you used when painting asbestos siding – this will eliminate the chance that you may carry asbestos fibers inside your home.
  4. Use a disposable Tyvek suit – consider this option if you do not want to throw away the clothes you used when painting.
  5. Use a respirator – this could be a little too much, but this will always make you feel at ease when you are really concerned about the risks that asbestos may pose to your health.

Some Points to Remember

  • Just because your siding is old does not necessarily mean that it contains asbestos. If you want to be sure, the only way to find out is to test suspicious materials. A lot of homeowners thought that their siding contains asbestos and they have been surprised when they discovered that it does not have asbestos at all.
  • When you decide to hire a contractor, remember that painting asbestos siding does not need a specific kind of licensing. This means that there is no need for you to pay expensive fees to a specialist that is licensed to work with asbestos abatement.

Painting asbestos siding is not difficult. With proper cleaning and preparation, the paint will hold for years, even decades.

Asbestos siding is a type of siding that was commonly used on homes in the past and may still be present on some older homes today. Asbestos is a hazardous material and exposure to asbestos fibers can cause serious health issues. Before attempting to paint your old asbestos siding, it is important to determine if it actually contains asbestos and to have your home professionally tested for asbestos. If the siding does contain asbestos, it is essential to take proper precautions to avoid the release of asbestos particles during the painting process. This blog post will provide information on the best way to paint asbestos siding, including the type of paint to use, proper preparation and clean-up, and the use of appropriate clothing and respiratory protection.

Understanding Asbestos Siding

Asbestos siding is a type of siding that was commonly used on homes in the past due to its durability and fire-resistant properties. However, it is now known that asbestos fibers can cause serious health issues if inhaled and it is important to understand the risks associated with asbestos siding before undertaking any renovation or painting projects. If your home has old asbestos siding, it is important to have it tested to determine if it actually contains asbestos. If it does, it is not recommended to paint it as this can release asbestos fibers into the air and expose you and others to asbestos dust. The safest option is to have the asbestos siding removed and replaced with new siding. If the asbestos siding is in good condition and you want to paint it, it is important to take proper precautions such as wearing appropriate clothing, using a respirator rated for asbestos, and cleaning the siding thoroughly before painting to avoid the release of asbestos fibers. A professional painting contractor can also help ensure that the job is done safely and properly. It is not recommended to use the cheapest paint you can find, as this may not adhere well to the asbestos siding and could damage it. The best way to paint asbestos siding is to choose a paint that is designed to adhere well and cover the texture in the asbestos siding. With proper precautions and preparation, painting asbestos siding can help it look better and last longer, but it is always important to consider the potential risks and seek professional guidance when dealing with materials containing asbestos.

The Risks Of Painting Asbestos Siding

Painting asbestos siding is a tricky task that requires careful consideration of potential risks. Asbestos exposure is a serious concern as it can lead to long-term health problems such as lung cancer and mesothelioma. Many old siding materials contain asbestos and it is important to test them before starting any remodeling or painting projects. If your siding is found to contain asbestos, it is recommended to seek professional help when dealing with it.

When it comes to painting your asbestos siding, it is important to prepare the surface properly to minimize the risk of asbestos fibers being released into the air. Cleaning the siding is crucial to ensure that paint will adhere well. However, it is not safe to pressure wash asbestos siding as it can disrupt the fibers and release asbestos into the air. Using a hard-bristled brush is a better option to remove dirt and debris.

It is also important to take appropriate safety measures when painting your asbestos siding. This includes wearing a respirator rated for asbestos, disposable Tyvek suits, and protective clothing. If you plan on painting the entire house, avoid cheap paint brands as they may not adhere well and may damage the asbestos.

Preparing Asbestos Siding For Painting

Preparing asbestos siding for painting is an important process that must be done properly in order to prevent the release of dangerous asbestos fibers into the air. If you’re dealing with asbestos siding, it’s essential to test for asbestos before starting any remodeling, including painting. If the siding actually contains asbestos, it’s still legal, but it’s considered risky and dangerous to work with.

Before you paint your asbestos siding, it’s important to clean it thoroughly. This can be done by using a hard-bristled brush and a mild detergent solution. Avoid using high-pressure washers, as they can disrupt the asbestos fibers and cause them to become airborne.

The goal of the prep for painting asbestos siding is to create a surface that’s clean, dry, and free of debris. This will allow the paint to adhere properly and to cover the siding very well. Avoid damaging the asbestos siding while preparing it for painting, as this can release dangerous asbestos fibers into the air.

If the siding on your home is old and has asbestos added, it may be time to consider the cost of installing new siding. If the siding is removed and disposed of properly, it can eliminate the presence of asbestos in your home. However, if the siding is still in good condition, painting it can be a good option to make it look better and to extend its life.

Pressure Washing Asbestos Siding

When pressure washing asbestos siding, it is important to be careful not to damage the surface and release asbestos fibers into the air. To avoid this, use a low-pressure setting and keep the spray wand at least a foot away from the siding at all times. If the siding is old or has cracks, it is best to avoid pressure washing and opt for a gentler method of cleaning, such as a gentle scrubbing with a hard-bristled brush and a solution of water and mild detergent.

Before painting the siding, it is important to clean it thoroughly and make any necessary repairs. Choose a paint specifically labeled for use on asbestos materials and avoid using oil-based paints, which can release harmful fumes.

Choosing The Best Paint For Asbestos Siding

It’s also important to analyze a paint sample for lead content before you start the prep for painting asbestos siding. If the paint sample contains lead, it’s important to take precautions to protect yourself and others from exposure.

When it comes to painting asbestos siding, it’s essential to use the right type of paint and to choose a paint brand that’s rated for asbestos. It is important to use a paint that is specifically designed for this type of surface. Look for paints labeled as “asbestos-safe” or “for use on asbestos materials.

These paints are formulated to adhere well to asbestos surfaces while also providing long-lasting protection. Avoid using oil-based paints, which can release fumes that are harmful to breathe and can cause the asbestos fibers to become brittle over time. Water-based latex paints are a good option, as they are low-toxicity and easy to clean up. Before painting, make sure to clean the siding thoroughly and repair any cracks or damage to ensure the paint will adhere properly.

Painting Asbestos Siding And Asbestos Shingles

The process of painting asbestos siding and shingles is similar to painting other types of siding and shingles, with a few important differences. When painting asbestos siding, it is important to choose a paint specifically labeled for use on asbestos materials. Water-based latex paints are a good option, as they are low-toxicity and easy to clean up. Avoid using oil-based paints, which can release fumes that are harmful to breathe and can cause the asbestos fibers to become brittle over time. When painting asbestos shingles, it is also important to be mindful of the overlap between shingles. Make sure to paint both sides of the overlap so that the paint will adhere properly and protect the entire shingle.

Siding Versus Asbestos Siding: What’s The Difference?

Siding refers to the material used to cover the exterior of a building. Asbestos siding is a type of siding made with asbestos fibers, which were commonly used in the past due to their durability and fire resistance. However, asbestos is now known to be a dangerous substance that can cause lung cancer and other respiratory diseases if inhaled.

When painting asbestos siding, it is important to take precautions to avoid releasing asbestos fibers into the air. This may include wearing protective clothing, such as disposable tyvek suits rated for asbestos, and cleaning the siding before painting to remove any loose fibers. It’s also important to use paint specifically designed for use on asbestos and to avoid cheap paint brands that may not adhere well to the surface.

If you suspect your home’s siding may contain asbestos, it is recommended to have it tested before attempting any renovations or painting. If the siding does contain asbestos, it may be safer to remove the siding and replace it with a different type of siding, rather than trying to paint it.

Asbestos siding is different from other types of siding due to its dangerous asbestos fibers. When painting asbestos siding, precautions must be taken to avoid releasing these fibers into the air, and it may be safer to remove the siding rather than paint it.


In conclusion, painting asbestos siding is a task that requires caution and care to avoid any health hazards. Asbestos is still a legal material and can be found in some older homes, including asbestos cement siding. If you need to paint your siding, it is best to hire a professional who is trained to handle materials that contain asbestos. Before you paint, you should also remove any old paint and clean the siding thoroughly. Additionally, it is recommended to use only paint that is rated for use on asbestos and to wear disposable Tyvek suits and clothing while painting. It is also important to note that if you are unsure if your siding contains asbestos, it is best to have it tested before you begin any painting projects. Overall, while painting asbestos siding can help it look better, it is a risky and dangerous task that should only be carried out by professionals.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

If you’ve still got questions about Can You Paint Asbestos Siding, then these may help:

Is It Safe To Paint Over Asbestos Siding?

Painting over asbestos siding is a risky decision, as it can release asbestos fibers into your home. It’s much better to remove the asbestos siding completely, as this eliminates the risk of exposure. If you choose to paint over the siding, make sure the old siding is removed with a hard-bristled brush. Before painting use a respirator and special clothing rated for asbestos and disposable tyvek suits. Make sure you check what type of siding is involved before assuming it was asbestos siding as it may actually contain no asbestos at all. However, even if the siding had asbestos added at one point, it’s still legal in many places. Clean your asbestos siding with a damp cloth and detergent before painting to avoid bringing asbestos fibers from becoming airborne. Asbestos siding is usually very durable, but exposure to asbestos dust can still be dangerous so proceed with caution when painting on it. Use a high-quality paint to cover up any exposed surfaces on your home’s siding to avoid releasing any more asbestos fibers than necessary. Painting is always a cheap way to make something look better but try not to cheap out on paint brands since some cheaper brands may contain toxic chemicals. Instead, look for non-toxic, zero VOC paint brands that are specifically designed to be safe and eco-friendly.

What Kind Of Paint Do You Use On Asbestos?

If you are planning to paint asbestos siding, you will want to use a high-quality paint that can withstand the elements and hold up well over time. The type of siding involved is very durable and can look better on asbestos than other types of siding. Before beginning your paint job, it is essential that you remove any existing asbestos siding with a hard-bristled brush. It is also important to wear protective clothing while painting the siding, as the dust particles released while sanding can be risky and dangerous than asbestos itself. It’s worth noting that some materials assumed was asbestos siding actually contains no asbestos, but this is still legal in many countries, so it’s best to double check before beginning work. When it comes to painting on asbestos siding, you will want to use a latex-based or acrylic paint that adheres very well and won’t chip or flake off easily.

Can You Live In A House With Asbestos Siding?

Living in a house with asbestos siding is an option, however it should be noted that if you do choose to live in such a home, there are certain precautions that you must take. Firstly, removing the asbestos siding should not be done yourself as this could release dangerous asbestos fibres into the air; rather, it is recommended that you hire a professional to safely remove the siding for you. Secondly, once the asbestos has been removed, it can be replaced with a coat of paint to make your home look new and fresh. Furthermore, protective clothing should be worn while painting the siding as contact with asbestos fibers can occur; this includes wearing goggles and a face mask.

What Happens If You Breathe In Asbestos Once?

Breathing in asbestos once can have serious health implications. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is still legal to use in home siding and paint, and it is very durable. When removing asbestos siding from a home or painting the siding with clothing used while painting, the fibers can become airborne and released into the air. This can be dangerous for those who inhale them as they often contain toxic particles which can cause respiratory diseases and cancer. It is important to take extra precautions when working with asbestos siding as even small amounts of exposure can be hazardous to your health over time.

Krystal Morrison

I create this blog to share my daily tips about home improvement, children, pets, food, health, and ways to be frugal while maintaining a natural lifestyle. Interested to be a Guest Blogger on my website? Please email me at: [email protected]

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