Can You Paint Asbestos Siding?

Image of Asbestos siding but Can You Paint Asbestos Siding?Many homeowners with asbestos sidings worry about exposure to asbestos fibers thanks to its association with rare cancer called Mesothelioma. Furthermore, prolonged exposure to the fibers also causes asbestosis, a severe lung disease. So, how do you protect yourself from the possible dangers of this material? Can you paint asbestos siding?

Yes, you can paint asbestos siding. Painting your siding is a cheaper and safer option than having it removed by professionals. It is safer because painting will not disrupt or damage the asbestos fibers, causing them to be airborne. 

That said, you need to remember that asbestos is still a health risk. For this reason, you need to follow some precautions when handling it.

Keep reading to get all the information you need before painting your asbestos siding.

What Kind of Paint Do You Use On Asbestos Siding?

The best paint to use on asbestos siding is encapsulation paint. You can also use any regular latex-based paint, provided you use a strong primer to help create a sturdy barrier before applying it.

Latex encapsulants and paints form an impenetrable barrier that prevents water, air, and sunlight from contacting asbestos siding. When your siding comes into contact with the elements, it will start cracking and chipping. 

Eventually, the damage will lead to the release of asbestos particles, so you need a strong barrier to protect your asbestos siding.

I recommend using latex-based paint because it bonds to form a latex polymer layer after the paint sets. The layer acts as a sturdy protective barrier between the exterior of your home and the surrounding environment. 

Additionally, latex paint resists the alkali element in cement that normally disintegrates oil-based paints. Because of this, the paint will last for a long time, thus offering you the ultimate protection against asbestos exposure.

Sealing your asbestos siding with latex-based paint will ensure that you, your loved ones, and passers-by are protected from accidental exposure to asbestos particles.

Do You Have to Prime Asbestos Siding Before Painting?

Yes, it would be best if you primed your asbestos siding before painting.

Just like any other surface, priming your asbestos siding before painting will ensure that the color adheres properly. On top of that, priming will guarantee the protection of the siding against damages caused by moisture, air, and sunlight.

When you apply a primer layer first, you prevent the asbestos fibers from being released into the environment.

I recommend using a latex primer with 100% acrylic to prime your asbestos siding. These types of primers bond well with the surface, sealing away any small cracks as it sets. It also prevents the paint from peeling, giving you a smoother finish after coloring your asbestos siding.

Do not skip priming when preparing your asbestos siding for painting. It will keep the asbestos fibers intact, and the color you put on it will last for a long time.

How Much Does It Cost to Paint Asbestos Siding?

Several factors determine how much it will cost you to paint your asbestos siding. These include the size of your house, the type of materials needed, and preparation. If you hire a professional to do the paint job, you will have to include their pay in the project’s total cost. 

The overall cost of painting asbestos siding will largely depend on the size of your project. The larger the size, the more materials you will use for the project. 

Furthermore, if you choose to hire professionals for the job, the size of your project will also affect the amount of time and labor needed to finish painting the asbestos siding. 

For instance, a 500 sq ft home will require fewer hours and minimum labor to paint than a 1500 sq ft home.

The type of paint required will also affect the cost of painting asbestos siding. The recommended paint for coloring asbestos is latex paint. A gallon of latex paint runs for about $30 on average. And you require about 15 gallons on average to cover 1500 sq ft with at least two coats of paint. 

The type of primer needed will affect your overall painting cost as well. A good adhesive primer will cost you around $40 per gallon. But you can also buy a cheaper latex primer for $20 per gallon.

On average, the cost of painting your asbestos siding will range from $2500-$7000, including all the costs of preparation and tools you’ll use for the job.

How Long Does Paint Last On Asbestos Siding?

Paint on asbestos siding can last for up to 20 years, provided you take the time to prepare the surface correctly. Additionally, The paints can last even longer if you use high-quality paints recommended for asbestos.

You should clean your asbestos siding and apply a high-quality latex primer before painting it. The primer will prevent the paint from stripping or cracking, ensuring that the color stays in place for a long time.

What Is the Best Way to Paint Asbestos Siding?

It would be best if you painted your asbestos siding using paintbrushes and rollers. Using brushes specifically made for exterior painting will give you full control of your work. They build coverage properly and allow you to focus on the detailed areas of your project. 

If you want a balance of quality and speed, I recommend using rollers to paint asbestos siding. Rollers produce excellent results when painting large flat surfaces. Furthermore, pairing it with a brush will make your paint job look even more polished.

Is It Safe to Pressure Wash Asbestos Siding?

Pressure washing is a comm0n preparation step that many homeowners take before painting the exterior of their home. A thorough pressure wash will get rid of stubborn dirt, soot, and grime, leaving your siding looking as good as new. But is it safe to pressure wash asbestos siding?

I do not recommend pressure washing your asbestos siding. Pressure washing can cause chips and cracks to form on your siding. Subsequently, the asbestos particles will become airborne, increasing the health risk to you and your people. 

Additionally, pressure washing can cause moisture intrusion, contributing to the faster degradation of your asbestos siding.

However, if you must pressure wash your asbestos siding, use the lowest and softest pressure setting. A gentler pressure setting will ensure that fewer asbestos particles become airborne. Also, protect yourself with a filter respirator mask instead of a regular dust mask to minimize your risk of exposure to the particles.

Can You Sand Asbestos Siding?

I do not recommend sanding asbestos siding. Sanding requires the use of abrasives to remove surface materials. If you sand your asbestos siding, you risk dislodging asbestos fibers, making them airborne. Even if you’re wearing a respirator mask, releasing asbestos fibers will affect the people around you.

Can You Spray Paint Asbestos Shingles?

Asbestos shingles have a rough surface; hence, spray painting is the best method for coloring them. Unlike most types of sidings, shingles tend to expand and contract depending on the temperature. Because of this, normal latex paint will not last for a long time.

I recommend using elastomeric primers and paints to color your asbestos shingles. These products harden into a flexible watertight covering that can stretch and return to its original form without cracking or chipping.

Elastomeric products are often thick; hence you cannot spray them on using a basic paint sprayer. It would help if you used a large airless sprayer to spray on your paint efficiently.

Can You Put Siding Over Asbestos Siding?

Removing asbestos siding is dangerous and can be quite costly; hence many homeowners prefer painting over it. However, you might find painting to be an insufficient way of preventing asbestos fibers from becoming airborne. 

Even if you choose the right paint to cover your asbestos, you might need to repaint your siding after a few years to keep it intact. 

You can put new siding over your asbestos siding to avoid the hassle of adding a new coat of paint every few years. I recommend using vinyl siding over asbestos siding. Vinyl siding is durable, low maintenance, and on top of that, it is resistant to mold and mildew.

To install it, start by painting your asbestos siding. After your paint dries, add plastic sheeting on top of the asbestos. The paint will keep the asbestos fibers in check as you move on with installing the new siding. 

The plastic sheet will form a barrier between your old and new siding, preventing them from rubbing against each other. 

Next, place a foam board over your old siding before installing a new one. The foam board will level the surface, making it easy to install your new siding. 

It would be best if you used a waterproof foam board that is both mold and mildew resistant. This way, your new siding will last longer. Once you have the foam board in place, it’s time to install your new siding.

Can You Paint Over An Asbestos Ceiling?

You can paint on an asbestos ceiling; however, since most are textured, you cannot paint over them directly. If you paint over an asbestos ceiling directly, you may have to use a lot of paint to ensure sufficient asbestos coverage.

I recommend covering the asbestos ceiling with a layer of plaster or plasterboards before painting. Covering will provide you with a smooth surface that is far easier to paint over. Furthermore, it reduces your risk of exposure to asbestos fibers a great deal.

Can You Use Masonry Paint On Asbestos?

Masonry paint is the perfect product to use on your asbestos cement siding. It is very different from conventional interior paints as it was designed especially for use on exterior walls. I recommend using silicate masonry paint to color your siding that contains asbestos. 

Silicate masonry paint is naturally alkaline; hence it resists the growth of algae on asbestos. It also doesn’t flake off, so you won’t need to reapply it every few years. On top of adding color, exterior masonry paint works well to protect your asbestos siding from the effects of heat and moisture.

How Do You Replace Asbestos Siding?

Replacing asbestos siding is a dangerous job that requires an extra amount of caution. So if your siding is too damaged to paint, follow the steps below when replacing it.

  •  Step 1: Protect yourself.

Before you start working on replacing your asbestos siding, ensure that you are wearing protective gear. Always wear a respirator gas mask instead of a regular dust mask to ensure extra protection against asbestos particles.

You should also wear protective disposable suits or coveralls that will be washed or handled separately from your other laundry.

  • Step 2: Regulate the working area.

It will be best if you set up an exclusion zone using barrier tape or barricades. Once you start working, you shouldn’t allow any unauthorized person inside the barricaded area.

  •  Step 3: Set up debris collection

Since you’ll be working on a wall, you should expect dust and other rubble to fall. Place a drop cloth or plastic sheeting under the area you are working on to collect any falling debris. This way, you can roll up the drop cloth containing the debris after your job is complete.

  • Step 4: Wet the siding

Before you start removing your asbestos siding, lightly spray some moisture on it to get it wet. Wetting the siding will minimize the number of particles that go airborne in case you crack the siding as you work. Remember to keep the asbestos siding wet as you work.

  • Step 5: Remove the siding

Start removing the siding from top to bottom. Make sure to lift it wholly by pulling out the nails that hold it in place rather than breaking the siding. Remember, once the asbestos siding is significantly damaged, it becomes brittle and must be handled by licensed professionals.

  • Step 6: Bag the debris

Put all the debris in a burlap bag after the job is done. For extra protection, put the burlap bag in thick plastic bags before disposal. If you do not have access to thick plastic bags, make sure to double-bag all the debris to keep the asbestos in place.

Next, please take all the debris from your asbestos siding and dispose of it in a landfill far away from the human population.

  • Step 7: Post-work cleanup

It would be best if you showered right after you finish removing your asbestos siding. Wear your respirator mask in the shower and only remove it after wetting your whole body. It would help if you also treated your protective disposable suits and gloves as asbestos waste.

How Much Does A Paint Sprayer Cost?

The cost of a Paint sprayer will vary according to type. Furthermore, the type of paint sprayer you buy will depend on the kind of job you want to do and your level of expertise.

If you’re working with a tight budget, you can get a compressed paint sprayer. These models are largely affordable, with most of them costing under $50. If you are free to spend more, you can opt for an airless or high-volume, low-pressure (HVLP) paint sprayer. These models range anywhere between $100 – $400 depending on their size and features.

What Is The Best Paint Sprayer For Home Use? 

I recommend using HVLP paint sprayers for your home DIY projects. These models create smooth coats of paint without much waste or overspray. They can easily handle stains and paint; hence they are a good choice for home projects. 

Hvlp paint sprayers are especially good for painting doors, furniture, trims, and moldings – all surfaces that require very smooth coats of paint for the best appearance. However, not all paints work well with HVLP paint sprayers. Lacquers, varnishes, and thick paints can easily block these models of paint sprayers.

Is a Paint Sprayer Worth It? 

Paint sprayers are a must-have in your tool shed. Whether you’re a professional painter or a DIY enthusiast, you want your paint job to come out flawless, and sprayers are the best way to achieve perfection.

Paint sprayers are worth it because:

  • Speed

Using a Sprayer to paint is much faster than using a brush or rollers. It gets the job done much quicker, saving you time and money.

  • Convenience

Paint sprayers work by emitting small paint particles from their nozzle, Which means that you can easily paint hard-to-reach areas of your project. Using a roller to paint corners can be cumbersome, and a paintbrush can leave a messy finish to your paint job.

  1. They create even coats of paint.

Conventional painting methods don’t always offer a smooth finish. However, with a paint sprayer, you will achieve perfect paint finishes all the time. It does this by discharging a very fine paint mist that evenly covers all surfaces they contact.

  1. Easy to use

Anyone can use a sprayer as they are so easy to operate. You attach the paint to your sprayer, and you’re good to go. 

Using paintbrushes and rollers can put a lot of strain on your body. For instance, using them to paint a whole room can make your back and arms ache, making paint sprayers your best choice.

How Do You Paint A House With Shingles?

Shingles are prone to mildew, especially those that are near the bottom. So before painting, check to see if any are damaged and replace them. If there is mildew, you’ll have to wash the shingles first before applying paint.

Using a sponge, apply a bleach-water solution to the mildewed areas on the shingles and leave for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with a garden hose, then let the shingles dry. You should know that shingles can take up to two weeks to dry thoroughly, so patience is key.

After the shingles dry, use a scrub brush to dislodge any dirt, then brush the residue off using a wide paintbrush. Next, apply a primer using a 4-6 inch paintbrush to create a smooth surface for your paint to adhere well. 

Shingles need to be coated evenly, so if you use a paint sprayer, spray in even strokes in all directions to ensure complete coverage.

Once the primer is on and dry, it’s time to paint the shingles. It would be best to use acrylic latex exterior paint to ensure that your color stays on for many years. 

Note:  It will be best to paint in limited sections of approximately 20 sq ft to make your work easier.

How Do You Install Siding Over Asbestos Shingles?

I do not recommend installing siding over asbestos shingles. However, if you don’t want to cover the cost of removing your shingles, you can side over them with a few extra steps.

Start by cleaning then painting your asbestos shingles to lock the fibers in. Since a shingle finish is not even, you’ll need to install rigid foam on the siding to level the surface. Next, secure your new siding to the old siding with fasteners. 

Make sure that you use fasteners long enough to pass through the new siding, the rigid foam, the old siding, and into the structure itself. If you use short nails, your new siding may fail to hold well.

Note: With the rigid foam board between the two sidings, the depth of your walls will increase. An increase in depth will make your doors and windows look more recessed.

Will A Bank Finance A House With Asbestos Siding?

Different lenders have different opinions when it comes to financing a house with asbestos siding. For some banks, the presence of asbestos can be a deal-breaker, and their lending guidelines may prevent them from financing your house.

On the bright side, some lenders will consider financing properties that have asbestos siding. Some may finance you depending on the type of asbestos found on your property, while others will depend on the terms of risk reported by a qualified asbestos surveyor. 

So if your asbestos siding is in good condition, you might receive funding without too much hassle. 

Can You Put Hardie Board Over Asbestos Siding?

I do not recommend putting a Hardie board over your asbestos siding. It requires a lot of nailing to put in fasteners through the Hardie board and the asbestos beneath, which could cause the asbestos to break. 

Additionally, if the fasteners don’t go through the asbestos and into the structure itself, the Hardie board may fail to hold well, and you’ll be stuck doing non-stop repairs.

If you must use a Hardie board as your siding, I advise you to carefully remove the old asbestos siding first before installing the new siding. Also, remember to contact asbestos professionals to guide you before you start working on your project.

How Do You Know If Your Siding Has Asbestos?

The only sure way to identify asbestos siding is to have it tested in an accredited asbestos testing lab. Although it does have some features that you can look for to determine its presence.

First of all, if your house was built before the late 70s and still has its original siding, then it’s probably asbestos siding.

Asbestos siding is usually in shingle form measuring 12″x24″. Its surface may be smooth or have a pressed wood-grain pattern. Moreover, the shingles usually feel dense to the touch compared to current fiber cement siding and will have at least three nails at the base portion of each panel. 


You now understand the health implications of asbestos and how to minimize exposure if you have asbestos siding. You also have a clue on how to handle materials containing asbestos when doing projects at home. However, the question remains…

Can You Paint Asbestos Siding?

Yes, you can. It is the safest way to lock in asbestos fibers while giving the exterior of your home a new look. When you paint, ensure you clean the surface first and apply a good latex primer with 100% acrylic to ensure your paint stays on for longer.

Thank you for reading this article, and I hope you now have sufficient information about asbestos siding. If you have any inquiries or tips to share, feel free to reach out in the comments section below.