If you want to give your home an upgrade or just a new look, a lovely and long-lasting option for the exterior of your home is cedar siding. Given the right care, cedar is naturally resistant to rot and the effects of the elements.

Painting your cedar siding is one of the best things you can do to protect it. However, painting cedar siding can be a little challenging because cedar is a soft wood. Using these suggestions, you can create a professional paint job that will shield your siding for many years.

Choosing the appropriate paint is the first step in painting cedar siding. Use an exterior latex paint that is designed specifically for use on wood. This kind of paint will adhere well to the cedar and offer sufficient weather resistance. To help your paint job last longer in humid climates, make sure you select a paint that is also “mildew resistant.”

Get the siding ready.
Before you start painting, you’ll need to make some preparations after selecting your paint. Start using a power washer’s low-pressure nozzle to clean the siding. Any dirt or debris that has accumulated on the siding’s surface will be removed as a result. Before moving forward, make sure the siding is completely dry; cedar siding typically dries in 24 hours.

You must scrape away any damaged paint and sand the surface smoothly before painting if there are any areas where the paint is cracked or peeling. When the surface has been thoroughly cleaned, you are ready to begin painting!

Start painting at the bottom of the wall and work your way up to avoid lap marks. Make sure to use even strokes and leave about 1/8″ between each. Take your time and use a small brush to create crisp lines when painting around windows and doors. Keep a wet rag close by while you work to clean up any spills and prevent drips quickly.

Remove any paint that is peeling or flaking and sand the wood with 120 grit sandpaper to clean and roughen it up. You will need to strip the siding of your home of any old oil-based paint before applying new coats. The oil-based paint won’t bleed through the new layers, eliminating the potential for unsightly streaks. Old layers of oil-based paint can be removed by wiping them with an organic solvent like mineral spirits or paint thinner after allowing the paint to absorb itself for the necessary amount of time. To remove all traces of oil paint, you can also use a chemical paint stripper like Natura Wood & Deck Cleaner or Peel.

After sanding, you can easily clean the surface of your siding if it was previously painted with latex paint by using only clean water. There will not be any need for additional cleaning products because this will eliminate any dust and dirt. Nevertheless, let us say that your wood is particularly dirty or that it has mold or algae growing on it. If this is the case, you might want to consider using a cleaning product that is kind to the environment, such as Citristrip Gel Paint Remover SS, to assist in the breakdown of organic materials before washing the item.

Before you begin painting, you need to make sure the surface is dry.

It is very easy for cedar siding to take in moisture from the surrounding air, which hinders its capacity to take on paint and can even cause it to peel. Before applying a topcoat, it is essential to ensure that the siding has had adequate time to dry out completely. Make sure that you do not cover the surface with any plastic or tarps while waiting for it to dry because doing so will cause the moisture underneath the covering to become trapped.

Last but not least, keep in mind that the conditions outside can have a significant impact on how well the paint adheres to your cedar siding. Choose a warm or humid day to begin painting to reduce the likelihood of the underlying paint showing through later on, or consider using an exterior primer before beginning painting.

Use The Appropriate Equipment

In order for your project to go as smoothly as possible when it comes to painting cedar siding, there are a few specific tools that you will need:

Paint tray: When it comes to applying paint, a paint tray is an excellent choice because it minimizes the amount of mess created and enables you to make use of the edge.

Angled sash brush: using an angled sash brush will allow you to clean crevices and corners around windows that are otherwise difficult to access.

Paint roller with an extension handle: if you plan to apply more than one coat of paint, using a roller to apply the top coat will make the job much simpler (and faster).

No matter whether your brushes have a short or long nap, do not forget to trim them! While a brush with a shorter nap is ideal for working on smaller surfaces such as shutters and decorative trims, a brush with a longer nap is better suited for working on larger areas such as doors and walls.

When working with a paint tray, a paint pan is something that might not be required but is very helpful.

When dealing with oil-based products, your hands must always be protected with PK Paint Gloves.

In order to keep paint off of furniture and glass, painter’s tape is an absolute must.

There is a high probability that paint will drip, so purchasing drop cloths is a good idea. Therefore, you should take every precaution to safeguard your floors and other working areas.

Choosing the appropriate paint for the job

Most filler primers fail when used to paint cedar siding because they do not properly adhere to the wood’s fibres. This is one of the primary causes of the inefficiency of filler primers. This makes it imperative to prime with a quality primer before painting. An acrylic latex primer or an oil-based primer are both viable options for your work. Each choice has positive aspects.

If you’re planning on painting your cedar siding, an acrylic latex primer is your best bet because it dries quickly (in about an hour) and provides superior adhesion. You shouldn’t use them when the humidity is high or in damp areas like bathrooms and basements because they only harden when exposed to moisture.

On the other hand, oil-based primers can be found in formulations that dry quickly and offer a durable topcoat while still allowing the wood fibres to breathe. These primers come in a variety of colours and can be found in hardware stores. Because oils are degraded by exposure to light, it is necessary to reapply oil-based primers every three to five years in order to preserve their colour and sheen.

The climate in your area should play a significant role in determining whether you go with an oil-based primer or an acrylic-latex one. Because it dries quickly and prevents moisture from penetrating the wood, an oil-based primer is an excellent choice for use in regions with drier climates, such as the western part of the United States. Primers made of acrylic latex are another excellent choice for environments with high humidity because they dry even in damp air. Although both water-based and oil-based primers perform admirably on cedar siding, oil-based primers offer the advantage of being able to be repainted sooner after the initial application.

Choosing the appropriate shade of paint

If you’re going for a timeless look with your new cedar siding, you may want to skip the paint and instead stain it with a transparent or semi-transparent stain. Both types of materials are available in a wide range of natural colours that look great without the addition of stains or topcoats while still providing some gloss and protection to the surface. However, if your cedar siding has turned grey due to weathering, you can remove the weathering and restore the wood’s natural colour by applying a wood restorer.

Should you use paint or stain

Oil-based paints give a more luxurious appearance than stains do, but their application can be more challenging because oil-based paints dry more slowly and require more coats of thinner paint. Because of its slower drying time and its potential to create a mess in the event of an oil spill, selecting an exterior latex paint is the best option for this project. Paints made of latex dry more quickly and are much simpler to clean up if they are spilled. They also contain mildewcides, which means that even though stains help prevent the growth of mildew, using an exterior latex paint will do the job just as well without blocking the wood pores that allow the wood fibers to breathe. This is because stains contain mildewcides.

Pick a paint or stain of good quality.

Don’t skimp on price. Paying more for a product means you expect it to perform better and last longer. Always read product labels before applying a surface coating to cedar siding. Ask questions!

Solid-colour wall paints can be used to paint cedar siding, but they must be 100% acrylic latex and semi-gloss or higher. Acrylic latex paint offers excellent weather protection and won’t peel, crack, crumble, blister, or flake.

How to properly maintain the painted finish on your cedar siding

After painting your home’s cedar siding, you must maintain it to ensure its longevity. Here are some cedar siding maintenance tips:

  • Always repair flaking or peeling paint.
  • Wash the surface with a mild detergent and water to remove dirt and debris.
  • Harsh chemicals and abrasive cleaners can damage paint finishes.
  • You can prevent fading and sun damage by painting the exterior every two to three years.
  • Utilize a wood restorer on an annual or triennial basis in order to revive the original color of your siding.
  • Because siding can dry out over time, it is recommended that an exterior oil-based primer be applied every three to five years to maintain its sheen and prevent cracking and peeling.
  • When left in consistently damp environments, cedar planks are more likely to rot than other types of wood. To ensure that your siding is protected from water damage for as long as possible, apply a coat of clear sealant over the paint every two to three years, if necessary.
  • Whenever necessary, replace the planks in the siding of a building that have already begun to show signs of rot.

How many layers are required to start from scratch?

It is recommended that you apply two coats of primer to wood that is either weathered or bare. If your wood is still in good condition but has faded or changed colour, you should only need to apply one coat of stain; however, applying an additional coat will not hurt if you want to ensure that your siding looks its best. Keep in mind that it is always preferable to apply an excessive amount of primer rather than an insufficient amount; therefore, do not be afraid to return for a second (or third) coat if necessary.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right paint for your new cedar siding can transform your home’s exterior. With some prep and paint care, you can achieve a beautiful, long-lasting finish that will protect your siding for years to come. And the best thing if you decide you want to change the colour of your house, you just repeat the process.


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