How to Paint Cedar Siding Guide

How to Paint Cedar Siding Guide

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People mostly prefer installing Red or White Cedar siding because of its beautiful and natural finishing. The one mostly preferred is Red Cedar, which has a natural resistance to insect attack, rot, and decay. Above all, some people still feel like getting their Cedar siding painted, so we are here to guide you for the same.

Opt for the correct type of paint for the Cedar

choose the right paint

If we talk of getting the correct type of paint for the Cedar, then we could find many families who preferably choose style over protection. This means that they get their Cedar painted just for style and not for the cause of protection. For example, in New England, a painted Cedar is quite trendy. People tend to overlook the fact that Western Red Cedar is natural, renewable, sustainable, and far better, because of its multiple advantages than other cladding products. 

If you want perfect finishing and protection, you should think first of all pre-prime your siding on all six-sides with a stain-blocking primer and later on, coat it with 100% acrylic-latex paint. 

Prime the Cedar before you paint it 

use primer before paint

If you want your Cedar siding to not just look beautiful but also keep it protected for a longer time, you should prefer the two-coat system. When you add only a single solid stain or coat of paint on your siding rather than treating it with a primer first and then a paint topcoat, you tend to lose several service years from it. You will definitely face adhesion difficulties if you apply paint topcoat without pre-priming your weathered wood. 

Brush the paint rather than spray or roll

Hand-brushing is the best way to refinish, and even if you spray paint it initially, it is recommended to back brush the finishing in the end. Cedar is a porous substance that requires a lot of paint to perfect the finishing of the wood. Hence, hand-brushing or painting is considered the best option when compared to spray or roll.

Related: How to keep cedar wood colorful

Choose the optimal window of time for painting Cedar

optimal window for painting

It is recommended to get your Cedar painted within 2-12 weeks of its installation because anytime later than that could make the Cedar lose its ability to hold on the film-forming coating system. The later you decide to paint it, the more it will negatively affect its coating adhesion. After conducting several tests, the Forest Products Testing Lab has proved that a Cedar after 12 weeks of exposure to sunlight loses its capability to hold a primer or paint firmly. Another test conducted in an experimental facility in Madison has evidently shown a framed segment of Cedar siding, which has undergone both pre-priming and double coats of paint on all six sides. That segment has not been demanding any recoating for25 years, and its coating system has not yet degraded. 

Be careful when painting very old Cedar siding

Though you could paint old Cedars, there will be an urgent and necessary requirement for doing surface preparations. Even after that is done, no one could promise the paint to last for long. The surface preparation includes removing any mildew, mold, or dirt formation over the siding. If there are any photodegraded or loosened remaining finishes, you will have to remove it before beginning with the re-finishing. 

Choose vertical grain Cedar if possible 

You also have to keep a note of the fact about what kind of grain Cedar are you using. You need to look into the various cell structure orientations of Cedars like when it comes to vertical grain Cedars; they tend to absorb alkyd-oil stain-blocking primers. On the other hand, flat grain Cedars are not capable of the same. Just because knotty Cedar patterns have a re-sawn face or textured face, they tend to hold such primers well. 

Use a two-coat system rather than self-priming paint

two coat system paint is better

There are no test results found by the WRCLA, which claim or prove that self-priming is good. Also, the factory finish warranties you get from paint and primer manufacturers can only be claimed if you have used a coat of primer followed by two topcoats of paint. All the tests and examples showing perfectly long-lasting Cedar sidings are done on two-coat painting systems wherein the application of primer is followed by a coat of paint over it. It is best to follow the two-coat painting system rather than the single-coat one. 


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