How to Paint Cedar Siding

cedar siding
What You'll Need
Household bleach
Stiff-bristled brush
Several gallons of urethane-acrylic house paint
Several gallons of primer
Paint spray and 4-inch paint brushes
A ladder
Paint scraper
Safety gear

Cedar siding has a well-deserved reputation for withstanding weather and resisting paint chipping and fading. Besides adding beauty to your home, painting your cedar siding can help protect it from rot, too. In addition, well-painted siding repels mold and mildew and will make it easier to wash off any dirt or grime. Learn how to paint your cedar siding with this guide.

Remove Old Paints and Caulking

If your siding is already stained, painted, or treated with a water repellent, you must scrape off any of the coatings before you can paint over it. Use a paint scraper to remove any peelings or coatings, so that the paint will adhere to the surface of the cedar more easily.

Remove any old caulking, as well, and replace it with new caulking. Do not simply add additional caulking over old caulking, or it won’t seal properly. If any of the boards are split, repair them before continuing this project.

Prepare the Wood

Warning: When using any caustic chemical such as bleach, be careful not to get any on your skin. Wear safety gear, including a face mask and gloves.

After you've removed the old coating, you must clean the wood thoroughly. In a bucket, combine water and household bleach in a 3-to-1 ratio. Using a stiff-bristled brush, scrub the siding. Do not, however, use a power washer because cedar can’t withstand the pressure. Once done, let the wood dry completely, for approximately two weeks.

Choose a Paint and Primer

The best choice of paint to use for cedar wood is urethane-acrylic house paint. Choose your primer based on what the paint manufacturer recommends to use. You will need approximately 1 gallon of each, paint and primer, for every 400 square feet.

Paint and Prime

When you’re ready, apply the paint and primer according to the directions on the packaging. For an even coating, try using a paint sprayer and then going back over the wood with a 4-inch brush. The paint will stick best if it dries slowly, at a temperature of about 70 degrees F on a cloudy day.

Maintain the Paint

Once you’ve painted and primed your cedar siding, maintain your cedar exterior’s new look by using a hose to remove dirt once in a while. If the paint starts peeling or blistering, it’s time to repeat this project.