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Exterior view of home with cedar siding.

How Often Does Cedar Siding Need to be Painted?

Cedar is an incredibly popular natural wood option for home siding. Cedar siding needs to be repainted every 5-7 years, but if you take some special precautions, you can get up to 10 years from one paint application. In order to do this though, you will need to ensure that you are properly preparing the surface and considering all the environmental factors.

If you want to be certain that your cedar siding paint job will hold up for as long as possible, there are a few steps you can take. In this article, we will walk you through each of them and help you get the most out of your cedar siding paint job.

Paint and Primer Selection

Standard exterior paint will not be sufficient for getting the longest amount of time out of one paint job on your home’s cedar siding. Cedar is an incredibly porous wood and will soak up standard paint relatively quickly. This means that a thinner layer will be left on the outer layer of the wood and will be more prone to cracking and deterioration from the elements.

To get the most out of your cedar siding paint job, be sure to prime it with a stain blocking primer. Preferably, you should remove the siding first and get a coat of primer on all six sides of the slats. If you cannot do this, simply make sure that you are getting a complete, even coat on all exposed areas.

For your top coat, use 100% acrylic-latex paint. This is a thick, weather resistant paint that will thoroughly cover the cedar and fill in any pores or imperfections in the wood. A professional painter will be able to choose the right kind of acrylic-latex paint based on the condition your siding is in, so you can get up to 10 years out of a single paint job.

Proper Application

When applying the paint to your cedar siding you can use a brush, sprayer or a roller. Professional painters usually spray then back roll the paint. A hand brush will allow you to apply the thickest coat of paint, which will help fill in any pores or gaps. But it’s also a very time-consuming process. If you do spray or roll the paint on yourself, make sure you back roll while it’s still wet to get the paint deep into the porous wood.

If your cedar siding is new, be sure to paint it within two weeks of installing it. Cedar that is exposed to the sun and weathered will not hold onto the coating as well as fresh cedar. Hiring a professional is recommended if your cedar siding is very old. They will know how to properly remove any mold or dirt as well as how to deal with any loosened wood fibers.

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Climate Concerns

Cedar is incredibly susceptible to damage from the sun. When exposed to large amounts of sunlight, cedar siding will start to turn gray and become dry and brittle. This will greatly affect the longevity of the paint job and can lead to cracking or flaking prematurely if you live in a climate with a lot of sun and dry conditions.

Cedar siding’s vulnerability to the elements is why you will want to make sure yours is properly prepared and painted with the highest quality paint available. A thorough primer coat and 100% acrylic-latex paint can help protect the siding from the sun and keep the wood underneath it in good condition as it ages.

Five Star Painting can help you get the most out of your cedar siding paint job and ensure that it stays beautiful for many years to come. With our professional exterior painting services, we can assist with choosing the right paint and make sure it is applied correctly to promote the longest possible life.