How to Paint Cedar Shake Siding


Cedar shake siding can provide an attractive and durable look for a house. This low-density, lightweight softwood weathers and changes color naturally, and it can remain untreated. But homeowners who desire a less rustic look can paint or stain the siding. Priming the surface is required, because cedar tends to "bleed" moisture if not properly sealed.

Things You'll Need

  • Brush and detergent, or pressure washer
  • Paint applicators
  • Primer
  • Exterior paint or stain
  • Caulk

Choose Primer and Paint or Stain

  • Consult with a local hardware or paint store professional to determine the ideal paint or stains for your siding, and how much you'll need to complete the project.

  • Determine what equipment you'll need to prepare the surface.

  • Buy the products needed to paint or stain the siding.

Prepare and Paint

  • Clean the cedar shake siding with a stiff bristle brush and mild detergent. If the siding is severely stained, use a pressure washer.

  • Let the siding dry thoroughly.

  • Remove old caulk, if present, and caulk cracks and joints.

  • Apply either oil- or water-based primer.

  • Let the primer dry according to the application instructions.

  • Apply paint or stain to the siding with a brush, roller or paint sprayer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always apply a small amount of paint or stain to an inconspicuous place on the siding to make sure it will dry to the color you desire.
  • Older or weathered cedar shake siding will likely require more preparation time.
  • Thoroughly read the application instructions for paints and stains before opening the container.
  • Proper ventilation is required when applying most paints and stains.
  • The outside temperature and weather conditions can cause wide variations in drying time.

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