How to Paint Cedar Paneling


If you are planning to finish your cedar paneling with a coat of paint, there are a few things you should know before you begin the application process. Because bare cedar is ill-suited for adhesion, you must condition the paneling with the appropriate base coat, or the finish will eventually fail. In addition, you should coat the cedar with a particular type of paint, depending on whether it is located on the inside or outside of your home.

Things You'll Need

  • Pressure washer
  • Heavy-duty fabric dropcloths
  • Blue painter's tape
  • Acrylic latex primer
  • Roller frame
  • Nap roller cover
  • 3- to 4-inch latex paintbrush
  • Acrylic latex or latex primer
  • Ladder
  • Wait six weeks for brand new cedar paneling to dehydrate.

  • Wash the cedar paneling using a pressure washer.

  • Protect surfaces beneath the cedar paneling with fabric dropcloths.

  • Cover with painter's tape the areas on and running adjacent to the paneling that you do not want painted.

  • Coat the clean cedar paneling with an acrylic latex primer using a roller. Wait two hours for the primed paneling to dry.

  • Wash your painting instruments with water.

  • Coat the primed cedar paneling with an acrylic latex paint using a roller. Wait two hours for the painted paneling to dry. Add another coat if the primer seems to show through.

Tips & Warnings

  • Apply primer and paint to portions of the cedar paneling inaccessible to the roller using a paintbrush manufactured specifically for latex paints
  • If the cedar paneling is located indoors, use a plain latex primer and satin latex paint.
  • New cedar tends to hold a large amount of moisture. If the paneling isn't completely dry, you may have adhesion problems.
  • Don't paint bare cedar paneling, as the finish will fail.
  • Don't use a plain latex primer and paint on exterior cedar paneling, as it will not provide adequate elasticity in varying weather conditions.
  • If you need to utilize a ladder to access higher portions of the cedar paneling, read the safety instructions on the side of the ladder before you climb it.

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  • Photo Credit paint rolller image by Wayne Abraham from
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