How to Paint Cedar Paneling

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Use a paint roller to apply the appropriate paint to your cedar paneling.
Use a paint roller to apply the appropriate paint to your cedar paneling. (Image: paint rolller image by Wayne Abraham from Fotolia.com)

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
  • Acrylic latex or satin latex paint
  • 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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