How to Paint Cedar Boards

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Things You'll Need

  • Pressure washer

  • Broom

  • Blue painter's tape

  • Heavy-duty fabric drop cloths

  • Latex primer

  • 3- to 4-inch latex paintbrush

  • Roller frame

  • Nap roller cover

  • Roller extension pole

  • Latex paint

Wait 6 weeks for freshly cut cedar to dehydrate.

If you would like to paint cedar boards, consider a pair of important points. First, because bare cedar is ill-suited for adhesion, it will ultimately reject new paint unless it is pretreated. You must coat the cedar boards with a base coat of primer prior to application. In addition, choose a particular type of paint based on the location of the boards. The wrong type of paint will eventually lead to chipping and peeling.


Step 1

Dust interior boards with a broom. Clean exterior cedar boards using a pressure washer. Wait 2 to 4 hours for the boards to dry.

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Step 2

Cover areas beneath the cedar with drop cloths. Protect surfaces running adjacent to the boards with painter's tape.

Step 3

Coat interior cedar with latex primer using a roller. Use a 3- to 4-inch latex paintbrush to apply primer to areas inaccessible to the roller. Wait 2 hours for the primed cedar to dry.

Step 4

Wash the brush with tap water.


Step 5

Coat primed interior cedar with latex paint. Apply paint to the boards just as you did the primer. Wait 2 hours for the painted boards to dry. Add another coat if the primer shows through.


A latex paintbrush is specifically manufactured for use with water-based latex paints.

Use an acrylic latex primer and paint if the cedar boards are located outdoors.


Freshly cut cedar contains large amounts of moisture. Be sure to wait 6 weeks before painting or you may have problems with adhesion.

Don't paint over bare cedar boards or the finish will fail.

Don't use plain latex primer and paint on exterior cedar boards as they do not provide adequate elasticity in fluctuating temperatures.


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