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Painting Cedar Siding: How to Paint Cedar Siding the Right Way

Updated: Mar 21

If your home has cedar siding, you may enjoy the nice hues of the wood, the natural defense against rot, pests, and decay, and how cedar siding is a good insulator. Maximizing both form and function, there is a reason that cedar siding is so common. However, some homeowners may have different exterior aesthetics in mind and wonder–can I paint my cedar siding?

Continue reading through this guide as we discuss some of the benefits and drawbacks of painting cedar siding, and how to paint cedar siding correctly if you decide to take this route.

Quality Cedar Products can meet all your cedar board needs. This blog is informational only and not a replacement for expert advice. Please consult a professional before starting any building project as your needs and specifications may vary and it may not reflect the most current building codes, regulations, or industry standards.

Can I Paint Cedar Siding?

To begin, you may be wondering, “Can I paint cedar siding in the first place?”

The answer is yes–of course, you can paint cedar siding. Everybody has their own preferences around what style of exterior they like, which may include showing off the natural fibers and hues of the cedar wood, though others may have a different design preference and want to paint the wood a certain shade. And for those who are wondering if cedar siding is hard to maintain, the good news is that a quality paint job can contribute to the overall longevity of your siding by giving strong protection to the wood and even helping make ongoing maintenance easier when done correctly.

Pros and Cons of Painting Cedar Siding

Now that you have a clear answer to the question of “can I paint my cedar siding?”, we can discuss some of the pros and cons of this process. When considering the following points, you may have a better idea of whether or not painting your cedar siding is a good fit for your home and your preferences, or if you’d rather skip out.


First, we’ll start with the pros to painting cedar siding and why you should consider this option.

  • Gives a facelift to worn or weathered siding without having to replace it completely

  • Helps you to achieve your overall exterior design aesthetic

So, it’s clear to see that there are many great advantages to painting the cedar siding on your home. However, you do need to be aware of some of the potential disadvantages of this option, which you will find laid out below.


Before we move on to the actual steps to paint your cedar siding, let’s cover some of the drawbacks of doing so:

  • Can be a lengthy process to prime and paint with multiple coats

  • Peeling paint looks worse than fading wood stain when aging

  • Covers the natural beauty and scent of cedar wood

As you can see, there are a few disadvantages to painting your cedar siding, though they shouldn’t deter you if you really want to go for the painted look in one solid color. So, continue reading as we dive into the step-by-step process you can take to give your cedar siding a quality paint job.

How to Paint Cedar Siding: Step by Step Guide to Painting Cedar Siding

Now that we’ve answered “can I paint cedar siding?” and covered the various benefits and drawbacks of doing so, we can finally dive into how to paint cedar siding with our step-by-step walkthrough.

It’s important to not skip any of the following steps, even though the process to paint your cedar siding may seem tedious and time-consuming at first glance. We find that all the steps are highly crucial to the overall quality and longevity of your paint job, which can make your home look sharp and pristine for the years to come.

Choosing the Right Paint

Using the right type of paint that will maintain the weatherproofing and decay-fighting properties of cedar will be crucial, especially when you’re concerned about how long cedar siding will last. Thus, choosing the right paint is important to the overall longevity of your cedar siding.

For the best results, search for exterior acrylic-latex paint that will keep the cedar protected, and you should never use oil-based paint on cedar. With the right paint finish selected, you can choose the color that fits your design preferences perfectly.

Try to avoid selecting paint that is a two-for-one primer, as you’ll want to apply them each separately to really get the intended benefits that a primer can provide, which we’ll cover in more detail in the next step.

Clean Any Dirty Wood

If the cedar siding is new and not yet installed, you can probably skip this step. However, cedar siding that has been installed and exposed to the elements may require a good cleaning before you can begin the painting process. Look out for wood that has been stained by oil or dirt or has mildew, and wash or rinse it down before you move on to the following steps for the best results. Otherwise, your paint job could come out uneven or weather poorly. Unfortunately, if the oil stains are too deep or the board is too old, you may need to replace the piece of siding before you can continue on.

Scrape or Remove Any Existing Paint

For cedar siding that has already been painted before and is peeling or falling off, this is an important step to give yourself a clean and smooth surface to apply the new paint. So, you can scrape or use a paint stripper to remove any existing paint from the siding. You may need to sand down the surface even more to get a smoother texture, but this may not be required for all paint jobs.

Apply Primer to the Siding

After you have your preferred paint color selected and prepared the siding, you’ll need to prime the cedar siding before you can apply the paint. This is a very important step, and will make sure your paint job comes out quality and lasts for the years to come. Specifically, look for a stain-blocking primer like an alkyd-oil primer. If the cedar siding has yet to be installed, make sure to prime the board on all six sides. However, if the siding is already installed on the house, apply the primer to as many sides as possible for the best results. Above all, priming before you paint will ensure the cedar siding is completely protected and make sure that the paint can properly adhere to the raw wood.

Brush on the Paint

Once all the prep work is out of the way, you can finally start applying the paint to the cedar siding. If possible, hand brush the paint on as opposed to spraying or rolling it. This will ensure a more even and thorough application. If you’re wondering why this is necessary, it’s because cedar wood is naturally porous, so you’ll need more paint than normal to allow it to properly soak into the wood and fully coat the surface. So, the best way to accomplish this is by using a brush by hand.

In any case, be prepared to do a second coat or go in for touch-ups after the initial coat so you can ensure that there’s full coverage.

Re-Apply Every Few Years

Even a quality paint job will eventually start to show signs of wear. So, be prepared to repaint the cedar siding every five to ten years. This may differ depending on the climate of your region and how much it gets exposed to freezing cycles or salty marine air.

Parting Thoughts on How to Pain Cedar Siding

So if you’ve ever wondered, “can I paint my cedar siding?”, you now have your answer. Understanding all the advantages and disadvantages of doing so and knowing the right steps to take, you’re well-equipped to give your home a quality paint job that will meet all your design preferences and last for years to come.

But, giving your siding a quality paint job is only part of what contributes to how durable western red cedar siding is. Having long-lasting siding starts with buying quality materials. At Quality Cedar Products, we are proud to be the premier western red cedar suppliers. With all the quality cedar lumber for any project you have, our exterior cedar siding for sale is top-notch and the perfect choice for any home. Check us out today for all of your cedar wood needs.

Quality Cedar Products does not assume any liability for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of the information provided in this blog post. The reader is solely responsible for any actions taken based on the information presented. Any reliance on the information is at the reader's own risk. Quality Cedar Products is not responsible for any loss, injury, or damage that may occur as a result of following the suggestions, tips, or recommendations provided in this blog post. Building projects involve inherent risks, and it is essential to exercise caution, obtain proper permits, and engage qualified professionals to ensure safety and compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. The inclusion of external links, references, or recommendations in this blog post does not constitute endorsement or guarantee the quality, reliability, or suitability of the linked sources. The reader should independently verify the information and assess its relevance to their specific circumstances. The author reserves the right to modify, update, or remove the content of this blog post at any time without prior notice. It is recommended to check for the most recent updates or consult with professionals to ensure the information is current and applicable. By reading this blog post, the reader acknowledges and accepts the above disclaimer and agrees to use the information provided responsibly and at their own discretion.

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