When it comes to exterior painting projects, fiber cement siding couldn’t be easier to work with. Pick your color, grab your tools, and you’re ready to get to work. Here’s what you need to know about how to paint fiber cement siding, including when to call in a pro.
Get the Timing Right
As a low maintenance material, fiber cement siding doesn’t require frequent painting. If you purchase prefinished fiber cement siding, you don’t need to worry about painting it when it’s time to install. Unfinished styles on the other hand should be painted shortly after installation. For both types, a new paint job can be done every 10 to 15 years. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t paint your home more often if you’re ready for a change or your house’s exterior needs an update.
Clean Your Siding
When it’s time for a new paint job, set aside time to get the job done right. If you’re working with brand new fiber cement siding, you’ll notice that the process of cutting and preparing the panels leaves them covered in a fine layer of dust. Before you install the panels, sweep or dust them off to ensure they’re clean.
If you’re working with existing siding, you’ll need to use a pressure washer or a standard garden hose to clean the exterior of your home. Be sure to get rid of old grime and visibly dirty areas. Clean along your home’s roofline first, and then work your way down toward the foundation.
Prime Your Siding
Brand new fiber cement siding arrives prefinished, factory primed, or unprimed.
- Prefinished siding arrives painted and ready for installation, so it doesn’t require a paint job or other preliminary maintenance.
- Factory Primed siding has already been primed by the manufacturer, so you’ll just need to add one or two coats of paint. Be sure to do this within 180 days of installation.
- Unprimed siding hasn’t been prepped yet. You’ll need to prime this kind of siding with exterior grade acrylic latex primer before adding exterior grade acrylic latex paint. Do this within 90 days of installation.
Paint Your Siding
Once you’ve cleaned and primed, you’re ready to paint your siding. No matter which method you choose, you’ll need to apply two coats of paint in order to cover and seal your siding completely. Depending on your expertise and the size of your home, choose from the following methods.
- Brush: use a paint brush to cover isolated areas that require special attention, like adjoining areas, corners, and trim.
- Roller: use a roller to cover larger areas of siding. Be sure to adequately cover textured areas with paint.
- Sprayer: use a sprayer for larger exterior areas after familiarizing yourself with its operation and safety mechanisms. Consider wearing a mask to avoid inhaling airborne paint.
When to Hire a Professional
While many homeowners paint their fiber cement siding themselves, sometimes it’s worth hiring a professional. Follow these general rules when considering whether to DIY or hire a professional.
- Time: painting your home’s exterior typically takes a few days to over a week, depending on its size. If you can’t afford this kind of time, hire a pro.
- Resources: painting can require specialized equipment like pressure washers and paint sprayers. If it’s not worth it to you to rent or buy this equipment, hire a pro.
- Expertise: if you’re not comfortable climbing a few stories on a ladder or operating painting equipment, hire a pro.
Painting your home is straightforward when you have fiber cement siding. Though it’s possible to take this on as a DIY project, don’t hesitate to find a local contractor to give your house a fresh, new look.
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