Wood Siding, Can I Paint it?
Can I paint wood siding?
Not only that, it's something you HAVE to do in order to keep your wood siding in it's best condition. Without a fresh coat of paint now and then, it won't maintain its ability to resist the elements.
Wood siding needs to be painted at least every 6 years.
Now, wood siding needs to be painted on a regular basis whether you think it needs it or not -- at least every 6 years. The thing with wood siding is that it's organic, so unlike Vinyl, Aluminum, or James Hardie siding, the constant exposure to humidity, UV, wind, and rain has a cumulative effect. North facing walls, or South facing in the Southern Hemisphere, are relatively sheltered and typically withstand the elements much better because there's a lack of direct UV light exposure, however, the sun exposed elevations of the home takes a beating.
I've met with clients who have called me in to quote the repair of their wood siding prior to having their home repainted, and they're beaming with pride when they tell me they haven't had to paint their house for 15 years. These statements always give me a good belly laugh. The fact is, had they maintained their painting regime, I wouldn't be repairing their wood siding to begin with. And their painting contractor wouldn't be scraping and sanding the vast majority of their home.
Do I save any money by not painting my wood siding?
Did they save any money by not diligently maintaining their wood siding? Not likely. Wood siding repair isn't cheap, nor is paying painters to laboriously prepare the siding for fresh paint. Unfortunately, had the homeowner taken the siding maintenance recommendations to heart and repainted it BEFORE it showed clear signs distress, they could have saved a bundle of money just doing it themselves, every....six....years.
Lectures aside, I understand that many homeowners don't have the will or the time to scrape and sand their wood siding, and some low-ball, unscrupulous contractors may just paint over it without preparation. However, within a couple short years at best, that brand new coat of paint is going to start peeling off the wood siding. They have essentially thrown their money away. I think Benjamin Franklin said it perfectly: The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.
The clients pride is quickly extinguished after receiving the estimates for repair, and repaint, which now HAS to be done.
Maintain Wood Siding to avoid Dry Rot
Another fantastic thing about keeping up a proper maintenance schedule for your wood siding is that you prevent dry rot from ever taking hold. Dry rot is a funny thing, once it starts, it doesn't stop. Unmaintained Wood siding is highly susceptible to dry rot, and it will spread from piece to piece, to your wall sheathing, structural framing members, and any other wood it can come into contact with. So, if you don't remove and treat every single bit of it, the process continues.
Dry rot is tough to catch. It hides in the darkness behind the face of the wall. Once you start to see rot on the exterior of your siding, it's too late -- it's been working behind the scenes for many years. When you neglect your wood siding maintenance, and mainly only perform area repairs, the chances of not addressing undiscovered dry rot is extremely high, and you will be in a constant state of remove and replace year after year.
Maintaining the sealants and paint helps ensure this doesn't become a costly factor as time goes on. It also ensures the beauty and integrity of your wood siding lasts for decades. If it is cedar wood siding, which is naturally rot resistant and structurally stable, it can mean 40, 50, even 60 years and beyond!
So, can you paint your wood siding? YES, you have to.
... you can pay a little now OR pay a LOT later, but EVERYBODY pays!
If maintaining your wood siding has lost its luster, we have many beautiful, low maintenance siding products available as an option for you today, such as vinyl siding or James Hardie fiber cement siding. Feel free to email me any questions you have and we'll do our best to answer them for you.