Can You Paint Wood Siding?

Wood siding is a popular choice for homeowners due to its natural beauty and durability. As the years pass, though, the wood can lose its vibrance and become dull. When this happens, it is time to repaint the exterior, but you have to prep it properly so that the paint adheres and lasts for years to come. 

Today, we will break down how to prep wooding siding for paint and give a brief overview of what paints to use and how to apply them. 

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Before you paint anything – including wood siding – you will want to power wash the exterior. The pressure wash removes any dirt and debris, giving you a smooth, clean surface to work on. If you skip this step, the paint may peel or bubble because it is not properly adhered to the surface.

You will also want to check the time for any broken or rotten pieces of wood. These will need to be replaced before you can begin painting. Any bare wood will also need to be primed with an exterior wood primer to prevent tannin bleed-through. If the wood siding has been properly primed already, this won’t be an issue and you don’t need to prime it again. 

If the surface has been painted before, it’s important to scrape any peeling or chipping paint. In general, you will want to scrape all the wood siding before priming can grab onto the surface better. 


  • Power wash siding thoroughly before painting
  • Inspect the siding for any damage and repair before painting
  • Prime bare wood with a shellac-based primer to prevent tannin stains
  • Scrape all the wood siding, especially in areas with peeling/chipping paint


You will obviously want to choose a high-quality exterior paint for your wood siding. Make sure you grab exterior paint, as it’s specially formulated to withstand UV rays and rough weather conditions. It’s difficult to find oil-based paint anymore (depending on where you live). For example, you can only get oil-based primers in Indiana, but no other oil-based products. 

Most products now are acrylic latex. Depending on the quality of the paint, you can expect the color to last on these products between 3 and 12 years, with only minor fading on products like Sherwin Williams Emerald. 

We recommend either Sherwin Williams Emerald or PPG Permanizer. Both of these are durable and high-quality paints that will keep their luster for years. Both also have built-in mold and mildew resistance to keep the wood siding fresh for years to come. 

Most professional painters will use a sprayer to apply the new product. For wood siding, it’s also important to backroll with a roller after spraying. The backroll presses the paint into the wood grain for strong adhesion. This also helps prevent drips and sags. 


  • Use a high-quality exterior paint specifically formulated for wood siding
  • Cover nearby plants or surfaces with drop cloths or plastic sheeting before painting
  • Cut in around the edges of the siding with a brush before using a roller or sprayer
  • Apply a thin and even coat of paint in small sections
  • Backroll to press the paint into the wood grain
  • Allow the paint to dry completely before applying a second coat


To maintain the finish of painted wood siding, it is important to clean it regularly and inspect it for any signs of wear or damage. If you notice any areas of peeling or cracking, you will need to scrape off the old paint and reapply a new coat.

It is also a good idea to touch up any scratches or nicks as soon as you notice them to prevent moisture from seeping in and causing damage. Regular maintenance will help your wood siding look great for years to come.


  • Scrape off old paint and reapply a new coat if there are areas of peeling or cracking
  • Touch up any scratches or nicks as soon as you notice them to prevent moisture from seeping in and causing damage
  • Regularly clean and inspect the painted wood siding for signs of wear or damage

If you’re ready to paint your home exterior, have Heritage Painting come out for a free estimate. Our knowledgeable staff can provide a detailed and accurate quote showing you the price difference between multiple products. We also have color consulting services that will help you find the right color for your home. Fill out the form below today and fall in love with your home again!

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