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How To Paint Fiber Cement Siding

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If you plan to install fiber cement siding, or you have it installed, paint the siding to help seal it. Fiber cement siding is a new product constructed from sand, wood, and cellulose. It is rot-resistant, bug-resistant, and inexpensive. Here are some tips to paint fiber cement siding.

Prepare to Work

For this project, you need:

  • work gloves
  • safety glasses
  • breathing apparatus
  • cover to protect hair from paint
  • broom
  • plastic or drop cloths
  • tack cloth
  • bleach
  • sponge
  • silicone caulk and caulk gun
  • paint roller
  • paint brush
  • paint stick
  • bucket of clear water
  • exterior acrylic house paint and exterior acrylic house primer

Check the weather to ensure it won't be raining for several days to allow wet siding to dry after you clean it and to let the paint dry. Place the siding on a flat surface. Sweep it, and then wipe it with a tack cloth. Clean both sides of the siding. 

If the siding has already been installed, pressure wash or hose the area using low water pressure, and let it dry. Start the cleaning on the roof line, and clean the foundation last. Fill cracks with silicone caulk, and let the caulk dry according to manufacturer's instructions.

To clean mildew, mix one part bleach to three parts water. Sponge the solution on the mildew, leave it on the siding for about twenty minutes, rinse, and let the siding dry. It may take two days for the siding to dry completely.

Prime the Siding

Not all types of fiber cement siding needs priming, so check your brand for details. Factory-primed siding or pre-finished siding comes already primed. You will only need to prime unfinished siding.

Apply a single coat of primer on the back of the siding with a paint brush. After the back dries, prime the front of the siding. Apply another coat of primer, if needed.

Paint the Siding

If you haven't installed the siding, follow the product directions for installation. Lay drop cloths or plastic over doors, windows, swings, and anything you don't want touched by the paint. Park vehicles away from the paint area.

Use the paint stick to stir the paint, so the color pigments blend. Clean the paint roller as needed by dipping it in a bucket of clear water. 

Apply paint starting at one corner of the house, and move outward. Ensure you cover nails and seams completely, as they are prone to moisture. Let the paint dry according to the manufacturer's directions, and apply an additional coat of paint, if needed.

Painting fiber cement siding will help it last longer. If you don't trust your skill, or you lack the time, hire a paint service, such as American Permacoat.