Best Exterior Paint for Cedar Siding: A Comprehensive Guide to Protect and Enhance

Best exterior paint for cedar siding – When it comes to safeguarding and beautifying your cedar siding, choosing the best exterior paint is paramount. Delve into this comprehensive guide to discover the types, factors, application techniques, maintenance tips, and color trends that will empower you to make an informed decision and achieve a stunning, long-lasting finish.

From understanding the nuances of latex, oil-based, and acrylic paints to mastering the art of surface preparation, priming, and topcoating, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and confidence to tackle your cedar siding painting project like a pro.

Types of Exterior Paints for Cedar Siding

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Choosing the right exterior paint for cedar siding is crucial for both aesthetics and longevity. Various types of paints are suitable for this purpose, each with its advantages and disadvantages.

Latex Paints

  • Water-based, making them easy to apply and clean up.
  • Offer a wide range of colors and finishes.
  • Relatively inexpensive compared to other options.
  • May not be as durable as oil-based paints.
  • Prone to fading and peeling over time.

Oil-Based Paints

  • Made with alkyd resin, providing excellent durability and adhesion.
  • Resistant to fading, peeling, and moisture.
  • Offer a rich, glossy finish.
  • More expensive than latex paints.
  • Difficult to apply and clean up due to their solvent base.

Acrylic Paints

  • Water-based, combining the benefits of latex and oil-based paints.
  • Durable and resistant to fading, peeling, and moisture.
  • Easy to apply and clean up.
  • Offer a wide range of colors and finishes.
  • More expensive than latex paints but less expensive than oil-based paints.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Paint

Best exterior paint for cedar siding

Choosing the right exterior paint for cedar siding is crucial to ensure durability, aesthetic appeal, and protection from the elements. Several factors need to be considered to make an informed decision.

First and foremost, consider the durability of the paint. Cedar siding is naturally durable, but a high-quality paint can further enhance its longevity. Look for paints with excellent resistance to fading, peeling, and cracking.

Color Fastness

Color fastness refers to the paint’s ability to resist fading when exposed to sunlight and moisture. Choose paints with high color retention to maintain the vibrancy of your cedar siding over time.

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Mildew Resistance, Best exterior paint for cedar siding

Cedar siding is susceptible to mildew growth in humid environments. Select paints with effective mildew resistance to prevent unsightly discoloration and premature deterioration.

Assessing Paint Quality

To assess the quality of different paint brands, consider the following tips:

  • Check the paint’s composition. Look for paints with high-quality pigments, resins, and binders.
  • Read reviews and testimonials from other customers.
  • Request samples of different paints and test them on a small area of your siding before committing to a full application.

Application Techniques

Best exterior paint for cedar siding

Applying exterior paint to cedar siding requires proper techniques to ensure a durable and aesthetically pleasing finish. This involves surface preparation, priming, and topcoating.

Surface preparation begins with cleaning the siding to remove dirt, mildew, and other contaminants. This can be done using a pressure washer or a mild cleaning solution. Once the siding is clean, it should be allowed to dry completely before applying primer.


Primer is an essential step in painting cedar siding. It helps to seal the wood and prevent moisture from penetrating, which can lead to rot and decay. Primer also provides a smooth surface for the topcoat to adhere to.

When choosing a primer for cedar siding, it is important to select one that is specifically designed for exterior use and is compatible with the type of paint you will be using. Primer should be applied evenly to the siding, using a brush or roller.

Allow the primer to dry completely before applying the topcoat.


The topcoat is the final layer of paint that will protect the siding from the elements and give it the desired color. When choosing a topcoat, it is important to select one that is specifically designed for exterior use and is compatible with the type of primer you used.

Topcoat should be applied evenly to the siding, using a brush, roller, or sprayer. Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next. Two or three coats of topcoat may be necessary to achieve the desired coverage and protection.

Use of Brushes, Rollers, and Sprayers

The choice of application tool depends on the size of the project, the desired finish, and the skill level of the painter.

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  • Brushesare best suited for small projects or for areas that require precision, such as around windows and doors.
  • Rollersare a good choice for larger projects and can provide a smooth, even finish. However, rollers may not be able to reach all areas of the siding, such as grooves or crevices.
  • Sprayersare the most efficient way to apply paint to cedar siding, but they require more skill to use and can be more expensive than brushes or rollers.

Regardless of the application tool used, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific product being used.

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Maintenance and Care: Best Exterior Paint For Cedar Siding

To maintain the beauty and longevity of painted cedar siding, regular maintenance and care are crucial. This includes cleaning, inspecting, and touching up the paint as needed.

Regular cleaning removes dirt, grime, and mildew, which can damage the paint and siding. It’s recommended to clean the siding annually using a mild detergent and a soft brush or sponge. Avoid using harsh chemicals or pressure washers, as these can damage the wood.


Inspect the siding regularly for signs of damage, such as peeling, cracking, or fading paint. Pay particular attention to areas exposed to moisture or sunlight. If any damage is found, it’s important to address it promptly to prevent further deterioration.


Touch up any areas where the paint has peeled or chipped to prevent moisture from penetrating the wood. Use a high-quality exterior paint that matches the original color and finish. Sand the damaged area lightly before applying the touch-up paint.

Color Selection and Trends

Choosing the right color for your cedar siding can significantly enhance the curb appeal of your home. The latest trends in exterior paint for cedar siding embrace both classic and contemporary hues, offering a wide range of options to complement various architectural styles.

For a timeless look, consider neutral colors such as white, gray, or beige. These shades provide a clean and elegant backdrop for any home, allowing other elements like landscaping and trim to take center stage. If you prefer a bolder statement, opt for deep, saturated colors like navy, green, or black.

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These hues create a striking contrast with the natural wood tones of cedar, making your home stand out from the crowd.

Complementary Color Combinations

To create a harmonious exterior color scheme, consider pairing your chosen hue with complementary colors. For example, a warm gray siding color can be complemented by a white trim and a navy blue front door. A deep green siding color can be paired with a cream trim and a copper accent.

Siding Color Trim Color Accent Color
White Gray Navy
Gray White Black
Beige Brown Green
Green Cream Copper
Navy White Gold

Remember, personal preference and the architectural style of your home should ultimately guide your color selection. Experiment with different combinations until you find the perfect match for your cedar siding.

Final Conclusion

Remember, the best exterior paint for cedar siding is the one that aligns with your specific needs and preferences. By considering the factors discussed in this guide, you can make a choice that will not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of your home but also provide lasting protection against the elements.

So, embrace the journey of transforming your cedar siding with the perfect coat of paint, and let your home radiate with beauty and resilience for years to come.

FAQ Corner

What are the key factors to consider when choosing exterior paint for cedar siding?

Durability, color fastness, mildew resistance, and ease of application are crucial factors to keep in mind.

How often should I repaint my cedar siding?

The frequency of repainting depends on the quality of the paint, climate conditions, and maintenance practices. Generally, it’s recommended to repaint every 5-7 years.

Can I use any type of paint on cedar siding?

No, not all paints are suitable for cedar siding. Latex, oil-based, and acrylic paints specifically designed for exterior use on cedar are recommended.