Painting Wood Siding (Proper Prep, Paint Choice & Costs)

Painting wood siding is a great way to improve the look of your home. Over time, the siding of your house can begin to fade. A fresh coat of paint can keep your house looking good. So, what should homeowners know before painting their siding?

Painting wood siding is a cost-effective way to make your home more appealing. The surface will look brighter and the paint takes away from the effects of fading. You can paint the wood yourself with exterior paints and quality paint brushes and rollers. However, you will need to thoroughly prep the wood first.

Wood siding requires protection, which it can get from paint. Are you thinking about painting the wood siding of your home? Read on as we cover everything you should know before painting wood siding.

Why Paint Wood Siding?

Painting wood siding can improve the appearance of your home. Wood requires protection to increase its lifespan, which it can get from paint and primer. Let’s take a look at some of the main reasons that you should paint wood siding.

Painting wood siding can help you to improve house's apperance
Painting wood siding can help you to improve house’s apperance

Increase Home Value

Exterior paint can increase your home value by improving the visual of the property. Are you planning on putting your property on the market? This is something you should consider to attract more interested buyers. 

You should plan on painting the exterior if you’re looking for a way to increase the value of your home without spending a fortune. It will give the property a new and appealing look, which is important if you plan on having an open house. 

Increase Curb Appeal

A good paint job will increase the curb appeal of your house. You’re not the only one who will appreciate the aesthetics of the new paint. Other people in your neighborhood will enjoy the new view too. 

Curb appeal is another thing you should consider if you plan on selling your home. The condition and appearance of the house’s siding play a big role in its overall curb appeal. Your house will look great up close and from a distance if it’s painted right.

Cover Damages & Imperfections 

Fresh paint can hide imperfections in the wood siding. If your siding has previously been damaged, you can use paint to make it look new again. However, you should always fix the damages before painting so you don’t cause further issues to the wood.

can hide imperfections in the wood siding

Over time, the elements of nature can cause fading and damage to your home’s siding. Once these problems are addressed, there are often imperfections left behind. One of the benefits of new exterior paint is that nobody can tell there was ever damage in the first place.

Easier To Clean

Painted wood siding is easier to clean. Over time, dirt and debris can build up on the siding. If the wood isn’t protected with paint and primer, there are several gaps and openings that dirt can get lodged into. 

Easier To Clean
Easier To Clean

The primer and paint used on the wood siding create a protective seal. This prevents debris from finding its way into the nooks and crannies of the wood. All you will need to do is use a pressure washer to remove any dirt and debris you see on the surface of the wood to keep it clean.

How Expensive Is It To Paint Wood Siding?

It costs an average of $1 to $3 per square foot to paint wood siding. There are several things that can impact the final price of your painting project. The main factor is whether you paint it yourself or hire a skilled professional.

Doing It Yourself

Painting the wood siding yourself is the most cost-effective option. This is because you’ll only need to cover the cost of the products and tools you use. Homeowners should prepare to pay anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000 to paint their siding.

There are several factors that contribute to this price. The main things you will need to consider are the size of your house and the brand of paint you use.

Hire A Professional

Hiring a professional will be more expensive. However, the cost is worth it because you can guarantee good results. Homeowners should prepare to pay between $3,000 and $7,000 to have their siding painted professionally.

You will need to factor in the cost of labor along with the paint and supplies for a professional paint job. One thing to consider is that most professional painters will provide a warranty for the products and their work. This makes the extra costs worth it.

What Paint Should You Use For Wood Siding?

The only paints that should be used for wood siding are acrylic, oil-based, and latex. It’s essential to choose the right type of paint for quality and longevity. Not only will the wrong paint look bad, but it can also chip and peel sooner.

Let’s take a look at what you should know about the 3 types of paint that you can use on wood siding.

Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint is one of the best choices for wood siding. This is because it is one of the most flexible exterior paint choices for changing temperatures. The wood siding looks good and stays protected for longer with acrylic paint.

Acrylic Paint
Acrylic Paint
Acrylic Paint ProsAcrylic Paint Cons
Fade resistant Difficult to paint over other types of paint
Strong protection against elementsNot as smooth of coverage as other options
Dries fasterUnreliable color matching

Oil-Based Paint

Oil-based exterior paint is one of the most common choices for wood siding. Homeowners like this type of paint for wood because it’s durable and offers a very smooth application. However, it’s not as flexible as acrylic paint.

Oil-Based Paint ProsOil-Based Paint Cons
Strong and durable coatingStrong odor
Easy to applyTakes longer to dry
Excellent coverageUses harsh chemicals

Latex Paint

Latex paint is often chosen by professional painters for wood siding. This is a popular choice because it’s easy to apply, affordable, and doesn’t fade over time. Unlike other paints, you don’t have to worry about latex paint developing a yellow tinge.

Latex Paint
Latex Paint
Latex Paint ProsLatex Paint Cons
Better for the environmentDoesn’t last as long on wood as other paints
Best color pigmentation Often requires multiple coats
Easy to clean

How To Paint Wood Siding

Are you ready to paint the wood siding of your home? There is a very thorough process that you will need to follow for the best results. Let’s take a look at what you need to do to paint wood siding.

What you need: exterior paint, primer, paint scraper, wood filler, sander, painter’s tape, paint brushes, and rollers.

Step 1: Clean The Exterior

The first step of painting your wood siding is to clean the exterior. All of the dirt, debris, mildew, and other buildup need to be thoroughly cleaned off. The level of cleaning you do will depend on how dirty the exterior is.

You will be able to wash the exterior of your house with a pressure washer. However, if there is mildew or mold buildup, you will need a cleaning agent. Make sure you choose a cleaner that is safe to use on wood. Allow the siding to fully dry before moving on to the next step.

Step 2: Sand The Surface (Prep)

Sanding the surface of the wood siding creates a smooth surface for the primer and paint to adhere to. The first thing you will need to do is address the paint that’s already on the wood. Use a paint scraper to remove any old paint that is peeling or chipping.

Check the surface of the wood siding for rough areas after removing the old paint. Use the sander to smooth out these surfaces. If there are minimal rough areas, you can use a hand sander. However, if there are a lot of rough areas, we suggest using a power sander.

We suggest wearing a protective mask and goggles for the sanding process. This is because sanding creates a lot of dust. Make sure to clean up all of the dust before moving on to the next step. 

Step 3: Repair Damages

Repairing damages is an essential step before painting to prevent further damage. Inspect the wood siding for holes, cracks, chips, dents, and other signs of damage. 

This includes nail holes as well. Use a wood filler or an epoxy filler to fill in these spots. Make sure the filler is completely dry before you begin to paint.

Do you notice any signs of rot in the wood? Unfortunately, the paint won’t cover this up. Wood rot should always be handled by a professional. If the wood siding has rotted, you may need to replace the siding instead of painting it.

Step 4: Protect The Finishes

Remove and cover up all fixtures that are near the wood siding so you don’t get paint on them. You can use painter’s tape to cover the doors and windows. If possible, we recommend removing light fixtures before you paint.

What should you do with fixtures and items that can’t be removed or taped? We suggest using plastic sheeting, a tarp, or even old bedding to cover them so they don’t get paint splatter on them. This includes items that are too heavy to move and plants. 

Step 5: Apply Primer

Primer is important because it helps paint stick to the surface. Another reason why you need primer is that it prevents stains from occurring on the wood. Without primer, your paint job will have a much shorter life span.

You can use a roller to apply primer to the entire surface of the wood siding. Make sure you pay extra attention to areas with imperfections. These areas may require extra layers of primer to get the best results. If enough primer isn’t used, these imperfections could bleed through the paint.

Step 6: Caulk Remaining Cracks

Inspect the wood for any remaining cracks that need caulking after you prime the surface. While primer creates an excellent protective layer, it doesn’t effectively fill cracks. This is something you will need to do before painting.

This is a very important step because it creates an airtight seal. It will ensure that moisture isn’t able to get inside the wood and create damage or rot. The best type of caulk to use on wood siding before painting is acrylic or siliconized acrylic caulking. Allow the caulking to fully dry before painting.

Step 7: Paint The Wood Siding

Painting wood siding will usually take 2 coats of exterior paint. To paint the wood siding, you will need brushes and rollers. You can also use a spray painter if you’re comfortable with this tool.

The paintbrush should be used for areas where you need to be precise. Rollers can be used for painting larger surfaces. 

You should start at the top and work your way down when painting wood siding. Leave the trim and doors to the end. Keep the surface you’re working on wet while moving to the next surface so you don’t create lap marks.

Once you have completed the first coat of paint, allow the surface to fully dry before applying the second coat. 


Your house will look a lot better when you paint the wood siding. This is a great way to reduce the effects of fading on the wood, while also creating a protective layer. Before painting the wood siding, you will need to prep the wood and repair all minor damages.

If the wood has major damage or signs of rot, you should contact a professional. Painting over damaged wood will lead to future problems.

Keep in mind, painting your wood siding is a time-consuming job. If you’re unfamiliar with the tools and products needed, you should contact a professional. They will be familiar with the right tools and safety steps to paint your wood siding efficiently.

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