As one of the most durable forms of home cladding, engineered wood siding is a fantastic alternative to natural wood. Along with robustness, it’s super cost-effective. But what does it entail in terms of application and maintenance, specifically paint? In this guide, CLAD Siding discusses when engineered wood siding needs to be painted and the steps to do so.
Can Engineered Wood Siding Be Painted?
Yes. In fact, doing so adds to its durability. You can coat this popular siding material in myriad colors to fit your exact aesthetic needs. Engineered wood offers the charm of natural wood but with many added benefits.
As a manufactured product, engineered wood siding consists of recycled wood and wood waste combined with resin and other additives. This results in a material that is less expensive than real wood. It also has boosted benefits that include greater strength and resistance to termites, rot, mold, and much more.
When compared to other wood-like options, you really can’t beat engineered wood. Vinyl, for instance, doesn’t come close to the emulation that’s offered by engineered wood siding. Of course, nothing tops natural wood when it comes to grain texture and richness. But when considering a number of factors – cost, climate, upkeep – engineered wood cladding is a highly desirable option that offers the best of both worlds: form and function.
The Reason to Paint Your Engineered Wood Siding
So, back to painting. The reason behind coating this siding is the same reason for coating natural wood: moisture resistance. The coats of paint help to keep out any water intrusion. As time goes by, however, this layer will break down. If not addressed, this can lead to major issues.
Purchase Factory-Primed Siding
It’s definitely recommended to source this type of siding pre-coated. You can acquire it either factory-primed or pre-painted, which can save a ton on labor, time, and additional materials. The finish, either paint or stain, is applied and then baked or air-dried. This results in highly consistent color and durable finish.
Repaint Every 3-10 Years
Natural wood typically requires annual scraping and coating. If you’ve used wood cladding before, you know the struggle. Though more robust, engineered wood siding’s color will fade over time. Typically, it needs to be re-coated every 3 to 10 years. This doesn’t account for any damages from storms, impact, moisture, and other common issues. In these cases, you’ll want to repair as soon as possible in order to save yourself from bigger problems later on.
How To Paint Engineered Wood Siding
Okay, so now that we know more about the nature of engineered wood siding, what about having to paint it? As previously mentioned, this type of siding is highly durable. But that does not mean it’s maintenance-free. Color does fade over time and should be addressed accordingly (as well as any issues that may arise from severe weather, impact damage, and moisture). Every handful of years, it will need to be re-coated.
In most cases, you won’t need to prime or paint on your siding during the installation process. That is one of the many benefits of prefinished engineered wood siding. In the event that you do have to prime, you should use an exterior primer formulated for engineered wood siding.
When it comes to the type of paint for engineered wood siding, it’s recommended to use a 100% acrylic latex product designed for wood composite material. This will ensure an even coat with full protection and years of attractive curbside appeal.
Here are the steps to repainting:
So, when do you know it’s time to repaint? First, look for color fading. Over time, the sun and other elements can result in dulling of the paint. Also, look out for fine cracking, particularly on the lips of the siding. This is an indication it needs a fresh coat of paint.
This can be done with a power washer. Follow instructions. Aim at an angle and slowly move to remove any dirt and debris. Allow the siding to dry. For mildew, mold, and heavy debris, you can use a bucket of half a cup of bleach and a gallon of water to wipe it away.
3. Paint Removal
When dealing with a pretty decent surface, all you’ll need is sandpaper. Use 80- and 120-grit paper. This will result in a smoother surface and better adhesion of paint. Heavy paint buildup and loose/chipped paint can be removed with a paint scraper.
Any bare or unpainted spots will need to be properly primed. As mentioned previously, use a primer that’s formulated for exterior use and engineered wood products. There is no need to prime already painted areas. Allow to thoroughly dry.
5. Apply Paint
An airless sprayer is highly recommended. You can also use rollers and brushes, but a paint sprayer provides the best results. If using roller and brushes, paint trim first then use the roller. Roll paint on in 3- to 4-foot sections, then feather in with a brush to get a nice finish. Work from one side to the other. Then, repeat the process. You’ll need to apply two coats, allowing the first to dry completely before applying the second coat.
6. Clean Annually
Along with recoating, it’s highly advisable to clean engineered wood siding. This can be done on an annual basis. It’s actually pretty simple. You can spray down with either a garden hose or power washer. When it comes to excessive grime, debris, and mold, you’ll need to put in a bit more effort. But for the most part, cleaning your siding is a straightforward affair.
Whether you’re building your dream house or adding new siding to your current home, engineered wood is an amazing choice. It adds the warmth and charm of natural wood while being cheaper, more durable, and easier to maintain. When properly maintained and coated, it can last anywhere from 30 to 50 years!
Ready to make your home’s exterior look gorgeous? CLAD Siding is here to help connect you with an affordable, licensed, and insured engineered wood siding contractor. Click here to learn more about engineered wood siding and request your free estimate today!