How to Paint Hardiplank or Concrete Siding
LESLIE: Kirk in Texas listens to The Money Pit on KGKL. And you’re looking for a primer. What do you want to paint?
KIRK: Like the cement siding. Like hardy plank.
TOM: Now, do you have some of the original siding on your house that’s hardy plank? Or just newer stuff?
KIRK: It’s original.
TOM: How old is this siding, Kirk?
KIRK: Oh, I’d say about 10 years.
TOM: Okay. You know, the nice thing about hardy plank siding is, because it’s not organic, it’s dimensionally stable. So it actually holds paint a lot longer than any kind of wood siding ever would. The key, here, is proper preparation. And I would say to start with a primer even though it’s 10 years old.
LESLIE: Well, always. Because you want to make sure that there’s proper adhesion. And this way, the primer’s going to go over any sort of dirt or dust that you’re not able to fully get off when you thoroughly clean the house.
TOM: Now, is the siding painted right now, Kirk?
KIRK: No, it’s not. And what I understood, that originally they didn’t prime siding.
TOM: Okay, well that’s a good thing that it’s not …
KIRK: And they started priming it and then I heard sometimes it … you know, it sits up and stuff and it’s best to put another coat of primer even if it has one.
TOM: Yeah, it’s good that it’s not been painted because, this way, you’re kind of starting fairly clean. You want to make sure that you pressure wash it first and then give it a couple of days in the sun to really dry out. Then I would recommend an oil-base primer.
KIRK: An oil-base?
TOM: Is this … yeah, is this clapboard?
KIRK: It’s like …
TOM: With a clapboard?
KIRK: It’s like the nine-and-a-half. You know, with the blind nailing?
TOM: Right, exactly.
TOM: Yeah. You know, if you can, the best way to apply the primer is with a sprayer; because you kind of get it up into everything. But if not, you could brush it on. But the oil-base primer’s going to give you the best adhesion. And then you could use a latex top coat over that.
KIRK: Is there any need of like any kind of silicone or acrylic or …?
TOM: Nope. Just a good quality exterior …
KIRK: Use an oil-base latex?
TOM: You don’t have to use an oil-base top coat but the oil-base bottom coat gives you better adhesion on the cement siding.
LESLIE: And will stick better to whatever’s already on there.
TOM: Yeah. You see, the problem with paint is that you can either get a lot of color or you can get good adhesion. But you can’t get a paint that has good adhesion and color at the same time. So that’s why you use a primer. Because it sets the surface up and gives you good adhesion. And then use a top coat with a color.
KIRK: Now, you know, we’re down here in a lot of this high heat. And I was wondering like if I start off with a super high gloss or a gloss and by the time the heat cooks it a couple of summers, what would … you know, would I end up losing some gloss through that, you know?
TOM: You will lose some gloss. I wouldn’t recommend a really high gloss because what’s going to happen is as the light washes across that, it shows any defects; which could be anything from rippled siding to nails coming through to drippy paint lines. Glossy paint really shows a lot. I would stick with a semi-gloss.
KIRK: Semi-gloss (inaudible) phased out (inaudible).
TOM: Yep. It would kind of settle in real nice.
KIRK: Okay. Is there any particular brands that you recommend or …?
TOM: I would just use a top shelf brand; you know, good quality brand.
LESLIE: Because if you use a lesser quality brand, you’re going to end up just purchasing more paint …
TOM: Yeah, and the expense …
LESLIE: … to equal the amount of coverage you would get for a better quality paint.
KIRK: Is it good just … so if I use a good primer, is just one top coat good or should I do two or …?
TOM: Probably two top coats.
KIRK: Two top coats.
TOM: Alright, Kirk?
KIRK: Okay. Well, I sure appreciate it.
TOM: Alright, go for it. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.