Why does high gloss oil-based paint on cedar surfaces bubble, blister and peel? Is there anything inherent to the chemical in the cedar that's rejecting the paint?
The reason the paint peels is that it's not adhering well to the cedar. The first step of any cedar painting project is to apply an oil-based primer. The primer should be thought of as the glue that makes the paint stick. I’ve applied it to cedar shingles, then applied two coats of stain, and have had the finished product last 20 years. There's nothing in high-gloss paint that cedar will reject, but if not primed properly or if it's wet when it's applied, the paint will peel quickly.