View Full Version : How to Prep & Paint Cedar Shakes

Feb 27, 2006, 06:54 PM
Hi. We moved into our house last summer and need to paint it this year.
It has cedar shakes which are in very good shape. Lots of peeling on everything other than the shakes though.

Can anyone offer advice on how to prep and paint cedar shakes? For example, do I need to scrape, prime, then paint? I heard that shakes can't be powerwashed for fear of loosening the shakes.

Appreciate any advice. Thanks.

Feb 28, 2006, 07:20 PM
What I can find out is you want to brush/wash down the siding w/ a mild detergent, let dry,scrape any loose paint then treat exposed areas w/ an oil or alkyd based primer (you can still find the oil base/ alkyd primers) then paint the shakes w/ a 100% acrylic latex paint.

Mar 1, 2006, 10:03 AM
Thanks for the response. Is there a method to brushing or washing the siding such as vertical or horizontal etc. Do you also know how to calculate the amount of paint needed to buy?

Mar 1, 2006, 07:25 PM
When you wash the house start from the top down so you don't get what you cleaned dirty again. Paint the same way from the top down. You can expect about 1 gallon for about 350 sqr feet of wall space.

Mar 14, 2006, 06:51 AM
To figure out how much paint to buy. Measure the gross surface area. (Dont subtract windows/doors, etc) and then divide by 400.

For example, a sidewall that is 20 feet long and 20 feet tall, is 400 square feet and would require 1 gallon per each coat.

Before you do any washing, scrape away any loose paint. The more time you do with prep work, the better your final job will be.

You can power wash the sidewalls if you are careful. Use a lower powered pressure washer and AIM DOWNWARD and KEEP THE WAND MOVING. The water coming out is under a lot of pressure and if you aren't careful, you can eat the wood away.

If the shakes aren't peeling, I would skip the power washer and just wash the sidewalls using regular hose pressure. But, be sure to use a good siding cleaner and scrub all the dirt off and rinse thoroughly.

Most people will paint the walls right away after powerwashing. What you want to do is to let the walls dry out. Give them a week or two before you start painting.

Also, consider staining and not painting the shakes. Unless of course the walls were painted before. Then, stick with paint.

Once the walls have dried, inspect the walls again for loose paint. Scrape as needed.

Now, look at the joints between the siding and doors/windows. Is the caulk in good shape? If not, remove the existing stuff and recaulk the joints. (Don't caulk over old caulk, it will just fail faster)

As for the actual painting process. Brush side to side, brushing into the wet edge. Do the butts (bottom edge of the shakes first and then the flat surface. You can also use a pad painter for shakes.

Or, rent a sprayer and spray the siding. I will be painting my newly resided house this spring and that is what I will be doing. I spray the paint on and then back brush the paint to make sure it is on smooth.

Plus, don't forget to prime. Especially any bare wood.

Finally, buy the bet paint you can afford. Behr from Depot is a good choice, but look at the latest Consumer Reports for what they suggest.

Good Luck

Mar 14, 2006, 08:14 AM
Thank you very much for the insightful response. Your comments are appreciated. I'm guessing this will take about 1-2 months for me to finish. Good luck to you too on yours.

elsie sweeney
Apr 3, 2006, 10:09 AM
Thank you for the information on painting and staining cedar shakes. We bought this house last September. The shakes are dark brown under the protection of the porch and the part that is in the sun has faded to a golden color. I hate the dark brown color and would like to paint it or stain it a nice green or something that would go with the pale yellow siding. Do you think I have a chance to stain it since it is so dark brown in some places? Or do you think I should just paint it? Someone told me That it would ruin the shakes if I painted them. They said it would peel. Help me as I hate the BROWN.

Apr 12, 2006, 09:01 AM
Go to Cabot Stain Web Site or call them... They are very helpful. There stain in great. They have Solid, Semi-Solid and Semi-transparent. We used the Semi-solid since siding was not evenly colored anymore. It covers very well and you don't have to prime first. Don't use paint. You MUST clean siding before staining. You can buy "cleaner" or We used a home mixture of bleach, water & tsp sprayed on then brushed to loosen mildew etc then hose it off & let it dry. It's a pain to do but is a MUST