How to Prep and Paint Wood Siding in 2019

Updated on August 18, 2019
Jesse Omolo profile image

I recently painted my wood siding. I thought this article would be helpful to you.

Why Paint Wood Siding?

Wood siding is a common and popular choice for homeowners in the United States. It can add natural flair and timeless beauty to the exterior of your home.

Wood is susceptible to harsh weather though. Luckily, a fresh coat of paint protects the wood from rot. Just be sure to repaint your wood siding every three to seven years.

Wood siding is also easy to paint. With the correct technique, the paint coat may last longer than the average. Here is an instructor's manual on how to prep and paint wood sidings.

Protect Your Wood Siding From Rot With Periodic New Coats of Paint

Wood is susceptible to harsh weather. A fresh coat of paint protects the wood from rot. You need to repaint your wood siding every three to seven years.

How to Prep Wood Siding

Proper preparation is essential to the success of painting wood siding. Wood preparation is crucial to provide the paint with a clean and smooth surface to cling to.

1. Clean the Wood Surface

Cover any openings, doors, and windows with plastic sheets before you start working. The plastic sheets will protect your windows and doors from paint spillage. The plastic also prevents the dust of sanding from getting into your house.

Scrub-off accumulated mold and dirt. Use a soft-bristled brush. Paint holds on better to a cleaner wood surface. Starting from the top, rinse the surface of your wood siding.

Pressure cleaning is an efficient alternative. Water under high pressure can peel off old paint and wash away dirt. Only use soft brushes, as stiffer alternatives and steel wool may ruin the surface of the wood.

2. Repair the Wood

Use a putty knife or hand trowel to apply a suitable wood filler to any cracks and holes within the wood.

Spread a small glob of the filler over any recessed nail holes and cracks. Smooth out the surface by scraping off the excess wood filler. Let the wood filler dry over a couple of hours.

3. Prepare the Surface to Accept Fresh Paint

Tear down any worn-out patches of paint from the last paint job. Use a hook scraper to shave off the peeling paint. Continue scraping until there is no visible protrusion of paint on the exterior.

Use sandpaper to flatten the exposed ridges on the surface of the wood. Start with low-grit sandpaper and work your way up. Sand away any contours on the surface of the wood.

Use a stiff-bristled brush or dry cloth to clean away the dust generated from sanding. Run your fingers across the surface of the wood to make sure that it is free of dust.

Be sure to scrape off the peeling paint.
Be sure to scrape off the peeling paint.

Clean the Siding Before Painting

Remember: a clean surface is more receptive to paint.

How to Paint Wood Siding

Once you've cleaned and repaired your wood siding, you're ready to get down to painting.

1. Prime the Surface of the Wood

Latex-based primers are ideally suited for wood sidings. Unlike other primers, latex-based primers are flexible. They do not crack and harden when dry.

Apply a coat of your latex-based primer onto the wood surface. Depending on the type of wood siding you are working with, a roller may come in handy. Apply a thicker coat of the prime to conceal the wood grain underneath.

Inspect your work for any patches, seams, or spots. Use a handheld brush to touch-up any missed spots. Let your primer dry over two to six hours.

Use a caulk gun to seal any visible cracks and openings. The sealant protects the exposed areas within the wood from penetration by rainwater.

2. Paint Away

Depending on the nature of the surface, you can use a handheld brush, a sprayer, or a roller. Start from the top and work your way to the bottom. Paint the surface evenly to avoid any "lap marks."

After painting, inspect your work for any missed spots or patches. Let the paint dry as you clean your brushes and store your equipment. Congratulate yourself for your efforts.


Paint increases the life of the wood. A painted surface is appealing to the eyes. Before you paint your wood siding, make sure that you prepare the surface for paint.

Below are the steps to follow:

  • Clean the surface of your wood siding.
  • Repair and fill any holes or cracks on the wood.
  • Scrape off the old paint.
  • Smooth the surface with sandpaper.
  • Sweep off the dust from the surface.
  • Apply a coat of a latex-based primer.
  • Paint your primed surface.
  • Congratulate yourself for a job well done.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers


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      • Jesse Omolo profile imageAUTHOR

        Jesse Omolo 

        5 months ago from Kenya

        You are welcome @Poonam Nar check out my profile for more educative material

      • poonamnar profile image

        Poonam Nar 

        5 months ago from Navsari

        Thanks for sharing a useful information.


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