Does Hardie Board Siding Need to Be Painted?

painting hardie plank siding

Just as Kleenex or Xerox has become synonymous with tissues and copying, so too has Hardie board become synonymous with fiber cement siding.

Hardie® board is basically a brand name for fiber-cement siding produced by James Hardie Industries (JHI).

However, the term Hardie board can be a bit confusing as other manufacturers produce fiber cement sidings, such as Nichiha, Allura USA, and MaxiTile.

Fiber cement siding (also called Hardiplank or Hardie board siding) is a combination of cementitious materials and cellulose fibers that cover the outside of buildings.

Normally applied in overlapping horizontal sheets, Hardie board siding offers many different styles.

And you can find this type of siding not only on office buildings but also on about 15% of new homes being built. 

Can You Paint Hardie Board Siding?

The answer is not only yes, but you should paint the Hardie plank siding right away.

Most siding without painting will last about 15 years on average. But adding a few coats of paint will extend the lifetime of fiber cement siding considerably.

Painting can bring out the feeling of premium wood in fiber cement, assuming that you paint it correctly.

Cleaning the cladding surface and applying the right paint will make it look better and fill in any small cracks or dings that have developed over time.

how to paint hardie siding

How Do You Paint a Hardie Plank Siding?

If the siding is new unprimed, and unpainted, you can hire and have a professional paint the siding – once it has been installed.

Be sure to get the unfinished siding painted within three months of installation for the best results. If it’s primed and you plan to repaint or change the color for whatever reason, you can do it within six months of the installation.

In both cases, the planks should be cleaned before any painting begins. This is because dust may be present, which might interfere with the painting process.

Step 1- Clean

If you are repainting the siding, clean the exterior walls first. Use a pressure washer to remove the old peeling paint and chalking.

In addition, the pressure washer will also remove the dust, dirt, mold, and mildew that might also be present.

Step 2- Caulk

Once cleaned, caulk all seams and joints to ensure no moisture will get in. This will also reduce the deterioration of the fiber cement in its most vulnerable places.

Caulking of the Hardie siding can be done by applying a 3/8” bead of approved caulk product (like latex or elastomeric joint sealant) which will protect and seal the edge of the siding before painting.

While caulking, the company recommends leaving a 1/8” gap between the siding and the trim or wherever the siding meets the trim.

Step 3- Paint

Once cleaned, dried, and caulked, your fiber cement siding is ready to be painted.

Use high-quality, exterior-grade acrylic latex paint to paint Hardie siding, as that works the best.

Let the first coat fully dry before adding a second coat. A professional painter will most often spray the second coat for a smooth, clean finish.

Does New Fiber Cement Siding Need to be Painted?

This depends on whether you purchase the fiber cement siding pre-primed or not.

If you have ordered it pre-primed and pre-painted, you do not have to repaint it for some time.

But if the fiber cement has no primer or paint, you will need to paint it within 90 days of installation.

Many people will order fiber cement without primer or paint so they can add their desired unique paint to the exterior.

However, if you want to avoid painting for some time, order the fiber cement siding pre-primed and pre-painted with the paint baked in.

Add a UV-resistant finish, and this will protect the fiber cement siding to an even greater degree.

Be sure to talk to your fiber cement siding supplier for the best options available.

You may be able to get a deal where the fiber cement siding comes painted with the color of your choice. Or you may get a professional painter to do the job for less.

How Much Does it Cost to Paint Fiber Cement Siding?

This depends on whether you hire a professional or do the work yourself.

It is advisable to hire a professional, especially since fiber cement siding contractors should be nearby.

A typical professional paint job will cost you around $2 per square foot.

On average, this means paying from $1,700 to $3,700, depending on the size of your home.

However, several factors can go into the final price. So, be sure to get upfront, no-obligation estimates first to find the contractor who can work best for you.

How Often Does Hardie Board Siding Need to be Painted?

Generally speaking, a typical paint job on timber will last 10 to 15 years.

But unlike real wood (like oak or cedar), your fiber cement siding, when painted correctly, will last up to 50 years.

This is because Hardie® siding provides many more benefits in terms of damaging effects of the sun’s UV rays, extreme temperatures, moisture, pests, and fire – thanks to its specifically formulated better resistant properties towards elements.

So, you can expect to repaint the Hardiplank siding at least once, perhaps twice, depending on how long you live in the home.

Fiber cement siding also needs fewer paint jobs compared to vinyl siding, so this is a saving. With typical vinyl siding needing a paint job every 5 to 10 years, fiber cement or Hardie board is considerably cheaper to maintain.

James Hardie ColorPlus® Technology

What is ColorPlus Technology by James Hardie – How Its Different?

When it comes to prefinished panels and durable siding materials, James Hardie siding products are simply unbeatable.

Homeowners often choose James Hardie siding for its added warranty and wide range of gorgeous styles.

But did you know that James Hardie’s baked-on color can help keep your home looking great for years? If you do not, here are some benefits of James Hardie’s exclusive ColorPlus® Technology that makes it different:

a. Baked-on Color

James Hardie’s ColorPlus Technology doesn’t just paint in their controlled factory environment but the multiple coats of color applied offers a baked-on bond that’s resistant to UV rays fading, chipping and peeling.

The setting guards against debris embedding itself in the siding’s finish and at the same time gives the paint extreme adhesion, securing it for years to come.

So, unlike wood or vinyl siding, that needs regular maintenance, time and money, fiber cement siding by James Hardie requires almost no maintenance.

b. Fabulous Color Selection

Depending on your home architecture and surroundings you can consider the look you want to achieve with the amazing options from their Dream Collection™ and Statement Collection™.

Since their color experts know well what will look great on exterior sidings, they have already narrowed down their color collection that’s available in various light and dark colors to choose from.

c. No Worries of Harmful VOCs

Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs) are often found in paint, and can leach into the air – causing harm to people and ecosystems.

ColorPlus Technology doesn’t require onsite painting, meaning decreased VOCs in the atmosphere. This is better for your well-being as well as the planet’s.

d. Excellent ColorPlus Warranty

James Hardie siding gets peace of mind with a 30-year warranty. But what’s more exciting is knowing that your ColorPlus Technology is also backed by a 15-year limited warranty.

This means the vibrant hardieplank colors you choose from james hardie color chart will last longer than ever before with this added protection!

e. Uniform Coverage and Quick Installation

The James Hardie company provides a factory-applied finish to your siding, which results in even coverage on each board that’s impossible to replicate with a post-installation paint job.

Not only does this create an instant visual impact, but it also eliminates the hassle and headache of trying to match colors if you ever need to replace a board.

Also, unlike unfinished James Hardie sidings, which takes longer to install, ColorPlus Technology siding boards are already finished and hence quick to install.

With James Hardie ColorPlus siding, you don’t have to wait for the paint to dry after it’s installed – the job is done as soon as the contractor leaves.

The bottom line

DIY painting Hardiplank is not very tough and can be done if you have the right tools and materials available.

You just need to make sure to find the type of paint that works best with fiber cement.

When properly applied, good paint can extend the life of the fiber cement siding considerably.

The best thing is you need not prime your existing Hardie siding before re-painting if you need to.

All you will need is a good wash and get started with applying the paint.

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