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 (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 with about 15% of new homes being built. 

Can You Paint Hardie Board Siding?

The answer is not only yes, but you should paint the 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.

When properly done, painting can really bring out the feeling of wood in the fiber cement. This assumes that you paint it correctly.

Clean the surface, apply the paint, and it will not only look better but will also 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 and unpainted, you can have a professional paint the siding once it has been installed.

Be sure to get the siding painted within three months of installation for the best results.

However, 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, then you will need to clean the exterior walls first.

Use a pressure washer to remove the old 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, you will need to caulk all seams and joints to ensure that no moisture will get in.

This will also reduce the deterioration of the fiber cement at its most vulnerable places.

Step 3- Paint

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

Use a 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 and pre-painted or not.

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

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

Many people will order the fiber cement without primer or paint so they can add their own, 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 be able to 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 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, there are a number of factors that go into the 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 will last from 10 to 15 years.

Your fiber cement siding when painted will last up to 50 years.

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

Fiber cement siding needs fewer paint jobs compared to vinyl siding, so this is saving.

With typical vinyl siding needing a paint job every 5 to 10 years, fiber cement or Hardie board is considerably cheaper to maintain.

The bottom line

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

Make sure to find the type of paint that works best with fiber cement.

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

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

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

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