Masonite was a type of engineered wood made from wood fibers that are combined with resin.
The resulting product was very strong and was used for a variety of applications, including siding, flooring, cabinetry, and doors.
Masonite was also very easy to work with and can be cut, drilled, and shaped to fit a variety of different needs including exterior home siding.
However, due to some regular problems with the product, masonite siding was discontinued and is no longer in production.
But if you still have masonite siding in your home, repairing and repainting masonite siding is still possible with some preparation and caution.
The type of paint you can use on masonite siding is generally acrylic latex paint which should be painted over exterior alkyd primer once it has been dried completely.
Below we will go over a few important points to keep in mind when repairing and painting over masonite siding.
So get ready to transform your old siding with the fresh modern paint colors of your choice!
How to Paint Masonite Siding – Step by Step
If you still use masonite for the siding it’s important to keep it dry and to apply a protective finish to ensure that it stays looking good for many more years.
Regardless of which color you choose, painting your masonite siding is a great way to add some style and personality to your outdoor space.
Before you get started make sure to wear a dust mask and protect your eyes with safety glasses.
Then follow these steps…
Step 1- Spread drop cloths
Use drop cloths or tarps around the area you’ll be working in to protect your landscaping from paint drips.
If you don’t have one in your home, these are available in various materials such as plastic and canvas.
So depending on your requirement you can get one from the market.
Step 2- Make any necessary repairs to the siding
Before you paint, carefully inspect your masonite siding for any cracks or damage that may need to be repaired.
You can easily fill the gaps and holes by patching masonite siding with wood putty using a trowel.
You may need to use a ladder to reach higher sections of siding at times. So, be cautious to avoid falls.
Step 3- Remove existing paint
Use a sander or wire brush to remove any existing paint so that the new coat of paint will adhere properly.
Be sure to work gently to avoid any damage to the Masonite. And also clean up all the sanded dust and the old dried paint chips using a vacuum.
Step 4- Apply a layer of exterior alkyd primer
Use an exterior grade alkyd primer to help ensure that your siding is properly sealed and ready for paint.
Be sure to follow the instructions on your primer carefully and apply multiple thin layers using a paint roller rather than just one thick layer.
You will need to pay particular attention to the siding’s edges and bottoms, as they tend to absorb water and paint more readily. Use a brush to clean out tiny places.
Allow the primer to dry completely before moving on to the next step.
Step 5- Apply acrylic latex paint to the siding
Apply a coat of acrylic latex paint over the dried primer using a clean roller.
For painting in tight spaces and corners you may need to use a small brush, so keep one handy near you.
Wait for the first coat to dry completely before applying a second layer using the same procedures.
Step 6- To finish off the look apply a few coats of clear polyurethane
The final step is to add several thin layers of varnish to protect your masonite siding from moisture and weathering.
And that’s it! You are now ready to enjoy your fresh new masonite siding.
Tips and Warnings
Consider using a paint sprayer (rather than a paint roller) to apply paint, primer, and varnish to a large home.
For the best results with Masonite, roll over the paint after it has been sprayed to ensure that it is evenly distributed throughout the surface.
This technique is known as “back-rolling,” and it’s great when you need to cover uneven or roughly-textured surfaces.
Most importantly BEWARE OF LEAD PAINT if your home was built before 1978.
If you suspect there may be lead-painted masonite siding in your house, buy a lead paint test kit from your local hardware store and hire a professional contractor to safely remove and dispose of any lead paint.
Repainting vs. Replacing the Masonite Siding
Like all siding materials, masonite siding will eventually get damaged and need to be repainted or replaced.
The decision to replace or repaint old masonite siding will depend on the severity of the damage and whether or not the underlying substrate is still in good condition.
If the siding is still in good condition and the damage is limited to the paint, then repainting is probably the best option.
However, if the siding is damaged beyond repair or the substrate is rotted, then replacing the siding will be necessary.
Here are some signs that can tell you that it is time to replace your Masonite siding:
- Cracks or splits in the boards
- Warping or buckling of the boards
- Loose or missing boards
- Rotted or damaged substrate
If you are unsure whether your siding needs to be replaced or not, it is always best to consult with a professional contractor who can inspect the damage and give you their opinion.
What Can You Use to Replace Masonite Siding With?
Masonite siding is no longer produced, so it can be difficult to find a perfect match for your home.
Fiber-cement and vinyl are, however, two of the most popular replacement options for masonite siding.
Both materials are very durable and low maintenance, so they will not require much work once they are installed.
Fiber-cement boards are made from a mix of wood fibers and Portland cement, so they are very strong and can withstand extreme weather conditions.
It’s also fire-resistant and termite-proof, so it will protect your home from pests and the elements.
Vinyl siding is also a popular replacement for masonite siding because it is very durable and low maintenance.
It is made from PVC plastic and can last for decades with very little care.
Vinyl is also a good choice for homes in areas that are prone to hurricanes or other severe weather because it is very wind-resistant.
Alternatively, if you need to replace any damaged or rotted sections, it is best to consult a professional.
They will be able to help you find the best possible match for your home and make sure that the installation is done correctly.
Overall, masonite is relatively easy to paint over provided you use the right paint products in the right way.
If you are seeing the signs of damage on your old worn-out masonite siding, it’s time to consider painting them.
Don’t wait any longer – start exploring your options and find the perfect color for your old masonite siding now!
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Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for over a decade serving customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, and Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.