If you’ve chosen fiber cement siding for your home, you’ve made a great choice. Many homeowners choose this material for its durable, water-resistant and non-combustible properties. However, re-painting your siding takes extra care and finesse. When you need to change its paint color or just fix up an old shade, here is the best way to do it:
First Step: Eliminate Any Previous Dirt and Mildew
Cement sidings should be clean and dry before applying new paint. To remove dirt and dust, first power wash the exterior with water. You don’t need to scrub off the dirt; a power wash should have enough force and pressure to do the job. For tough mildew stains, use a solution of bleach and water, wipe the mildew areas and rinse off after 20 minutes.
Second Step: Remove Old and Chipping Paint
If you need to change your paint color, you should first properly remove the old or badly peeling paint. Use a scraper to carefully remove the old paint. Make sure that no dust or chips are left on the surface.
Third Step: Caulking Your Siding
The process of caulking fills in the gaps and holes left in the wall after old paint removal. However, it is also important to apply it the right way. You want to use polyurethane caulking, such as OSI’s Quad.
The reason for using polyurethane is because it expands and contracts at 100 percent its size. In comparison, traditional painters caulk only expands by 10 percent, which is why it often cracks easily. It’s not designed to contract all the way to its original size.
The other important reason to choose polyurethane is that it is paintable, whereas 100-percent silicone caulk is not. While you may have known that silicone makes a good sealant, it’s not the best choice for your home sidings because it can’t be painted.
To caulk transitions where fiber cement meets the trim, first cut the nozzle at an angle and apply it so that the angle of the nozzle pushes the sealant into the joint. Do not spread the caulk with your finger because it will spread the chemicals and not perform correctly. Caulking guidelines should be crosschecked with the siding manufacturer. Caulking in areas that are prohibited by the manufacturer will void the siding warranty.
Fourth Step: Priming Your Fiber Cement
We recommend using an additional primer coat on top of fiber cement. Fiber cement is made of sand and portland cement, which is designed to absorb paint quickly. An additional primer coat will give your fiber cement siding a better, more consistent sheen on your finish.
Essential Tips for Painting Your Fiber Cement Siding
Make sure that you have covered any surfaces that you don’t want the paint to drip on. Although this step may take some extra time, it is definitely worth the effort. Use painter’s tape or regular masking tape to cover any protruding faucets or parts of your home that don’t need to be painted. If you are going with a different trim for your edges, mark over these with tape as well.
As you paint, try as much as possible to use very smooth strokes, even from the very first layer. Begin at the edges and use a smaller brush before filling in the larger spaces. A good quality roller will help you apply in even, smooth strokes, covering as much space as possible at one time. Just don’t hurry this process; it’s best to go slow. Painting is an art!
When applying paint to your fiber cement siding, don’t make the mistake of putting too much paint on your brush. Your stroke should follow grain patterns, and it’s best to work from top to bottom. We recommend using high-end, quality paint. Low-end, the cheaper paint may save you money, but it tends to “flash” or dry too fast on fiber cement siding. It is best to install fiber cement siding that is pre-finished.
Lastly, always allow time for drying before applying a second coat of paint.
Why Choose James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding?
James Hardie fiber cement products don’t just perform well; each product is made with beautiful design and durability in mind. It is currently the country’s number one choice for siding, as it is five times thicker than vinyl siding. This makes deeper grooves possible, resulting in a more authentic wood grain effect. This look is smart and elegant and will give your home a beautiful finish.
If your home is a historical construction, you will want only the best and most elegant. Painting with James Hardie ColorPlus technology is a good choice because it is guaranteed to provide lasting color. The HardieZone System: HZ5 Care and Maintenance Guide will give you all the information necessary when completing projects using James Hardie’s top quality products.
Ready to work with only the best? Get in touch with 5280 to learn about our exterior house painting and siding services. Call us today so we can get your siding or painting project started as soon as possible!