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How to Paint and Stain Fiber Cement Siding

fiber cement stain

Staining fiber cement siding is one way to change the look of the siding. Done properly, it can resemble wood siding very closely. Staining can also protect the fiber cement and extend its life by preventing any blisters and cracks from occurring. It is important to prepare the fiber cement siding correctly before you stain it.

Fiber cement siding is gaining in popularity as the go-to material to use for siding homes and condominiums all over the country. It is the ideal alternative solution to conventional wood or vinyl siding because has many benefits that these other types of siding don’t offer.

Fiber cement boards are perfect for exterior painting since it has much less expansion/contraction than wood does. They can be painted to have a specific look or color that is so realistic looking that you may not be able to recognize that it isn’t really wood.

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Although fiber cement boards are offered in many different stock colors and patterns, you may be interested in a color that isn’t available or you may be interested in staining it. Whatever your preferences are, you have the flexibility you need with fiber cement siding to choose how you want it to look.

The process of staining or painting fiber cement board is not really difficult, but you want to be sure you use the proper type of paint or stain and that the job is done in the correct way so it looks professional and attractive. The steps to both staining and painting fiber cement siding are outlined below.

How to Stain Fiber Cement Siding (Step By Step)

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Staining fiber cement siding is one way to change the look of the siding. Done properly, it can resemble wood siding very closely. Staining can also protect the fiber cement and extend its life by preventing any blisters and cracks from occurring. It is important to prepare the fiber cement siding correctly before you stain it.

If you don’t get the dirt and dust off the fiber boards before you stain them, you will lock them into the stain and it can look dirty in those places.Get rid of mildew. If there is any mildew on the siding, remove it prior to staining the boards. You can do this with regular bleach. Use 1 part bleach to 3 parts water. You will apply the bleach water to the mildew and leave on for 20 minutes before rinsing off thoroughly.

Step 1. Check the fiber cement siding boards for any openings and cracks and seal them with siliconised acrylic caulk or a quality acrylic. Don’t seal the bottom or side edges unless it has been recommended that you do so by the manufacturer.

Step 2. Once the acrylic has thoroughly dried use a pressure washer on a low setting to remove mud, dirt and grime from the fiber cement boards. If it has been recommended to not use a pressure washer, then using a hose and rags or scrub brushes will do a great job as well. This will create a better result when you do stain the boards. Clean the siding boards carefully and thoroughly as this will give you the best overall results. After cleaning, let the siding dry completely before beginning the staining process.

Step 3. You will apply the stain with a paintbrush. You cannot use regular stain that is made for wood siding. You will need a stain that is made for fiber cement siding. Stain that indicates it is semitransparent is the best type of stain to use.

Step 4. Apply a light coat of the semi-transparent stain carefully. Be sure to cover all surface areas so there are no bubbles or cracks that form. Allow the first coat to dry completely and then apply a second coat the same way. Several light coats will look and do better than one thick one. Let this second coat dry thoroughly and apply one more cost. Use a clean paintbrush with each coat of stain that you apply.

How to Paint Fiber Cement Siding (Step By Step)

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Painting Fiber cement siding is much like staining. The preparations steps are the same in terms of cleaning the boards prior to painting. The fiber cement can be painted any color you like to match a specific color theme or landscape theme. Acrylic latex paint is the paint of choice for painting the fiber cement.

Step 1. Once you have cleaned the boards and checked them for cracks and imperfections, you need to deal with any old paint that may be on the boards. Remove any paint that is flaking with a wire brush, being certain to work WITH the grain. Don’t forget to wear a dust make and eye protection when getting rid of old paint.

Step 2. You should know ahead of time whether your fiber cement boards are pre-primed or unprimed. If it is not already primed, you will need to buy a primer and do that step prior to painting. Once that has been taken care of then you are ready to paint next. A few points to remember when it comes to the paint you choose to paint with

Step 3. Paint will gather mildew and dust much more frequently when flat paint is used and satin topcoats will have a tendency of looking blotchy when you compare them with other types of finishes. It is best to use paint that has polyurethane in it. Not only will the finished result be durable and attractive, it will get rid of the need for any topcoats.

Step 4. Now you’re ready to paint. An important factor to note is that if the fiber cement boards are already pre-primed, you can go straight to the main painting. Use all weather acrylic paint and apply one coat first, just like the other you do with stain.

Step 5. Allow to dry thoroughly and then put another coat of paint on. Once again, the objective is to have the paint get into all of the crevices. Allow the second coat of paint to dry. Once the main painting is complete and thoroughly dried, it is safe to add a top coat unless the manufacturer says not to do.

That’s all there is to it. With the right paint, fiber cement siding can be changed to any color you have a fancy for. By taking the time to ensure the boards are cleaned and the right paint is used, you will have a paint job that looks great and that will last for close to 10-15 years before you have to worry about repainting it again.

3 Responses

  1. I like the idea of using staining but I have never seen it done. what specific manufacturers have you used for fiber cement and the stain? Is there a cost benefit?

    I have an extensive wrap around porch for my planned home and we liv ein north west so moisture is high. I am entertaining use of fiber cement on the porch soffit but i like the stain look vs. painted. My siding subcontractors also never heard of staining fiber cement .

    Net how much money can is save if I take into account the multiple layers you recommend.

    Quick look on internet, assuming labor is similar

    Material Cost per Section
    Vinyl $14 – $23
    Aluminum $10 – $22
    UPVC/PVC/Plastics $6 – $12 per square foot
    Wood/Cedar Board $14 – $22

  2. Hello:

    I would like to stain/paint Hardie plank lap siding for an exterior trim on a commercial building accent area. I am thinking that the closest color is called Mahogony to give it a wood look. I would like to know which color and from what brand would you recommend.

  3. I want to stain over the original stain applied by the manufacturer.
    Any thoughts of what to use . Cabot doesn’t make the C3 anymore?

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