Paint or stain your cedar shingles and siding with these easy steps. We show you how to rehab old materials or work with brand new planks.
Cedar is a popular material for shingles and siding because natural oils in its heartwood (the dark red wood at the center of the tree) make it resistant to the weather and hungry insects. Even unpainted, cedar will last for years. Painting cedar, however, calls for some preparation.
Some sections of old, unpainted shingles and siding may look darker than others. This discoloration is most likely caused by a combination of excessive tannins leeching from the wood and mildew growth. You'll have to remove the mildew and prime the wood with a stain-blocking primer. You can prime and paint new shingles as soon as you have installed them, but since weathering can quickly alter the paintability of wood, if you don't get to the job within two weeks, you'll have to recondition the wood fibers. Powerwashing old shingles is not recommended. Weathering makes them soft, and it's almost impossible to avoid gouging them and to properly dry the water forced under them.