Cedar shakes are a beautiful and natural way to enhance the exterior of a home. However, over time, natural elements can take a toll on these wooden shingles, leaving them in need of maintenance. One popular method of preserving cedar shakes is to paint them. But, can and should you paint cedar shakes?
In this article, we will dive into the details of painting cedar shakes, covering everything from preparation to maintenance. We’ll provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about this process.
Should you Paint Your Cedar Shingles and shakes?
Cedar shakes can be painted, but there are multiple factors to consider. Here are some important things to note before covering your shakes with paint.
- Age of the shakes: Cedar shakes are a natural material that will expand and contract over time due to changes in temperature and humidity. If the shakes are new, it is best to let them weather properly before painting them. This allows the shakes to acclimate to their environment and reduces the risk of cracking and peeling the paint. If the shakes are older, it is important to inspect them for signs of wear, such as rot or insect damage, and address these issues before painting.
- Condition of the shakes: Before painting, it’s important to thoroughly inspect the shakes for any signs of damage or wear. If the shakes are in good condition, they can be painted. However, if they are damaged or rotting, they should be repaired or replaced before painting. Damaged or rotting shakes will not hold paint well and will continue to deteriorate even after painting, leading to costly repairs.
- Type of paint to use: When painting cedar shakes, it’s important to use high-quality paint that is specifically designed for exterior use. Oil-based paint or water-based paint with a high solid content are both suitable options as they provide better adhesion and durability. Additionally, it’s recommended to use a paint that has UV inhibitors, which will help protect the shakes from fading and discoloration due to sun exposure. It’s also important to note that if you are located in an area with high precipitation levels, you should use paint that is resistant to mildew.
How to Paint Cedar Shakes
You have to Work Fast
Painting relatively new cedar shakes require less effort than old ones that have had time to weather. It is necessary to condition the wood fibers in order to prepare them for the process of absorbing and retaining the paint. When natural weathering takes place and the wood is soiled, it will be difficult to create an even shade when painting the shakes. The paint will degrade more quickly. One way to get an even coat is to make sure you work quickly after the shakes have been prepped.
Create a Clean Surface to Work With
In order to prepare the cedar roof shingles for painting, it is necessary to clean any mildew, mold, or stains using bleach or a cleaner and let them dry completely, which could take as long as two weeks. If it rains, you’ll have to wait longer until the surface is dry. Once the cedar shakes are completely dry, you can use a stiff bristled brush to eliminate any fibers or slivers.
Use a Primer
Primers are essential for protecting wood and providing paint with a surface that it can adhere to while painting shakes of cedar. A stain-blocking primer made of oil is the ideal choice to shield the wood from mildew, mold, and another staining. Be sure to go through any edges that have been overlapping and ensure that the primer has gotten into all crevices and cracks. If you’re using a roll or sprayer, be sure to back-brush the surfaces to ensure that you’ve covered all the areas.
Apply the Paint
Once the primer has completely dried then it’s time to use the painting. Applying exterior grade acrylic-latex paint and using the same you used for the primer, be sure to concentrate on the edges that are overlapped and cracks and crevices to ensure you’ve secured all of the surfaces. To get the best results you must apply a minimum of two coats.
We’ve talked about treating cedar shakes, it isn’t always the first line of action when it comes to maintenance but it can help. Paint on cedar shakes can be made to offer fire resistance, water resistance as well as mold and mildew prevention however, you might need further treatments in order to ensure the protection of the cedar shake roofing. A consultation with a professional can help you in understanding what treatments your roof requires.
Maintaining Painted Cedar Roof Shakes
Maintaining painted cedar shakes is crucial to keeping them looking fresh and new. Proper cleaning and upkeep are essential to prolong the life of the paint and ensure the best possible finish.
A regular cleaning schedule should be established to remove dirt, dust, and debris that can accumulate on the shakes. Power washing or gentle scrubbing with a mild detergent can be effective methods for cleaning painted cedar shakes.
Repainting is also an important aspect of maintaining painted cedar shakes. The frequency of repainting will depend on the quality of the paint used, the exposure to the elements, and the overall condition of the shakes.
A general rule of thumb is to repaint every 5-7 years, but it’s always best to check the shakes regularly and re-paint as soon as you notice any signs of wear or chipping. By following a regular cleaning and repainting schedule, you can keep your painted cedar shakes looking beautiful for many years to come.