The natural beauty of cedar is undeniable. As warm and timeless as it can be, cedar siding can also have its disadvantages. Among them are the cost and ongoing maintenance it requires. To avoid cedar downsides, many people choose to install Hardie Plank Lap Siding (made of fiber-cement board) on the outside of their homes instead.
Do you want the best of both worlds? Transform your Hardie Plank siding to give the illusion of texture and movement that emulates natural cedar, grain and all. With a couple of coats of 100-percent acrylic exterior house paint and a simple glazing technique, in no time flat, you'll turn Hardie Plank into realistic-looking aged barn wood that will be the envy of the neighborhood.
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You can use this method on most existing painted and newly installed, unpainted fiber-cement siding. If the siding you have is indeed unpainted, you'll need to prime it before adding the base paint and glaze coats. Hardie Plank Lap Siding comes prepainted or preprimed, but if you're unsure, always check with the manufacturer.
Things You'll Need
How to Paint Hardie Plank Siding to Look Like Cedar
1. Match the Cedar Colors
Using real cedar as a guide, find an acrylic enamel exterior paint in a light golden-tan color (the basecoat) that matches closely with the sample. Choose a dark brown shade to simulate the cedar wood grain.
2. Apply the Base Paint
Apply two coats of the lighter-colored paint (low-luster satin) with a paint roller. Allow the paint to dry according to the manufacturer's recommendations.
3. Mix the Paint Glaze
While the base coat is drying, thin the dark-brown paint slightly with water or glaze medium to create a semitransparent solution. Do a test on a sample board to determine the correct opacity.
4. Roll On the Darker Color
Roll on a thick layer of the darker glaze on top of the undertone paint.
5. Scrape or Wipe Off the Glaze
While the glaze/paint is still wet, gently drag a small squeegee or wipe using cheesecloth in the direction of the cut-in grooves, leaving a thin layer of dark glaze behind. Add a second glaze coat if necessary.
6. Make the Last Pass
Using a squeegee, cheesecloth, or dry paintbrush, make a final pass to smooth out any excess blobs or puddles of dark glaze that may have collected along the edges of the plank. Repeat steps 4, 5, and 6 on the other planks. Let them dry.
For best results, make a swiping motion starting at one end of the plank to the other without stopping along the way.
Do not use stain, oil/alkyd-based paint, or powder coating on Hardie Plank siding.