Painting Cement Board Siding Like a Pro

Cement board manufacturers have really turned this product into an attractive siding choice. Many cement board siding options are pre-finished in a variety of colors. Unfortunately, as with any product, repainting can become a necessity. Painting cement board siding can take care of faded colors or give you new ones if color trends change. There’s nothing like a fresh coat of paint or a change in color to add curb appeal to a home.

You may have heard the name “Hardie board” used a lot. This is actually a trade name connected with manufacturer JamesHardie. Other manufacturers of fiber cement boards include Maxitile and CertainTeed. Generally, all their products share similar properties.

Most cement board manufactures offer a special primer for use on their unprimed siding selection. Using the manufacturer’s brand can ensure your warranty remains in effect. For cement boards that have already been primed, 100% acrylic exterior paint is recommended. Acrylic paint is the best choice for cement board.

It’s especially important if you are working with new cement board to avoid oil-based primer. It will increase the roughness of the surface of the board. It can prevent the paint from adhering properly. It can even cause cracking and chalking.

One major advantage of fiber cement siding is it’s affinity for retaining paint. It is moisture resistant and doesn’t shrink or swell—a common cause of paint failure.

Professional painters share the following tips for getting the best results when painting cement board siding.

  • Make sure the cement boards are clean.
  • Complete all the caulking work. Be sure to use paintable caulk!
  • Mask trim and windows.
  • Cover bushes with drop cloths.
  • Finish all the cut edges of the cement boards with a primer that’s recommended for fiber cement boards.
  • If you are installing new siding, finish all the cut edges and the planks with cement-board compatible primer.
  • Use satin finish paint, even though it costs more. That shiny new look will soften and in the end will make keeping the siding clean much easier.
  • If you apply the paint with a sprayer, backroll or backbrush to ensure that the paint has really adhered to the surface.


Of course, the pros will tell you that preparation is one of the most important factors for achieving professional painting results. So don’t take shortcuts with cleaning, caulking or masking.

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  1. Amelia

    We are going to paint new cement fiber board and seeking info on best primer and paint.
    What in your experience has been the best in holding up thru North Texas climate?

  2. lee

    Alkaline Primer Cito 09

    best…two coats

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