What Kind of Paint and Primer Is Best for Cedar Siding?

Cedar siding is popular among homeowners due to its natural beauty and durability. But, like any other exterior wood surface, cedar siding needs a coat of paint and primer to protect it from the elements. So which type of paint and primer is best?

Exterior-grade acrylic paint is recommended for use on cedar siding. Acrylic paint provides superior protection against water and UV damage while allowing the wood to breathe. It also resists fading, cracking, and peeling better. A stain-blocking primer should also be applied before painting the siding.

In this article, you will learn:

  • The 4 factors to consider when choosing paint for cedar siding
  • What type of paint to use
  • What finish is best
  • My top picks for the best paint and primer for cedar siding

The 4 Factors to Consider When Choosing Paint for Cedar Siding

1. Choose the Right Sheen

The sheen of paint refers to the glossiness or shine of the paint once it dries. There are typically four types of paint sheens to choose from: flat, eggshell, satin, and glossy. Choose the appropriate sheen for cedar siding based on durability and desired look.

2. Take the Weather into Account

Cedar siding’s natural beauty is often a drawing card for homeowners. However, when working with cedar siding, you should also consider extreme weather conditions such as heavy rainfall, wind, and severe temperatures.

Choose a paint that can withstand these harsh weather conditions to ensure a lasting finish. Paint with high-quality additives such as mildewcides, inhibitors, and resins suits the job and can greatly improve paint durability.

3. Quality and Brand

The quality and brand of the paint you choose for your cedar siding also matter for the outcome. High-quality paints typically offer better adhesion, coverage, durability, color retention, and resistance to fading, cracking, peeling, and mildew.

They may also come with warranties or guarantees that provide extra peace of mind and customer service.

4. Application

Paint application is also important to ensure a successful finish. Before buying the paint, assess your skill level and the job size to determine the best application method.

Brushes, rollers, or sprayers can all be used, and your choice depends on the size of the project and your level of expertise with each method.

What Type of Paint Is Best?

Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint is the most popular type of paint for cedar siding. It is composed of a water-based resin and can be easily applied with brushes, rollers, or sprayers. It is durable and offers excellent adherence to cedar siding.


  • Versatile: Can be used on many surfaces, including cedar siding
  • Strong Adhesion: Binds well to the surface
  • Durable: Resistant to external elements and wear
  • Mildew-Resistant: Less likely to develop mildew or mold
  • Easy Clean Up: Can be cleaned with water


  • Not Suitable for All Wood Types: Regular acrylics may not adhere well to certain types of wood
  • Color Changes: Color may differ once the paint dries
  • Wood Delamination: Paint can add film thickness, leading to potential delamination in certain weather conditions
  • Preparation: Requires careful surface preparation (cleaning, scraping off old paint, priming)

Latex Paint

Latex paint is a water-based paint, and it is composed of latex resin. Latex paint is fast-drying and easy to apply with brushes, rollers, or sprayers. It is durable and offers excellent adherence to cedar siding.


  • Flexible: Can expand and contract with the wood due to weather changes
  • Good Coverage: Provides good coverage on cedar siding
  • Low Odor: Has lower VOC levels, making it safer for the environment and people
  • Easy Clean Up: Can be cleaned with water
  • Durable: Resistant to fading, cracking, and peeling over time


  • Preparation: Requires careful surface preparation (cleaning, scraping off old paint, priming)
  • Possible Bubbling/Peeling: Some latex paints may bubble or peel on cedar siding, especially if not properly applied
  • Covers Materials Differently: As it is water-based, it covers some materials differently than oil-based paints

What Paint Finish Is Best?

Choose a paint finish that not only enhances the natural beauty of the wood but also offers maximum durability. While there are several paint finishes, the best option for cedar siding is gloss.

Gloss offers a high level of reflectivity and shine, which can help to make cedar siding stand out and draw attention. Additionally, this finish provides exceptional resistance to moisture and UV rays, helping to protect the wood from potential damage over time.

One major benefit of gloss is that it is easy to clean and maintain, making it an ideal solution for homeowners who want to keep their cedar siding looking great without putting in much effort or time. With a glossy finish, dirt, grime, and other types of debris can be wiped clean with a simple cloth or sponge.

The Best Paint and Primer for Cedar Siding

Best Paint

Benjamin Moore Aura Exterior Paint is ideal for homeowners who expect nothing but the best for their cedar siding. With its proprietary Color Lock technology, this paint offers unparalleled color richness and fade resistance.

The high-build formula provides maximum coverage and extreme hide in a single coat, making it the most efficient choice for your painting needs.

It boasts outstanding durability against even the most extreme weather conditions. With its Lifetime Limited Warranty, you can rest easy knowing that your cedar siding will be protected from the elements for years.

With low-temperature application capabilities, it can be applied later into the painting season, extending the time frame in which you can get your painting done.

Its superior adhesion, fast drying, and quick recoat times ensure that your cedar siding will look its best in no time. Additionally, Benjamin Moore Aura Exterior Paint is self-priming in most situations, making painting your cedar a breeze.

Engineered with Gennex Color Technology, this paint offers the most advanced color science technology available, providing exceptional color accuracy.

And with its mildew resistance, you can be assured that your cedar siding will look beautiful and remain in top condition.

Best Primer

If you’re looking for a primer to enhance the durability of your cedar siding, Zinsser Exterior Wood Primer stands out as an exceptional product.

Cedar siding is an aesthetically pleasing choice for homes and buildings, but it requires a suitable protective layer to withstand the elements and retain its luster over time. This is where this primer comes in handy.

One of the standout features of this primer is its ability to block tannin stains from cedar and other bleeding woods. This is crucial for cedar siding, as tannins can cause discoloration and ruin its natural beauty.

It provides an effective barrier against such bleeding effects, allowing the cedar siding to remain pristine and vibrant for longer.

The superior adhesion of this primer ensures that it sticks tightly to the cedar siding, creating a strong foundation for the topcoat to adhere to.

This means that your cedar siding will have better protection against water and weather damage and increased resistance to peeling, cracking, and chipping.

Another significant advantage of the Zinsser Exterior Wood Primer is that it dries rapidly and can be applied in low-temperature conditions.

This makes it perfect for those who live in areas with variable weather or for people who prefer getting the job done quickly and efficiently.

Joshua Milton

Joshua Milton is a passionate DIY and home improvement enthusiast. With his expertise in various projects, he provides practical tips, step-by-step guides, and creative ideas for transforming your living space.

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