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What Primer to Use on Hardie Siding

Lisa Jensen

Hardie siding is a fiber cement siding product manufactured by the James Hardie company. The name sometimes refers to similar products made by other companies. Preprimed and prepainted siding is available, or installers may choose to paint the siding themselves.


The manufacturer recommends using its trademarked factory priming system for best results. Repriming is usually not necessary when repainting but if primer is used, it should be alkali resistant.


If the installer chooses not to use the preprimed product, the manufacturer recommends using an alkali-resistant primer with 100 percent acrylic topcoat. Oil or alkyd base paints and stains should not be used on Hardie siding.

Factory Painted

James Hardie also manufactures siding with baked-on pigment that holds up to weather and ultraviolet radiation. More than 25 factory-baked paint color choices are available in products that resemble plank cedar or stucco siding, as well as shingles.