Back Button

How to Paint Hardboard Siding

Ryan Lawrence

Hardboard siding is an engineered wood product similar to particle board in that it is comprised of highly compressed wood fibers. Hardboard siding is not ideal for paint adhesion and requires multiple coats of primer to help prevent future paint failure. In addition, because hardboard siding is smooth, you will need to employ a specific application strategy to help prevent unattractive roller marks in the final finish coat.

Do not use plastic drop cloths in place of fabric ones.
  1. Wash dirt and dust from the hardboard siding using a pressure washer. Begin the washer on a low setting and gradually increase pressure, or you may damage the hardboard. Allow the siding to dry out completely before beginning the application process.

  2. Cover areas you do not want painted with painter's tape. Protect porches, walkways and other larger items below the hardboard siding with fabric drop cloths.

  3. Promote paint adhesion by applying a coat of acrylic latex primer to the hardboard siding using a roller. Apply to one 3-foot-wide section at a time, then smooth the wet primer using a 3- to 4-inch latex paintbrush. Work quickly before the primer has a chance to dry.

  4. Allow the primer to dry for two hours, then apply an additional coat in the same manner as you did the first. Allow the final coat of primer to dry for two hours before painting over it.

  5. Wash all painting instruments with plain water.

  6. Apply a coat of acrylic latex paint in the same way you did the primer.