Will Fiber Cement Hold Paint Longer Than Wood?

All the fiber cement we sell comes factory-painted. That means it’s primed and painted before we ever put it on. It comes with a factory finish that’s guaranteed for 15 years. The manufacturer, James Hardie, has a broad palette of 26 popular colors to choose from.  You might be thinking: hey, I want something unique! My question is how unique do you want to be? No it’s not Benjamin Moore, where you could choose from 256 shades of white. That’s right, white. The human eye can detect about 14 shades.

You could spend the next six months trying to figure out the colors for your siding. Or you could pick some colors that work well with contemporary homes.

How do you know what you like? We’ll take a few pictures of your house and using visualization software, we’ll show you exactly what both the siding and trim are going to look like. No surprises.

The fact that that siding holds its finish for 15 years may not seem like a big deal. But think about it this way. Fifty years ago, most houses were sided with wood. That meant that every so often the owner had to paint. If you think painting the inside of the house is tedious, picture yourself on a ladder. Picture yourself moving the ladder. Now picture yourself moving the ladder again. And again. And again.

So people typically hired house painters. That’s not cheap. But the paint held up for a while, meaning 8, 10 or a dozen years. Two reasons. One is that the paint had an ingredient—lead—that gave it an elasticity enabling the paint to adapt to the expansion and contraction of the wood. As of 1978, regulations forbade use of lead in paint compounds, for excellent health and safety reasons. The other thing was that the wood used in siding then was a deeper grain, from a tree with a longer life than you’re going to find on today’s tree farms. And even if you have an older home, with the older wood, it’s likely been painted 7, 8 or 10 times. Paint doesn’t hold paint too well. It’s not going to hold long even if you strip it, which is expensive here in the Northeast. Count on spending $10,000 or $12,000 to paint your house. And then you’re going to get maybe five years out of that paint job. Re-side your house with James Hardie siding and the paint will hold three times as long.

Still think fiber cement siding is expensive?

About Mike Damora

Mike Damora is vice president of sales and marketing at K&B Home Remodelers, in Randolph, N.J. You can follow him on Twitter @madamoracatch him on Drift.