Old cedar siding--repaint or stain, or cover?

dave11October 19, 2011

The gables of my 1951 home are sided with vertical cedar boards. At some point they were painted white, then later covered with aluminum siding. The aluminum siding needs to go, and I'm trying to decide if I should replace it with vinyl, or instead, repaint the cedar siding, or strip it and stain. They are high and hard to get to, and I'd likely need to hire someone each time they needed paint or stain.

Was hoping some folks with long-term experience with cedar siding can give some opinions about this.


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hey dave11, I, too, am in the midsts of taking off the vinyl on my house so I can paint the old Cedar clapboards and shingles (it was already painted, before). If youre siding is in good shape, just clean and paint, or, if you have the stamina for stripping, strip and stain.
Use a high quality paint or clear finish and you shouldnt have to repaint/re-stain for like 20 years.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vinyl Siding turns old houses into Trailer Parks

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 9:48AM
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I just can't imagine trading cedar siding for vinyl. We have our original cedar clapboards and they still look great after over 100 years.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 12:06PM
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For us, keeping paint on our 100yo cedar siding has been a real headache. However, you're talking to old wood fanatics here (me included) who consider it worthwhile - on a historic house, having the original wood is worth it.

Your house is not historic (based on date and I think I remember other threads about it). So I don't know if you would have an authenticity issue with the wood.

For me, one issue would be ease of colour changing. I remember your brick, so colour will be tricky. You might like to change it (all) sometime, and vinyl does not invite painting.

If you did want to cover the wood, I'd go with metal rather than vinyl myself. Vinyl just seems like a very inferior material, whereas metal siding is getting quite cool these days - lots of new options out there. In fact, that may be a solution for your brick too. Whole house covered in metal? Or Hardiplank? That way if in 100 years a fanatic buys your house, the original brick is retrievable :-)

Karin L

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 5:39PM
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Fori is not pleased

O no not vinyl, especially if the vertical siding is part of the look. Is it a ranch style house (one might guess so with the vertical siding and the date)? Paint it or stain it depending on what color you like with the rest of it. Or even Hardiplank it. Vertically.

I don't know your house of course. But I know mid century houses usually do not look better when one takes away their mid centuriness.

In my '50s neighborhood, the cedar siding was usually painted. Gracious rustic ranch homes for modern living or something, according to the ad copy. There's a chance yours was always meant to be painted as well maybe?

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 12:33PM
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