What to Know About Painting Fiber Cement Siding

Bry'Ana Arvie
Written by Bry'Ana Arvie
Updated July 11, 2022
Portico leading to the entrance of vinyl horizontal lap siding covered building, with a roof structure over a walkway, supported by white rectangular columns on a single family home
Photo: See Less / Adobe Stock


  • You can paint fiber cement siding to give your home a new look.

  • For this project, you’ll need 100% acrylic paint or acrylic latex paint.

  • You should repaint your fiber cement siding every 10 to 15 years.

  • The cost to hire a pro is $1,700 to $3,700.

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Fiber cement siding gives your home a high-end look while offering benefits like longevity and durability. Fiber cement siding is sometimes referred to as Hardie Board, Hardie Plank, or Hardiplank because manufacturer James Hardie popularized it. Here’s what to know about how often you should paint your fiber cement siding, as well as how much it’ll cost and whether you should hire a pro.

Can You Paint Cement Board?

Yes, you can paint your cement boards since they have pores that allow them to soak up paint easier than traditional cement. But that doesn’t mean you can roll out the paint brushes and get to work just yet. You’ll need to do some prep work and research for the best results.  

What Kind of Paint Should You Use on Fiber Cement Siding?

For fiber cement siding, you should use 100% acrylic paint or acrylic latex paint. When repainting your fiber cement siding, always apply two coats of paint starting from the top down and going with the grain of the material.

How to Paint Cement Board

Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how to paint your cement boards:

  • Step 1: Thoroughly clean your cement board of stubborn dirt, dust, and debris with cement-specific cleaners and gentle water pressure. 

  • Step 2: Let it completely dry before painting.

  • Step 3: Apply a primer made for cement and let it dry.

  • Step 4: Paint your cement board in thin layers using a roller or brush.

  • Step 5: Wait a few hours between each coat and repeat the process until you’ve achieved the desired color and thickness.

  • Step 6: Allow the paint to dry for two to three days, then apply a sealant.

How Often Does Fiber Cement Siding Need to Be Repainted?

One of the benefits of fiber cement siding is that it can last for around 50 years. However, a fiber cement paint job lasts only 10 to 15 years. That means you’ll likely need to repaint your siding a few times during its lifetime. That said, it’s still less often than similarly priced alternatives, like vinyl, which must be repainted every five to ten years, making Hardie board a low-maintenance choice.

Can You Paint Fiber Cement Siding Yourself?

closeup of house with white fiber cement siding and deck with black wire railing
Photo: Robert / Adobe Stock

You can repaint or otherwise maintain fiber cement yourself if you’re comfortable with most DIY jobs and getting up on a ladder to reach high areas. 

When painting your fiber cement siding, always work from top to bottom and go with the grain. Inspect the caulking and repair any cracks, splits, or holes in it before painting (repair kits start at around $15, or you can hire a siding repair professional to do it). You will need to wash the siding before painting it, also starting from the top down.

How Much Does It Cost to Paint Fiber Cement Siding?

Don’t want to paint your siding yourself? You can hire a fiber cement siding contractor to do the work. A paint job for fiber cement siding generally costs around $2 per square foot, with an average total cost of $4,000 for a 2,000-square-foot area.

The price of painting fiber cement siding depends on a variety of factors, such as the size of the area, the type of paint, and the general cost of labor in your location relative to the area’s cost of living.

Does New Fiber Cement Siding Need to Be Painted?

Fiber cement siding can be purchased pre-primed and pre-painted, removing the need to prime and paint it after installation. Suppose you want to choose your own unique shade of paint. In that case, pre-primed fiber cement siding can be customized to your aesthetic goals. Pre-painted and primed siding has the color baked into the material during the manufacturing process, making the color last even longer than a post-installation application. 

You can also get fiber cement siding with a UV-resistant finish, which is advisable in most cases since it will help protect your property from sun damage. 

Unpainted fiber cement siding will need to be painted shortly after installation, however. Plus, you will likely need to paint any trim or fascia to coordinate or match. Use paintable caulk to bond trim to the siding.


Before you install, repaint, or even purchase a home with fiber cement siding, there are some things you should know.

How much does fiber cement siding cost?

Fiber cement siding installation averages $13,300 for materials and labor, ranging from $6,100 to $20,500 or $5 to $25 per square foot, including labor. Fiber cement siding materials are $0.70 to $15 without labor fees. 

How should I clean fiber cement siding?

Fiber cement siding may only need to be repainted every decade or so, but it needs to be cleaned every six to 12 months, depending on your local climate. First, wash with a garden hose or similar low-pressure device (not a high-pressure washer, which can damage the material) to remove dirt and any large debris. Then, gently wipe down with a soft brush or cloth in a side-to-side motion, following the grain of the fiber cement.

Can I use fiber cement siding for home additions or renovations?

Suppose you own a historic home or already have another type of siding that’s in good condition and you want to add to the structure. In that case, fiber cement siding is a good choice. It can be painted or customized to match almost any other material, like wood or stone, and follow an existing color scheme.

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