Can Wood Shingles Be Painted?

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Wood shingles are a popular choice for property exteriors; nevertheless, they tend to look weathered after a few years. This is why most homeowners opt to install a layer of protection on top of the shingles. However, would painting wood shingles make for adequate protection?

You can paint a wood shingles or stain it to protect its look from wearing over time. Painting wood shingles can give protection from damaging UV rays and external factors, including ice, snow, and acidic rain. However, wood shingles soak paint faster than other surfaces; therefore, additional pretreatment is required.

In this article, you’ll find out what types of paint works for wood shingles and how long the color would last. You would also learn about the difference between painting and staining, as well as their advantages and disadvantages.

How often should wood shingles be painted?


You should repaint shingles wood after every 5-7 years. However, you must guarantee that the surface is prepared correctly and consider all environmental elements. A single coat can last up to 10 years if professionals do the procedure.

What Type of Paint Should I Use Wood Shingles?

Regular exterior paint may not last as long on your home’s wood shingles as it should. This is because the wood is porous and absorbs standard paint quite rapidly. As a result, the exterior layer of the wood gets a thinner coat, making it more susceptible to deterioration.

Use a top coat made entirely of acrylic-latex paint. This heavy-duty, weather-resistant paint will completely cover the wood and fill up any pores or flaws. A skilled painter would help select the best acrylic-latex paint for your wood based on their condition.

A 100 percent acrylic latex paint, adequately primed, will preserve the wood shingles for decades. These paints allow the wood’s moisture to escape while shielding it from air moisture that may cause an extractive bleed. While alkyd-oil primers are preferred, high-quality latex primers with stain blockers can be used instead.

Furthermore, paints with high sheen levels will reflect light better and provide more coverage. Therefore, you need to choose a high-sheen paint for wood shingles. The best option is oil-based paint, which provides excellent resistance against weather conditions.

If you want to achieve a darker shade, consider using semi-gloss paints. They offer good coverage but would require multiple coats. If you’re looking for a lighter shade, use flat or matte finishes.

You should also consider discussing with a professional if you’re unsure what type of paint you should use for your wood shingles. This eliminates the risk of making mistakes by choosing the wrong paint product.

How to Paint Wood Shingles

Before you start painting, ensure to prime your wood shingles with a stain-blocking primer for the best result. Ideally, you should remove the wood shingles and prime all six sides of the slats with primer. If you cannot do so, ensure to apply a whole coat to all exposed areas.

When it comes to safeguarding your wood shingles, a two-coat technique is highly suggested. Using a primer and topcoat of paint would serve you more compared to one layer of paint. You’re almost guaranteed to have adhesion problems if you don’t use a primer before painting over worn wood.

You may use a brush, a sprayer, or a roller to apply the paint on your wood shingles. Professional painters often spray the paint and then back-roll it. The painter may apply the most profound coat of color with a hand brush, which will fill in any pores or gaps.

If you’re going to spray or roll the paint by yourself, back roll it while it’s still wet. This ensures that the color gets deep into the porous wood. If you’re using fresh wood shingles, you should paint them within two weeks after installing them.

Weathered wood does not maintain the coating as effectively as new wood. If your wood shingles are pretty old, it is best to hire a specialist. They’ll know how to deal with any loosened wood fibers as well as mold and grime.

What Is The Difference Between Stain and Painting a Wood Shingles?

The primary distinction between paint and stain is attaching to the wood. Paint is a pigmented, solid color coating put over the shingles and available in practically any color. It completely conceals the old wood, allowing only a small amount of wood grain to show through.

On the other hand, Stain contains less pigment and is more transparent. It lets some of the natural color and texture of the wood shine through. Since the shingles are porous, staining seeps into the wood rather than coating; this makes it last longer than painting.

Because paint only “sits” on the woods’ surface, it will ultimately peel and require scraping and reapplication. On the other hand, stains permeate the wood and aid in its resistance to moisture from rain, snow, and ice.

Semi-transparent and solid-color stains are available. Semi-transparent stains have a mild pigmentation that enhances the natural color of the wood. Furthermore, solid-color pigments have a thicker covering and resemble monochromatic flat paint.

Furthermore, wood shingles can’t be stained after being painted unless the paint is scraped off entirely. Although this can be prohibitively expensive, you may also decide to paint your wood shingles after staining to ensure optimum protection.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Painting a Wood Shingle

With a few coats of paint, you can completely transform the look of your home. When dealing with already painted wood shingles, most individuals prefer repainting them since restoring a non-painted look is complicated. If you decide to paint or refinish your wood shingles, consult a professional to guarantee that the best methods are followed.

The main reason for not painting wood shingles is the amount of maintenance required. Regardless of the quality of the paint, it takes a few years to start peeling off. Therefore, if you decide to paint your wood shingles, you’ll have to repaint every 5 to 7 years.

Apart from functional considerations, wood shingles are chosen for their natural beauty, which is eventually lost when painted.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Staining a Wood Shingle

Staining is an excellent choice for individuals who prefer the natural wood look but want some enhancement on their property. It’s also perfect for those who wish to preserve the natural look but change the color.

Staining highlights the inherent beauty of the wood grain and gives you a bit more control over the color of your property without sacrificing its natural wood appearance.

The disadvantages of stains are similar to those of paint. As the wood ages, the colors will begin to wear off. Some people claim that stain lasts longer than paint and that the degrading isn’t as obvious.


Wood shingles are one of the most popular choices for siding because of their durability, affordability, and longevity. You should consider the above factors to determine whether or not you should choose to paint or stain your wood shingles.

Shingle roofs can be painted by saving money, extending the roof’s life, and improving the aesthetics. On the other hand, painting a roof necessitates specialized equipment, is more time-consuming, and may result in insurance problems. Your roof will eventually need to be replaced, whether you want to do it now or in the future.

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