James Hardie’s ColorPlus® Technology offers a beautiful array of warm, cool, and neutral colors, engineered to last, and designed to complement your home and your landscape.
In general, we find that most clients do honestly love the factory colors offered by James Hardie, but there are occasions where a client may want a very specific color that just isn’t available through James Hardie.
When the color you want for your Hardie siding isn’t available
The obvious solution is to paint it, but before jumping on that train, it’s important to understand a few things about this product beforehand.
Hardie fiber cement siding is an excellent product but has different properties than typical cedar siding. Fiber cement has a higher PH value (more alkaline), which means it can be very tough on the paint that covers it. So you need to use a paint that’s engineered to work with masonry products.
The best way to paint Hardie siding is to do it in a controlled environment before it’s installed on your home. This is what James Hardie does at the factory and you can have this professionally done for you too.
The key advantages of machine painting Hardie Board prior to installation:
- All sides of the Hardie Board are painted (even the edges) and therefore the entire board is completely sealed. (Although Hardie Board comes from the factory without the back of the board primed, according to James Hardie’s support department, they say you can prime and paint the entire board.)
- Paint coat thickness is calibrated and consistently applied according to the manufacturer’s specifications (something that is just not possible when painting by hand.)
- You get a completely uniform finish because a machine does all the work AND the boards are placed on the rack horizontally for uniform spray and dry (the paint doesn’t run.)
- The environment is controlled, without humidity and temperature concerns, so the results are always optimal (e.g., the sun isn’t baking on your paint faster than it should and the paint has the opportunity to penetrate the surface of the substrate.)
- Pre-painting siding before installation is just plain faster and less expensive.
James Hardie will ship your siding to you or your contractor, primed and ready to be painted. Although the James Hardie website states that their factory primer can be top-coated within 180 days, most professional painters will tell you that a fresh coat of primer makes everything better because you just never really know how long ago the product was actually primed and how long it was hanging out at the factory before shipping.
Recommended Paint & Primer
We’ve used Sherwin Williams Emerald paint on Hardie Board and had good success. Sherwin Williams “Emerald” is their top-of-the-line acrylic latex exterior paint.
Sherwin-Williams Loxon Masonry Primer can be used to prime Hardie Board before painting. We know that Hardie comes pre-primed and they say you have 180 days to apply your top coat, but we usually opt to prime before painting just in case the primer is older than we think it is.
Custom Paint Example Using Sherwin Williams Emerald
You can find out more about the types of paints recommended by James Hardie here.
If you’re in the Ulster/ Dutchess County area, we recommend Excelsior Wood Products. They handle all of our factory painting and have done a damn fine job of it.