Painting Cedar Shakes

This week a reader wrote in with questions on how long he should wait after power (pressure) washing his house of cedar shake siding.

I know so many paint contractors who will go wash a wood house on Monday and shoot paint on the house Tuesday.

If you think for a second that the house had enough time to dry, you are sadly mistaken and just asking for troubles.

Take a look at the photo on the left. In just a short time the cedar soaked up enough water to where its wet two inches up the board. The most common place on cedar shakes that paint or solid stains fail is the bottom edge of the lap. This wicking effect is absorbing water and drawing the water up the board and even under any paint left on the laps. Moisture under a paint film needs more than over night to dry. The top photo shows the cedar cut with a saw to show how much and how far into the cedar that water goes.

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