Painting Cladding: Expert Tips for a Flawless Finish

Cladding, particularly wood and aluminium, is a popular option for homeowners looking to add a touch of charm, style and character to their properties. It provides insulation, protection, and a visually appealing aesthetic. Over time, the cladding may require a fresh coat of paint to maintain its appearance and functionality.

Before starting the painting process, you need to prepare the surface so that the paint adheres effectively. For wood cladding, homeowners should consider factors such as dated, damaged, or inferior veneer. Proper inspection and preparation leads to a smooth and durable finish.

A range of paints and techniques are available for different types of cladding. Some homeowners opt for a traditional brush and roller method. Others might consider using specialised paint sprayers for a more even coverage.

Here are some expert tips for a successful cladding painting project. 

Table of Contents

Types of Cladding

Timber & Weatherboard Cladding

Timber and weatherboard cladding is a popular choice for homes due to its natural look and warmth. This type of cladding, particularly hardwoods like cedar, often requires painting or staining. This is needed to maintain its appearance and protect it from weathering. 

To paint exposed timber and weatherboard cladding, first clean the surface and remove any loose or flaking paint. Use a primer suitable for exterior wood surfaces. Apply two coats of high-quality, exterior-grade paint.

how to prepare a weatherboard house for painting

Brick Cladding

Brick cladding is durability and low maintenance. Painting brick cladding can give a fresh look to the same exterior walls of your home. Clean the brick surface with a pressure washer before applying a primer. The primer must be designed for masonry surfaces. Choose a quality, weather-resistant exterior paint and apply two coats. This ensures the paint covers the entire surface and all mortar lines.

Metal Cladding

Metal cladding comes in aluminium and steel. It offers a modern and sleek look to your home. It is often painted to prevent rust and corrosion. Clean the metal surface thoroughly and use a primer designed for metal surfaces. Apply two coats of metal-specific exterior paint. This will result in a durable and long lasting finish. 

Composite Cladding

Composite cladding is made from a combination of materials, such as wood and plastic. This offers benefits, including low maintenance and resistance to environmental factors. Composite cladding may require occasional painting or staining. This will help it maintain its look and extend its lifespan. Select suitable paint or stain based on the cladding’s specific material composition. Always follow the manufacturers guidelines for application and maintenance.

Cement & Concrete Cladding

Cement and concrete cladding are popular for their durability and modern aesthetics. To paint cement or concrete cladding, clean the surface thoroughly. Be sure to remove any loose debris or dirt. Use masonry paint or an exterior acrylic paint that adheres well to masonry surfaces. Apply a suitable primer before applying two coats of paint. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to achieve a long-lasting finish.

Benefits and Considerations


Painting cladding offers several benefits. A well-applied coat of paint can significantly extend the lifespan of various cladding materials, including wood and metal. It will protect them from wear and tear.

 High-quality paint products can help maintain the structural integrity of cladding. This means it will withstand the elements for much longer.


One of the main reasons homeowners opt for painting their cladding is the potential improvement in aesthetics. Painting allows for a wide variety of colours and finishes. This gives the home’s interior or exterior a fresh, stylish look. Well-chosen paint colours can create a welcoming atmosphere and enhance a property’s curb appeal.


Painting can reduce the maintenance of cladding materials. A smooth paint surface makes it easier to clean dirt and debris from the cladding. This helps to keep it in optimal condition. Painted cladding is also less susceptible to the growth of mould and mildew. Few treatments will then be needed.

Water Resistance

Properly applied paint provides a protective barrier increasing the water resistance of cladding materials. This additional protection can prevent water infiltration, which can cause structural damage or rot, especially in wood cladding. Water-resistant paints are an effective and affordable way to make the house cladding more resistant to moisture and keep the home protected from potential water damage.

Application Techniques


Spraying is a popular and efficient method for painting cladding. It gives a smooth and even finish on the surface. Industrial spray painting equipment can be classified by atomisation methods. Air hydraulic or centrifugal equipment works effectively. Air is most frequently used in production installations. When spraying, maintain a consistent distance from the surface and use sweeping motions to ensure even coverage.


Brushing is an effective technique for painting cladding. It’s useful for smaller areas or intricate details. Choose a high quality brush with the appropriate size and bristle type for the paint you are using. 

To achieve a smooth finish, apply the paint in long, even strokes, working in the same direction as the cladding sheets. Be sure to overlap each stroke slightly. Maintain a wet edge to prevent visible brush marks. Monarch offers good key advice on selecting the best brush for your job


Rolling is another option for painting cladding. It’s useful for larger surface areas. To get a consistent finish, select a roller with the appropriate nap length for the paint and surface texture.

When applying paint with a roller, use a zigzag pattern to distribute the paint evenly. Make a final uniform pass in the direction of the cladding. It’s important to maintain a wet edge and blend each section to avoid visible roller lines.

Proper surface preparation ensures the best results. Begin by removing any dirt, rust, grease, or other contaminants from the cladding. For external metal cladding panels, a high-tech, quick-drying primer is recommended to protect against corrosion and oxidation.

Painting Cladding: Expert Tips for a Flawless Finish 1

Selecting Paint and Materials

When painting cladding, you need to  choose the right paint and materials. This section will discuss paint types, primers, and sealers to guide you making an informed decision.

Paint Types

There are several types of paint you can use for cladding. The most common types are:

  • Latex (waterborne): This paint is  easy to clean, quick-drying, and has a low odour. It is  suitable for various surfaces, including wood, metal, and masonry.

  • Oil (solvent-borne): This type of paint is more durable and offers a smoother finish. It is ideal for high-traffic areas. It works well on wood and metal surfaces. Remember it takes longer to dry.

When selecting paint, consider factors such as interior versus exterior exposure, gloss level, and the colour scheme. For instance, choose paints specifically designed for exterior use when painting outside cladding.


Primers are vital for preparing surfaces before painting and improving paint adhesion. They help create a uniform finish and prevent paint absorption into the surface.

There are three primary types of primers:

  • Oil-based: Ideal for sealing porous surfaces such as wood, providing a smooth finish.

  • Latex-based: Suitable for covering small imperfections on surfaces and allowing easy cleanup.

  • Shellac-based: Excellent for sealing knots and tannin stains on wood surfaces.

Be careful to select a primer compatible with your chosen paint type and surface material.


Sealers help protect surfaces from moisture, UV rays, oxidation, and other external elements that may cause damage. They are clear or tinted.  You will find them available in various finishes such as matte, semi-gloss, and high gloss.

When selecting a sealer, consider the following factors:

  • Material compatibility: Be sure the sealer is compatible with your surface material, such as wood, metal, or stone.

  • Durability: Choose a sealer with a longer lifespan and lower maintenance requirements.

  • UV resistance: Opt for sealers with UV-blocking properties. This prevents fading and discolouration from sunlight exposure.

If you think about these factors and understand different paint types,  primers, and sealers, your cladding will have a lasting and high quality finish. 

If you are ready to get some more ideas have a look at the Professional Painting Tips and Techniques to Update Your Home from Hunter Coast Painting 

Preparation and Safety

Proper preparation and following safety procedures will result in a successful and hazard-free project. In this section you will find out about surface cleaning, personal protective equipment, and workspace setup.

Surface Cleaning

Before painting, the cladding must be thoroughly cleaned to ensure a smooth and long-lasting paint application. To properly clean the surface:

  1. Remove loose debris, dust, and dirt using a soft bristle brush or vacuum cleaner.

  2. Wash the surface with a mild detergent solution. This removes stains, grease, and grime. Rinse thoroughly with clean water. Allow to dry. 

  3. Check for any damaged, rotted, or corroded surfaces. If extensive damage is present, consult an experienced building surveyor for advice on proper repair work. 

If you are painting metal cladding you will need to remove rust and other contaminants before applying a primer. Use a quick-drying, and high-tech primer. This helps prevent further oxidation of weathered cladding and protect new, bare surfaces from corrosion.

Painting Cladding: Expert Tips for a Flawless Finish 2

Personal Protective Equipment

Safety is vital when handling paint and other painting materials. Always wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). This will minimise the risks associated with paint exposure. This should  include:

  • Protective eyewear or goggles to prevent paint splashes or debris from entering the eyes.

  • Gloves to protect your hands from paint, chemicals, and sharp objects.

  • Long-sleeved shirts and trousers to cover your skin and avoid contact with paint or other hazardous materials.

  • Respirators or masks to prevent inhalation of harmful fumes. Be very careful if you are working with solvents, paint thinners, or other chemicals.

Special care should be taken when painting older buildings (built before 1978), as these may be coated with lead-based paint. Use a test kit to check for lead. If the results are positive, call a professional for removal or advice on safe handling practices.

Workspace Setup

A well-organised workspace is essential for a safe and efficient painting project. Consider the these aspects when setting up a painting workspace:

  • Ensure good ventilation by opening windows and doors. You can use an exhaust fan to remove paint fumes and provide fresh air.

  • Keep all paint materials and tools organised and accessible. Store them in a designated area away from open flames, heat sources, and direct sunlight.

  • Cover floors and furniture with drop cloths or plastic sheeting to protect them from paint spills and splatter.

  • Use a sturdy, non-slip ladder or scaffold for working at height. Always follow proper safety procedures when using them.

  • If your home’s cladding contains asbestos, take extra precautions during painting to avoid disturbing the asbestos-containing materials. Consult an asbestos professional for guidance on safe practices.

Key Takeaways

Looking for a Professional Exterior House Painter? 

A professional paint job can save you the time, cost and hassle that comes with an exterior paint job. To find out more about painting ideas for your next project have a look at Hunter Coast Painting for inspiration. 

If you are ready to take the next step or have some questions get in touch with the friendly and helpful staff at Hunter Coast Painting today.

Author picture

Gavin Kane

Gavin, is the founder and director of Hunter Coast Painting who are experienced Newcastle Painters. Combining 10 years experience in the industry and having worked on multi-million dollar homes in Europe and Australia, Gavin is able to provide a wealth of knowledge and experience.

Gavin Kane
Gavin Kane

Gavin, is the founder and director of Hunter Coast Painting.

Combining 10 years experience in the industry and having worked on multi-million dollar homes in Europe and Australia, Gavin is able to provide a wealth of knowledge and experience.