Wade Paint Co.


Choosing the Right Paint for
Your Wood Siding


Wood siding lends a timeless charm to your home’s exterior, but it requires care and attention to maintain its vibrant appeal, and the right paint is crucial.


Selecting the perfect paint for wood siding involves understanding various factors, such as the type of wood, the weather conditions, and the right painting techniques.

With so many classic Charleston-style homes covered in wood siding, we hope to help prevent some painting mistakes by highlighting some of the proper techniques to follow on your home’s exterior painting project.

The Importance of Proper Prep for Painting Wood Siding

preparing for wood siding painting done by Wade Paint Co

From my personal experience, preparation is key before any wood painting project. Researching and buying the best exterior paint for wood siding without spending proper time on prep beforehand is certainly going to be considered a waste of time after your expensive paint starts to peel in a few years.

Exterior surfaces, especially wood siding, are exposed to harsh elements. Over time, they acquire buildups of dirt, grime, and mold, not to mention chipping and cracking paint. All these foreign elements negatively impact your new exterior paint’s adhesion to wood siding, drastically reducing its lifespan. Choosing the best paint for wood siding is crucial to ensuring a long-lasting paint job, but sanding, filling nail holes, caulking, washing, and priming are way better investments if you want a long-lasting paint job than springing for the top-tier paint.

The first step is to bathe your house. You can consider using a pressure washer for stubborn dirt, but always remember to be gentle. This step alone can have a dramatic effect on the finish of your painting job. Pressure washers regularly save hours scraping away flaking bits of paint, especially when we are talking brick paint, which tends to bubble when not installed correctly.

Last, but certainly not least, remember to fill any holes or cracks and sand the wood surface until it’s smooth. This will ensure the paint adheres properly and open the grain to receive the paint. Prep work is so often skipped around corners and edges, like after a window wood replacement, that those always end up being the areas with flaking, cracking paint. Proper preparation might take a little extra time and effort, but the result—a stunning, long-lasting finish—is surely worth it.

Painting Techniques for Wood Siding

Now that we’ve covered the types of paint for wood siding and the importance of proper preparation, let’s move on to actual painting. From personal experience, the technique used while painting makes a huge difference to the outcome of any exterior painting project.


I’ve found that using a paint sprayer, rather than a brush or roller, can cover larger areas more quickly and evenly. Make sure to select the right tip for the sprayer—one that complements the type of paint you’re using and the wood you’re painting. Remember, the rule of thumb is to use a smaller tip for thinner paint and a larger one for thicker exterior paint for wood siding. Additionally, investing in the best paint for wood siding you can find will make the coverage of the paint job that much more thorough.


When it comes to the actual application, adopt a consistent approach. Don’t rush into trying to finish everything at once. Paint a few boards at a time, from one end to the other. Then let it dry properly, preferably overnight, before applying a second coat. This technique, though time-consuming, ensures an even and flawless paint job using the best paint for wood siding.


And finally, despite all efforts, if you find the paint is not adhering to the exterior wood siding as you’d hoped or is drying patchy, don’t despair. The beauty of exterior painting is that you can always fix any uneven patches or drips with light sanding and a new coat of paint. Keep the spirit, and keep painting!


For expert wood siding tips, read “Professional Painting Tips for Wood Siding.”

Choosing Between Oil-Based and Water-Based Paints

choosing the type of paint for wood siding by Wade Paint Co

Choosing the right paint for your wood siding can be a game-changer. The dilemma often boils down to this: oil-based or water-based paints? Trust me, I’ve been there, and the choice can indeed be overwhelming. But fear not, we’re in this together.


Now, understanding the key benefits and potential downsides of each can guide you to the perfect decision. Here they are:

  • Oil-based paints, often the traditional choice, offer great adhesion properties and are known for their hard and glossy finish. However, they tend to yellow over time and have a longer drying period. Plus, they require mineral spirits for cleanup.

  • Water-based paints, also known as latex or acrylic paints, dry faster and generally have low VOCs. These paints resist yellowing, are easier to clean up, and tend to be more flexible, which is a significant advantage when dealing with wood siding that might expand and contract with weather changes. Exterior paint for wood siding is the ideal choice in this scenario.


In our experience, oil-based paints can be a great choice if you are looking to accentuate the wood grain on your siding and don’t mind the longer drying period and the cleanup involved. You could always use oil-based paints for trims and details, and then use water-based paint for the larger portions of the siding. However, if you are an amateur painter, then I think you should play it safe with semi-gloss water-based paint. Oil-based paints will likely ruin your clothes and make you hate painting, which is why so many companies opt for water-based latex paint as their go-to paint type for all projects.


But remember, always test your chosen exterior paint for wood siding on a small portion of your siding first before committing. It is a great way to see how the paint responds to your specific siding and weather conditions. Choose wisely, and you could enjoy a fantastic exterior painting job that will last years!

Considerations When Selecting the Paint Finish

selecting paint finish for wood siding by Wade Paint Co

Just when you thought choosing the right paint for your wood siding was all about color and type, let me introduce another crucial element: the paint finish. The finish of your paint can make a significant difference in the final appearance and durability of your exterior painting project.


Typically, there are three main types of finishes that you can select for your wood siding. Let’s get to know them a little better:

  • Matte finish, also known as flat finish, doesn’t reflect light and therefore offers a great disguise for any surface imperfections. It provides the most coverage, but it’s not as durable or easy to clean.

  • Eggshell and satin finishes have a slight sheen and provide a nice blend of depth, durability, and cleanability. They reflect some light and therefore, can highlight imperfections, but are a popular choice due to their attractive finish and practicality.

  • Semigloss and gloss finishes offer a high sheen and are extremely durable, but they reflect a lot of light and can highlight every imperfection on your siding.


We have found that matte finish paint tends to work pretty well for wood siding as it can easily hide the inevitable imperfections that come with natural wood. However, if your wood siding is relatively smooth or you’re seeking something moderately shiny and easy to clean, an eggshell or satin finish might be more suitable.


Again, it boils down to your personal preference and your specific exterior painting needs. Don’t hesitate to try a few options, perhaps in a hidden corner. Choose wisely, and your wood siding will be a sight to behold for years to come.

Weather and Durability Factors for Exterior Wood Paints

durable and weatherproof wood siding painted by Wade Paint Co

As an exterior painting professional, let me assure you that not all paints are created equal. When it comes to ease of use, the amount of coverage per stroke, or different weather conditions, the type of paint will make a big difference. No superpaint can do it all, but there are plenty of options that we like and recommend.


For most exterior paint jobs, we like to use Sherwin-Williams. There are several stores in Charleston that you can visit, including one downtown on Market St. and another in West Ashley on Savannah Highway. We have had great experiences with their team and are confident they can recommend the right paint for your project.


If you’d prefer someone to come out to your home and give some recommendations before doing the work for you, give us a call. Our team is responsive and punctual. We deliver premium house painting to residents across Charleston and the surrounding areas.

Transform Your Home with Wade Paint Co.

Revitalize your home’s exterior and elevate its curb appeal with the impeccable craftsmanship of Wade Paint Co. Our expert team specializes in quality exterior painting that not only enhances the beauty of your residence but also ensures lasting protection against the elements.


Proudly serving South Carolina: Charleston, North Charleston, West AshleyMount PleasantIsle of Palms, Daniel Island, Sullivan’s Island. Our commitment to excellence extends to every corner of your home.

Let’s embark on this journey together—transform your home with Wade Paint Co. and experience the unparalleled blend of quality and aesthetics. Contact us today for a consultation and discover the art of exterior painting done right!


Wade Paint Co.

Wade Paint Co. proudly offers interior painting and exterior painting services to the following communities: West Ashley, Daniel Island, Kiawah Island, Folly Beach, Mount Pleasant, Isle of Palm’s, Sullivan’s Island, and North Charleston.

Frequently Asked Questions

Wood siding is favored for its natural beauty, but it requires careful preparation and maintenance to protect it from weathering and decay before painting.

Challenges include proper sealing of gaps, addressing wood rot, and choosing paints that resist moisture; meticulous preparation and selecting high-quality, moisture-resistant paints are key solutions.

Oil-based paints are more durable and suitable for wood’s natural expansion and contraction, while latex paints offer easier cleanup and are less prone to yellowing over time.

Primer creates a strong bond between the wood and paint, enhances adhesion, and acts as a protective layer, significantly extending the life of the paint on wood siding.

Thorough cleaning, sanding, and repairing any damage are essential to creating a smooth surface; this ensures better adhesion and a flawless appearance.