If you’ve purchased a home with old cedar shingles, you may think that replacement is your only option. However, if there is no extensive insect damage or rot, the cedar shingle siding could be restored, rather than replaced. Although this job is fairly labor intensive and may require some time to complete, the amount you save when compared to replacing all of your exterior siding should make it worth while.
Before beginning, decide whether you want to paint or stain your cedar shingles. In general, most people prefer the appearance of stained shingles, because the color will not obscure the knots and texture of the wood. However, shingles should be restained every 3 years, but painted cedar shingles will only have to be repainted every 5-6 years.
Step 1: Remove as much of the existing paint as possible by pressure washing the shingles. Always point the pressure washer down, to avoid forcing water behind the cedar shingles.
Step 2: Remove any stubborn patches of paint with a chemical stripper. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying it to wood. Remove the old paint and discard it according to local environmental regulations. Rinse the shingles thoroughly with water before continuing.
Step 3: Apply a mixture of 1 cup of liquid laundry detergent to 5 gallons of warm water to the areas where chemical strippers were used. Allow the laundry soap mixture to sit on the cedar shingle siding for 10 minutes, then rinse it off thoroughly with water. This mixture is used to neutralize the pH of the chemical stripper residue that remains on the wood.
Step 4: Remove any broken or damaged shingles using a chisel to split the cedar. Replace the removed shingles with new shingles. If multiple rows are removed, the bottom rows should be reinstalled using stainless steel nails. The final row, or individual shingles can be installed with construction adhesive.
Step 5: Remove any old caulk around the trim. Fill the gap between the trim and shingles with a bead of new silicon caulk.
Step 6: Prime the cedar shingles if you intend to paint them using an exterior paintbrush or paint sprayer. Allow the primer to dry before continuing.
Step 7: Paint or stain the cedar shingles using an exterior paintbrush or paint sprayer.