Home Garden

Can You Paint Over Stained Redwood Siding?

Many homeowners with wood siding eventually decide that they would like a change. Perhaps you are tired of the natural wood look, or maybe you feel that your home would have more curb appeal in a brighter color. Whatever your reason for painting the house, careful preparation is the key to successfully painting over a wood stain.
  1. Condition

    • Assess the current condition of the wood stain. If the siding is peeling or flaking, painting over it will only make the problem worse. Dull or faded patches require a bit of extra primer and paint but are much easier to cover than peeling or flaking.


    • Thoroughly remove all areas of loose stain. For best results, work back and forth with a paint scraper and a sander. Use the scraper to remove as much peeling stain as possible, and then use the sander to make the surface smooth. You do not need to remove all of the stain, just the parts that are loose.

      Pressure wash the entire house to remove dirt and debris, using a low setting to avoid damage. Check for stains that may have been loosened in the process, and repeat any scraping or sanding as necessary. Patch nail holes and other imperfections, caulk all seams, and sand smooth. The goal is a smooth, clean surface that will absorb the paint.


    • Choose a thick, stain-blocking primer. Oil-based primers are traditional but emit volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. Latex primers are more environmentally friendly and give off significantly less pungent odors. The stain-blocking additives seal both the wood stain and the natural tannins of the redwood, preventing leaks through the new paint. Use a roller or brush for priming, even if you plan to use a sprayer to apply the paint.


    • Apply at least two coats of thick latex exterior paint. Work in sections, such as window to window or door to door, to minimize lap lines between painting sessions. Apply the full first coat and allow the house to dry for at least 24 hours before starting the second coat. Slightly overlap each new section with the previously painted section to avoid thin spots or seams where the old stain could show through.