Author Topic: Masonite Siding--Paint or Replace?  (Read 703 times)

frugalfoothills

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Masonite Siding--Paint or Replace?
« on: July 02, 2018, 09:17:40 AM »
My home was built in the mid-to-late 70s and has Masonite siding. There are signs of wear and tear but nothing substantial... as in, nothing that should be causing fundamental issues with the house (no water damage, nothing like that.) I bought the home 5 years ago and I think it had been a couple years since it was last painted before that, and I'm noticing it's probably time to think about a paint job.

Home isn't huge... 1,700sq feet, but it is two stories. I have a ton of experience with interior painting but zero with exterior, and don't really feel confident enough to tackle painting it myself, especially the 2nd story. Can you DIY paint the areas you can reach and then pay a painter to paint the higher areas without it looking stupid/mismatched? Is that a thing people do? Feels like that would cut down on cost. I also can't help but feel like spending thousands to paint the Masonite is kind of a shame... like it might be a better investment to just replace the siding. But the price tag would be much larger.

Anyone have experiences with Masonite? Would you throw 3k-5k at it every 7 or so years to paint it and keep it up, or would you bite the bullet and replace it... maybe with cement board like Hardiplank? Any daring Mustachians think I'm nuts for not trying to paint it myself, at least partially?

lthenderson

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Re: Masonite Siding--Paint or Replace?
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2018, 12:07:09 PM »
I've owned two homes with Masonite siding, the first one was in good shape and I left it as is, the second one the masonite was in terrible shape and I replaced it with cement board. My thoughts. If the masonite is in good shape, I would opt to paint it versus replacing it. The cost of replacing it with cement board would probably buy you at least five paint jobs or at 7 years per paint job, 35 years worth of paint. The math gets even worse when you consider that you still have to paint cement board too. Painting is one of the easiest DIY projects there are and there are ways to paint a second story safely.  The cheapest way is to just buy a stabilizer bar for your ladder for around $50. You can also rent scaffolding or cherry pickers although it is more cost prohibitive if you are going to spread it out over many weekends. Other than that, all you need is a good brush and time.

frugalfoothills

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Re: Masonite Siding--Paint or Replace?
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2018, 02:53:35 PM »
Thank you for the response! The siding is in fairly good shape, just showing some typical signs of wear and tear, so it sounds like I'd be an idiot to go and replace it. I didn't realize before I posted this that there is another thread happening with someone asking similar questions about whether to hire out or DIY paint their home's exterior...

Any trips for painting Masonite specifically? I'm assuming you handle it a bit differently than other siding (can't imagine you'd want to take a pressure washer to it to prep it)... anything else? Types of paint to avoid?

lthenderson

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Re: Masonite Siding--Paint or Replace?
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2018, 03:20:04 PM »
You can use a power washer but use a very wide tip with not much pressure and always angle downwards. The bottom edges of the boards are typically their weak spots and where paint cracks first allowing moisture in which them creates blisters. Saying that, I usually wet it down with a garden hose give it a light scrubbing with a bristle brush, rinse and then let it dry thoroughly before painting.

Any bare spots need to be primed with an oil based primer, not a water based. This is getting harder to find in big box stores but dedicated paint stores like Sherwin Williams carry it. Once you have the bare spots primed, paint with whatever it was painted with before, most likely an exterior latex paint.

Rcc

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Re: Masonite Siding--Paint or Replace?
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2018, 06:26:50 AM »
Agreed with @ithenderson if you go the route of keeping the masonite.

Our house was late 80s construction, Masonite siding and all that comes with it. After I bought the house and saw painting estimates just to maintain the Masonite I quoted out vinyl siding. I knew hardiplank needed periodic painting too, so skipped quoting that.

We ended up covering the Masonite with 1Ē of insulation and vinyl siding on top of that. Itís been 13 years or so since installation. Biggest chore is washing it 2x a year, easily done and power washer is optional. Iím now likely broken even on 3-5 year paint schedule vs vinyl install (11k total).

In my case I didnít have the time and materials to DIY the maintenance and painting myself. When we go to sell, thatís one less red flag for the next sucker, oops, I mean buyer 😀

familyandfarming

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Re: Masonite Siding--Paint or Replace?
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2018, 09:22:45 AM »
Our house was built in 1970. Had harvest yellow masonite siding. Painted it with Benjamin Moore MoorGard Low Lustre 15 years ago. Has held up VERY well. Because the house is a ranch, we paint sides of the house over the years to maintain. We wish we would have done the painting years ago. Could have kept up the siding longer. Didn't know how well the painting would work. It works. Now little spots of the siding are starting to corrode a bit on the bottom. Covered with tape and painted over it heavily with the Benjamin Moore paint. Covered well. No one has made a comment. (Too busy looking at their phones?)

We were told that if we changed the siding we would lose some insulating factors. I like the masonite just fine!

frugalfoothills

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Re: Masonite Siding--Paint or Replace?
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2018, 03:05:31 PM »
Our house was built in 1970. Had harvest yellow masonite siding. Painted it with Benjamin Moore MoorGard Low Lustre 15 years ago. Has held up VERY well. Because the house is a ranch, we paint sides of the house over the years to maintain. We wish we would have done the painting years ago. Could have kept up the siding longer. Didn't know how well the painting would work. It works. Now little spots of the siding are starting to corrode a bit on the bottom. Covered with tape and painted over it heavily with the Benjamin Moore paint. Covered well. No one has made a comment. (Too busy looking at their phones?)

We were told that if we changed the siding we would lose some insulating factors. I like the masonite just fine!

This sounds EXACTLY like my house! Yellow/beige Masonite siding. Glad to hear painting was worth it because I am going for it in early September... a guy at work hooked me up with a painter who is super cheap (going to do the entire exterior for $1,600, I pay for materials, best guess is I'll be spending about $2K give or take a few hundred bucks.) I hope my story ends as happily as yours!