How To Paint Wood Siding With A Roller [6 Steps]

Real wood siding has multiple selling points. It is sustainable, durable, and adds a lot of character to your home. However, when it comes to painting wood siding, you may find it a bit intimidating. No need for that. We're here for you! We've done our research and have prepared step-by-step instructions that will have your siding looking like new!

Painting wood siding isn't as intimidating as it seems. With these simple steps, along with some helpful tips, you can confidently paint the siding on your home. Although you can paint the majority of your siding with a roller, you will need to use a brush for edges and crevices. Additionally, if your wood is rough, be sure to use a roller cover with at least a 3/4" nap.

  1. Clean the siding
  2. Prepare the surface
  3. Tape it off
  4. Prime 
  5. Brush in the edges
  6. Roll the siding

These six simple steps will get you well on your way to shiny new house color. However, each step can be broken down into multiple helpful sub-steps. Continue reading for more clarification on the process of painting your wood siding.

Man using a roller to paint red to a wooden wall, How To Paint Wood Siding With A Roller [6 Steps]

List Of Materials

  • Pressure washer
  • Quality paint
  • Good primer
  • Roller cage
  • Roller cover
  • 2 1/2" angled brush
  • Paint tray
  • Caulk
  • Metal brush
  • Wood putty
  • Putty knife
  • Sandpaper
  • Painter's tape

Choosing The Right Roller Cover

Wood siding can range from smooth to rough, so having the right roller cover will make a big difference. Evaluate how deep and textured the grain is on your specific wood siding. For moderate to rough wood, a roller cover with a 3/4" nap is recommended. For smoother wood siding, a 1/2" nap would be appropriate. 

Click here for this roller cover with a 3/4" nap on Amazon.

Clean The Siding

Before you begin painting your wood siding, it is important to make sure that it is clean. Use a hose or a pressure washer on a low setting to clean your siding thoroughly. If there is mildew and mold present, add a cleaning solution to your sprayer. Be sure that it is made to be used on wood. After you clean your siding, allow it to dry completely before beginning the next step. Any moisture that is retained in the wood could cause problems with a new coat of paint.

Click here to find this Moldex siding cleaner on Amazon.

Click here to get this handy electric pressure washer on Amazon.

For more information on removing mildew from wood siding, check out this article.

How To Remove Mildew From Wood Siding  [7 Steps]

Prepare The Surface

Proper preparation is the key to a smooth, long-lasting paint job. Therefore, this is an important step in painting your wood siding. 

Remove Loose Paint

Loose, peeling, or cracked paint makes a poor foundation for new paint. Not only is it unsightly, but it will eventually delaminate and take the new coat of paint with it. Use a wire brush to scrape any loose and peeling paint from your siding. Rinse or brush the area afterward to remove any dust particles.

Click here for this quality wire brush on Amazon.

Repair Any Damage

If your siding has any rotten or damaged areas, it is important to fix these before you paint. Remove and replace any rotten wood. Fill all cracks and holes with wood putty or a resin filler. Sand it down and brush away any dust.

Click here for this wood putty on Amazon.

Click here to find this stainless putty knife on Amazon.

You may find this article helpful in repairing wood siding.

Wood Siding Bulging Out - What To Do


The last step in preparing your siding for painting is to caulk. You will need to caulk around doors, windows, and anywhere else that should be sealed. If the existing caulk is damaged, remove it, clean and dry the area, and replace it with fresh caulking.

Click here for this doors and windows caulk on Amazon.

Tape It Off

The next step is to tape off any areas that will not be receiving paint. Trim, vents, windows, and doors are a few of the areas that should typically be taped off.

Click here to buy this painter's tape on Amazon.


This step is only necessary if you are painting new wood siding or if you repaired or replaced any siding. Paint or roll a quality primer over any bare wood and allow it to dry. This is necessary to seal the new wood and help paint to bond properly with the siding.

Click here to find this exterior primer on Amazon.

Brush In The Edges

Unfortunately, it is not usually possible to use only a roller to paint wood siding. It is difficult to deliver an even coat of paint to areas like corners and overlapping siding with a roller. Use a paintbrush to cut in around trim, windows, vents, corners, and underneath any overlapping boards. Draw the paint out 3" - 4" to ensure a smooth transition when you come back to finish up with the roller.

Click here for this angled brush on Amazon.

Roll The Siding

With all the prep work done, it is now time to paint your siding! A paint tray or roller pan is essential when using a roller to paint.  This is a slanted tray that has a well on one end and a textured surface on the other. Fill your roller pan with paint, being careful to replace the paint lid to keep it from drying out. Fill your roller, dipping it into the well in the roller pan, and then remove excess paint by rolling it across the textured area. 

Click here to find this paint tray and liners on Amazon.

Start rolling your siding, beginning at the top and working across and down. If your wood siding is rough, be careful that any crevices do not retain too much paint, as this will result in drips later on. Break the house into several sections, and paint one portion at a time. A roller extension pole can be helpful for higher areas, or a ladder can be utilized. Once you have completed the entire house, allow it to dry for a minimum of two hours before applying a second coat.

Click here for this roller extension pole on Amazon.

How Long Does It Take To Paint Wood Siding?

There is no cut and dry answer when it comes to how long it takes to paint wood siding. Many factors play into the amount of time required. These include prep work, type of wood siding, number of windows and doors, experience, and home size. However, the average amount of time it will take to prep and paint wood siding is around 0.84 minutes per square foot.

Is It Better To Roll Or Spray Wood Siding?

Both spraying and rolling your wood siding each have their own benefits. Rolling spreads a thicker, more accurate, and precise layer of paint. Rolling also requires minimum preparation and clean-up, while spraying requires extensive masking, taping, and clean-up. However, spraying your siding will typically go faster than rolling it will. 

What Is The Best Time Of The Year To Paint Wood Siding?

Paint requires low humidity, moderate temperatures, and dry conditions to dry thoroughly and evenly. Generally speaking, summer will provide the best conditions to paint in, as long as rain is not expected and temperatures do not exceed 100 degrees F. The higher the humidity, the slower your paint will dry.


Painting wood siding with a roller doesn't have to be complicated. Whether you're painting new wood siding or revamping older wood, these steps will walk you through the process. You'll have a quality paint job done in no time.

If you're still deciding what color to paint your home, you may find these articles helpful!

What Color House Goes With A Black Roof?

What Color Should I Paint My Front Porch?

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