Can I paint cladding? A guide to your options for metal, fibre cement and timber effect cladding

Monday 15th June 2020

Can I paint cladding? A guide to your options for metal, fibre cement and timber effect cladding

Cladding, which is a general term for any weather proof covering that goes on the side of a building, has become increasingly popular – but what happens when you want a new colour, style or even just a summer refresh?

This question is particularly relevant when buildings or companies are sold and new owners want something different, or when businesses want to re-brand and require a colour change.

It would be easy to assume that painting would be the obvious answer. However, it may not be the best one.

Take sheet metal cladding, for instance. 

If the question is ‘can you paint sheet steel cladding?’ then the straight forward answer is ‘yes’. But why would you when these days steel cladding is available in more than 20 different colours?

Unless you are looking for a temporary solution, then painting sheet cladding is not the best option Paint does not readily adhere to metal cladding and will begin to flake within six months. Special cladding paints are available but will be more expensive in the long term.

It will work out cheaper to strip the sheet cladding, send it to the recycling plant (because steel cladding is 100 per cent recyclable), and replace it with brand new sheet cladding in the colour of your choice. Your product will also come with a guarantee.

The benefits of steel cladding, of course, are that it is virtually zero-maintenance, highly versatile, lightweight, durable and easy to fit with DIY tools. 

It comes in single length sheets, can also be used for roofs and is good for security because it is almost impossible to break.

This kind of cladding is suitable for a wide variety of buildings, including industrial buildings and factories, warehouses, workshops, garages, sheds, storage facilities, sidings, equestrian and agricultural buildings.

Other options for cladding include fibre cement weatherboard, such as Cedral, and traditional timber cladding.

When it comes to painting fibre cement weather board, the answer is very similar to metal cladding. You can – but you probably wouldn’t want to!

There are 21 different colours available in this type of cladding, providing huge variety.

Timber, of course, is quick and cheap to paint. But you might also want to consider replacing it with fibre cement weatherboard cladding for greater longevity and a more consistent and contemporary look.