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How to Paint Cedar Shakes for Your Roof

A cedar shake roof is beautiful, but painting the shakes can be a challenging. Getting your paint brush in between already-installed cedar shakes is enough to make even the hardiest homeowner cringe. Save yourself time and energy by painting your cedar shakes before they are installed.

Cedar Shake Roof Painting Tips

Painting already installed cedar shakes can be tricky because any spots left unpainted can create problems down the road, such as chemical stains or paint bubbling and flaking.

To prevent damage to your cedar shake roof, paint your shakes before installation by spraying or dipping them to ensure complete coverage. If you choose the spray route, an airless paint sprayer is ideal for the job.

If you opt to dip them, follow these steps:


  1. Fill a bucket three-quarters full with your paint.
  2. Individually grasp each shake at the top and dip it into the paint, leaving the upper two inches bare.
  3. Still holding the shake over the bucket, wipe off the excess paint with a paintbrush.
  4. Insert the shake vertically, painted end up, into a previously prepared holder, such as a long piece of plywood that contains grooves that are wide enough to accommodate the shakes.
  5. Allow the shakes to dry before dipping their bare ends.

You probably will need two coats of paint. For optimum results, try to apply the second coat when the first is still tacky (usually within 24 hours). Ensure that the entire shake is completely covered with paint to prevent water from penetrating it. To prevent sticking, wait a couple days before piling the shakes on top of one another.

Once they are completely dry, your cedar shakes are ready for the roof.

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Asphalt Shingle Roofing

Asphalt Shingle Roofing

Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used roofing material in North America mainly because they are economical and versatile, work well on steep-sloped roofs, are sunlight and weather resistant, require little-to-no maintenance and are reasonably priced. In addition, asphalt shingles are also easy to cut, fasten, and fit, as well as being compatible with many different kinds of flashing and edging products.

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