How To Paint Hardboard Exterior Trim

Your home’s appearance often makes for a memorable first impression. A bright, welcoming appearance would surely be appealing, and can make your house look unique. Even without expensive renovations and remodeling, you can actually give your house a drastic makeover by adding fresh coats of paint to the exterior. It doesn’t cost much, and a painting project can be a good time for a family to spend together during a sunny weekend.

Design experts would usually recommend that you use different kinds of paint and color for your house’s siding, doors, windows and trim. The siding’s paint should be matte or eggshell-looking. The trim, doors and window frame should, meanwhile, be glossy. This would let your door, windows and trim become the accent and focal points of the house’s exterior. Whatever the colors, what’s important is for the accents to contrast with the siding.

What you need:

  • Acrylic-latex or oil based primer
  • Acrylic-latex or oil based exterior paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Rags or towels
  • Masking tape
  • Newspapers or plastic sheets
  • Work clothes, gloves and mask
  • Stepladder

Hardboard is an engineered wood made up of highly compressed wood fibers. This is a good alternative to plywood, especially in those places where not too much load-bearing strength is needed. Therefore, painting over hardboard exterior trims will be the same as painting on any other type of wood.

Clean the hardboard. If you are painting over an existing painted surface (say you’re repainting your house exterior), make sure that the surface is clean. You can use pressurized water and some detergent to clean the exterior of your home. Make sure the exterior has dried up before doing any painting. Seal off parts of your house exterior that will not be painted with old newspaper or plastic sheets, held firmly in place with masking tape.

Apply primer. Using paint brushes, apply the first coat of primer. Let it dry for a couple of hours. Then apply a second coat of primer, and let dry.

Apply the paint. If you have used an oil-based primer, you should use oil-based exterior paint, also. However, acrylic-latex based paint is recommended, as this gives of less harmful fumes, and is more durable. Apply one layer, and let dry for about four hours, or as specified by the paint manufacturer. After drying, apply another layer and let dry. It’s best to let the paint dry for a couple of days. It’s therefore a good idea to do this project during sunny weather.

Some tips. For safety, use a mask when mixing and applying primer and paint. You might also want to use work clothes, like overalls and a cap or hat, so paint will not ruin your hair and clothes. When using a stepladder, you can firmly attach the paint can with a hook or with a modified metal coat hanger, so that it will not fall onto the ground.

Painting over your hardboard exterior is actually only half the work. The bigger task is determining the good color or shade combinations you can use, and actually painting the rest of your exteriors. Have your hardboard exterior trim painted every five years, to protect it from the elements. Painting on your hardboard exterior trim (and any wooden exterior) will help extend their serviceable life.


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