How to Paint Cedar Plank Walls

Seal cedar with primer to keep the color from bleeding through.
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Raw cedar planks impart a woodsy feel to your home. Painted wood panels take on a more refined country look. Raw wood offers a fairly limited range of color options, but the possibilities for paint colors are practically endless. Cedar contains a lot of tannic acid, which can seep through and stain an improperly primed wall. Take the time to find a primer that will hold up over the long run. Once the wood is sealed, you will have an array of finish-coat paints to choose from.

Remove dust and dirt from your cedar plank walls with soapy water and a rag. Remove traces of soap by wiping the planks with a damp, clean rag. Wait until the wall is completely dry before attempting to apply primer.

Apply an alkyd-based primer with a paint roller. Roll the primer on with gentle, even strokes. Use a brush to apply primer to the crevices between the planks.

Wait for the primer to dry. Lightly sand the planks with a sanding block. Wipe the planks with a barely damp rag.

Choose an appropriate paint. Use an exterior paint for outdoor cedar siding. Use a latex or an oil-based paint for indoor walls. Semi-gloss paint will impart a sheen. Satin or eggshell paint has a silky feel but is not highly reflective.

Apply paint to the areas between the planks with a brush. Use a synthetic-bristle brush with water-based paint.

Roll small areas of paint on in a horizontal direction. Finish each section with strokes in a vertical direction. Continue working at a steady pace to keep drying lines from showing. Finish an entire wall without stopping.

About the Author

Fiona Fearey has an undergraduate degree from Temple University and a master's degree from New York University. She has been a freelance writer and editor for over five years. She has written for Pluck on Demand and various other websites. Other professional experience includes education, the arts and decorative painting.