Finished Siding VS Unfinished Siding


All the siding products that we use, also offer a finished siding line of products and accessorizes that are already painted. Vinyl siding is a finished product and it’s just a matter of picking a color and having it installed. L.P. (Engineered Wood)and James Hardie (fiber Cement) also have products pre-finished and ready to go. In the sections below you will read the pros and cons of finished siding vs prime and what it will require for maintenance in the future as we see it.

Finished Siding Paint Advantage:

Finished siding products paint is formulated for the substrate that it will be applied to. This type of paint formulation ensures for maximum performance. If you were to purchase paint from Sherwin Williams or a Box Store. That paint is made to go on multiple substrates such as concrete, drywall, and wood. In short, having a paint made specifically for the substrate creates longer lasting adhesion. The paint made specifically for these products are made from natural pigments. Natural pigments vs synthetic pigments have better color retention, which makes for a longer lasting color. An example of natural pigments durability can be seen in caves around the world. Cavemen drew on walls with natural pigments thousands of years ago. These drawings are still around to this day.

Prefinshed Paint Process Advantages:

Paint is applied in an environmentally controlled factory. The advantage is that there are not any environmental factors to be concern with. If you read the side of a paint can most manufacturers would want it to be applied with a relative humidity of 40% to 60%, and between 50 and 80 degrees. Those are just the ideal conditions to apply it. Field applied paint is also susceptible to anything that may blow into the paint during the drying process, such as bugs, dust, cotton wood fuzz, and so on. The quality of products painted in a controlled environment is not as easily obtained in the field.
Vinyl siding different because the color is incorporated into the product. The dyes are blended into the product so the color is completely throughout the panel. Even if you were to scratch the panel you would only see the same color.

Prefinished Paint Disadvantage:

Limited color selection is the first reason most people don’t opt for the prefinished siding.
Depending on the size of the job and the scope of the work. Prefinished siding could cost up to 30 % more than a traditional paint job. Because the siding is finished in another location it could be scratched or damaged in transit. It does take an experienced or trained crew to install it. It should also be noted that there are sections of cut siding that must have field applied paint. 
Although both L.P. and James Hardie make a finished panel siding, Acumen Renovations doesn’t recommend doing finished panel because of all the exposed fasteners. See our blog Panel Siding Vs Lap Siding for more details.



Specializing in residential home improvement that proudly serves the Kansas City Metro area.


CALL (785) 979-3636