Painting Cedar Shake Shingles

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Cedar shake shingle painting Cedar Shake shingles can split if they haven't been cared for.

Cedar shake shingles can split and curl when not properly cared for. While replacing damaged shingles sounds straightforward, here's what to look out for.

Shingle Thickness

This is pretty easy - shingles are either thin (~3/8") or thick (~5/8"). And you don't mix them - unless you're in a real pinch. You can get away with using thin shingles in a thick shingle installation (it will be noticeable) but you really can't go the other way around - your neighbors will talk.

Shingle Texture

There are two considerations here: texture of the entire wall and texture of individual shingles. If the shingles on the face of a house are all generally cupped (curled) you'll want to be aware that installing a new, flat shingle may look out of place. Sometimes this solves one problem and creates another; at that point you'll have to decide what you can live with.

The other texture consideration is with the shingles themselves: older shingles have often been painted 46 times and so much of the original texture has been lost. We've seen grooved shingles that have been painted smooth. New cedar shingles very often have two surface treatments: one side is relatively smooth while the other is generally grooved. Easy to match grooved with grooved; a bit of a trick when new smooth doesn't match old smooth.

A new shingle may really be smooth but it may just as easily be very rough depending on where and how it was milled. Is matching texture important to you? Important enough to sand individual shingles when necessary?

So by now you've thrown up your hands and bellowed "Oiy!" - can't blame you. But as painting professionals it's up to us to set the expectation with our customers - what you can expect and also what you can't. That way there are no unmet expectations. Give us a call if you think we might be able to help.

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