Exterior Painting vs Hardie ColorPlus®

Written by Stephen Scoggins

December 12, 2020

exterior painting, colorplus, CHE

One of the most common home exterior projects is exterior painting. This is a common DIY project that can be done on wood, vinyl, or fiber cement. However, there’s another option for picking the color and shade of your home exterior. It’s called ColorPlus®.

ColorPlus is a relatively new feature of Hardie siding that essentially pre-bakes your color and shade into your fiber cement house siding. It has numerous advantages over other options that require an exterior paint job. Here I’ll share the pros and cons of painting and Hardie’s ColorPlus feature.

Exterior Painting

Pro: It’s Cheaper

It’s cheaper to repaint your house than it is to replace your house siding entirely. I’ll note however that this statement on cost depends somewhat on what your project is. For instance, you may already be thinking about replacing your house siding and have other reasons to do so beyond fading or color cracking. If this is the case, then it may be less costly in the long run to replace your siding than to pay for a new coat of paint. Likewise, if you’re building a home from scratch, it may be cheaper over time to go with a pre-baked finish. I’ll explain more further down.

Pro: Total Control

When you’re in charge of your exterior painting, you’re in charge of everything. You can choose the exact shade, color, and pattern that you want. With ColorPlus, there are a lot of options that you can choose for your siding’s finish, but you’ll obviously have more when you do it yourself.

Con: Painting Can Be Overwhelming

DIY projects can be a double-edged sword. Before choosing to do your exterior painting yourself, here are some things to consider:

  • Weather conditions have to be right – with a pre-baked finish, you’ll need favorable weather conditions for the duration of the project. This will be at least a few days.
  • You have to choose the right paint – while total control may sound attractive, in reality it can be very stressful to select from thousands of color and shade options. Add to that the stress of selecting the the best brand and category of paint, and the task can seem overwhelming.
  • Vinyl and Fiber Cement need to be primed and prepared – these types of siding need to be power washed (I recommend professionally) before applying paint. All mildew, mold, and debris will need to be removed. Also, if the vinyl or fiber cement siding in question weren’t recently bought factory-primed, each will need primer applied.

Con: Mistakes Are Easy

I personally don’t recommend painting your house yourself. In my opinion, it’s better to pay a professional to do this. That said, this will cut into the cost advantage related to exterior painting. Also, even a professional can make errors and provide an uneven coat. In fact, it’s basically a given that if you go with exterior painting over something like ColorPlus, there will be at least a few imperfections. No human being is going to be able to provide the microscopic precision that a pre-baked factory process will.

Hardie ColorPlus®

Pro: Help From Color Experts

In contrast to selecting from thousands of possible paint combinations, Hardie narrows down the color palette to a limited (though still broad) selection of colors and shades. Each option has been tested and curated for aesthetic beauty by a group of professionals Hardie calls their “color experts”.

Pro: UV Protection

ColorPlus is designed to resist fading. This is a powerful advantage over most paints.

Pro: 15 Year Warranty

With exterior painting, you will need to apply a new coat of paint every 7-8 years at least. Depending on the material of your house siding, you may need to do this even more often than that. Hardie not only protects your coat with UV protection, but it provides a limited 15-year warranty to help you protect your investment.

Pro: Seamless Color

With ColorPlus, there are no irregularities in the coat of your house siding. This is a huge advantage, and one of the biggest reasons I chose Hardie for my own home. It’s tough to articulate just how good your siding will look when the finish is consistent through-and-through, so I recommend checking out some of the photos on Hardie’s site for yourself.

Pro: Much Less Hassle

This one almost goes without saying. With your color pre-baked into your house siding, you save a lot of trouble. You don’t have to go through the enormous DIY struggle of painting your house, nor do you have to manage one more contractor or contracting job on top of whatever else you want to do.

Con: More Money Upfront

ColorPlus is an add-on, so your Hardie siding will cost a little bit more with this feature than without it. When you factor the cost of adding a new coat of paint every 7-8 years, one could easily argue that this feature will pay for itself. Still, more cash upfront is more cash upfront. Also consider that if you decide to have a contractor paint your new home exterior, the cost of labor and materials could potentially surpass the cost of ColorPlus if you went with an unfinished siding product.

Con: You’ll Need to Buy New Siding

Obviously, ColorPlus can’t be added to your siding after the fact. Unless you replace the siding you already have or are doing a build, then exterior painting is your only other option for a fresh color coat on your home exterior.

Schedule a Consultation with CHE

As one of the largest ColorPlus installers in the United States, CHE can help you figure out if this feature is the best move for you in your exterior remodel. Call us today to set up your FREE consultation with one of our experts. We’ll help you evaluate your options based on your budget and preferences and make sure you walk away more knowledgeable and empowered to make a decision.

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