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Why Is My Paint Falling Off Of My James Hardie Siding?

November 15th, 2023 | 6 min. read

Why Is My Paint Falling Off Of My James Hardie Siding?

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Whether you’ve had James Hardie siding for decades on your home or recently had it installed within the last few years, chances are you’ve noticed why it has the amazing reputation it does. 

But because you’ve landed on this article, you’ve noticed your paint is chipping or peeling away from your home. 

You were told Hardie siding is the best and most durable on the market, so why is this happening? Shouldn’t the paint last just as long? 

The truth is, if you notice the paint failing on your Hardie siding, it has everything to do with the paint and the application and nothing to do with the siding. 

So…why is the paint failing then? That’s exactly what we’re going to address in this article. 

As a San Antonio siding replacement company since 1989, Southwest Exteriors has exclusively installed James Hardie siding because of its exceptional durability, longevity, and ease of maintenance. 

Our installers are professionally trained to follow Hardie’s best practices for installation, from removing your current siding to applying the paint to the proper thickness. 

We understand the frustrations involved when any investment in your home fails, and you want to understand why and what the causes are. 

Let’s dive into the probable causes of why your paint is falling off your James Hardie siding. 


Top 5 Reasons Your Exterior Paint Is Failing

Although James Hardie siding is the best replacement siding for any climate, if it’s not painted over properly, it won’t look as incredible as it should. 

If you’ve noticed the paint starting to peel or chip off your siding and want to know why, here are five probable causes for your failing paint. 


1. No primer was used before applying the paint

With any home remodeling project, the prep work is just as crucial, if not more important, than the finishing touches. If the project area is not properly prepared for the final product, it will not last or perform as it is meant to, even with the highest quality products. 

For long-lasting exterior paint, using the proper primer is essential to the longevity of the topcoat. The primer provides an even and smoother surface for the colored paint to adhere to, resulting in an even application. 

If no primer is used or the wrong primer is used, the final coat will not bond to the siding as well as it would with a primer. This results in the paint chipping or peeling off and ultimately not lasting. 

When searching for the right company to repaint your home’s exterior, ask what their entire paint process is, what type of primer they use, and how many coats of paint they apply. 


2. The paint was applied improperly 

Along with preparing any project area, application, and installation are essential to a successful outcome. 

With exterior painting, there are proper methods of application to ensure your paint comes out looking as best as possible. For example, using an automatic sprayer instead of a roller is the best method of practice for most even application. 

When a roller or type of brush is used for large exterior areas, some spots may be less pigmented or have more paint roll up along with the brush, causing more paint to lift and create spottiness in the final product. 

If the paint is not applied properly, whether no primer was used or the wrong application methods were used, it will not last as long as it should. 


3. The paint is made of a lower-quality 

The quality of the product you are investing in is just as important as the quality of installation. Think about it - the lower quality a product is, the less expensive it is, and the shorter it will last…right? 

A lower-quality exterior paint will not last as long as a high-quality product and will not perform well. This inherently means if a low-quality exterior paint is used on your home or the wrong type of paint is used, it will fail more quickly than a high-quality paint. 

When meeting with a potential company to repaint your exterior, ask what type of exterior paint they use. This allows you to research the paint they use to ensure it is up to your standards and will last. 


Download this FREE guide to James Hardie siding!


4. The paint was diluted

One way contractors will cut corners to save money is by diluting the paint with water. This allows them to still charge you the full price for the product while deceiving you with lower-quality paint. 

Diluted paint makes it thinner, meaning the paint will not apply properly with less pigment. This results in uneven application and appearance of the paint. 

Thinning out the paint also dilutes its durability properties. This type of paint on your home will not hold up to the elements like regular paint, causing it to bubble, chip, and peel off. 

If you notice your paint looks patchy or thin in some areas and is peeling off, the paint may have been diluted. 


5. The paint was not applied to the proper thickness

The final cause of your paint peeling off of your home is if it was not applied to the proper thickness or mil. 

When applying exterior paint, depending on the composition of the paint, there is a mil level that the paint must be applied to. This essentially tells the contractor how many layers of paint must be applied for the full pigment to show through. 

If the paint is not applied to the proper thickness, not only will the color not be as bright as it should be, but the paint will deteriorate quicker because of the fewer layers of protection. 

Similar to if your paint was diluted, if you notice parts of your paint that look patchy or the primer is showing through, the paint may not have been applied to the proper mil. 


How To Fix Chipping Paint on Hardie Siding

Now that you know the five common causes of why your exterior paint may be failing on your James Hardie siding, you can take the right next step to solving the problem and getting your home back looking brand new. 

No matter the reason your paint is failing, it’s important to remember that it is not the siding that is causing the problem. James Hardie retains its durability and longevity no matter what type of paint is placed overtop. 

However, if the paint is failing, whether from lack of primer, improper technique, or if low-quality paint was used, your Hardie siding will not look as fabulous as it should. 

If you notice your paint failing on your siding, the first step is to contact the company that painted your exterior to see if their warranty will cover the cost of fixing it. 

If not, you will want to search for a reputable company in your area with great reviews and pictures of their work to schedule a consultation and get their help. 

When looking for a new remodeling company to work with, researching and asking questions are some of the most crucial parts to finding the right company for you. 

Check out this article that outlines five steps to a high-quality exterior paint project. Then, you will be equipped with the right information to find a company that will provide you with a successful outcome and a beautiful home. 


Does Your Hardie Siding Need Repainting? 

If you’ve noticed your paint failing on your exterior, Southwest Exteriors is here to service your San Antonio home. 

Our expert teams follow a tedious process to properly prepare your home and paint your exterior the right way. Your home will be left looking brand new. 

Ready to elevate your home with high-quality paint that will last? Schedule your commitment-free consultation with a design consultant today and get the look you love coming home to!