Our 1950s home has the orginal cedar board and batten. It looks to be in okay condition. Not sure if should replace or paint? Could we remove the siding and turn over? Then we could see the natural cedar?
the back of genuine wood siding is often not a flat surface, but has grooves or a bevel in it. not designed to show, it's designed so if the wood warps, it warps in and the siding is not sticking out like bad witc.h teeth.
besides, if the surface is rotting, do you want it inside to spread to the framing?
survey the siding carefully. just a bunch of flaking paint, pressure-wash it carefully, prime and paint. if there are big splits in a few pieces, you may be able to find close-enough replacement pieces. if it's crumbling and soft and punky, it needs replacement.
sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
It may (hopefully) be stained rather than painted? Stain is probably a better choice as it won't tend to peel the way paint often can. Cedar naturally ages to a gray if left unfinished. You can get that color and any other wood stain color by using a solid color stain.
From my own personal experience, I highly recommend FLOOD brand stains. We have used it on old weathered cedar fence boards (we did not even power wash or clean the wood first), and it covers and lasts many years. In fact it is warranted for 15 years on vertical surfaces, and I can attest its lasting ability.
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