How to Paint T1-11 Siding (Paint Type, Number of Coats & Costs)

A fresh coat of paint makes just about any surface look better. Painting T1-11 is less hassle than painting many other types of surfaces. There are, however, some special considerations to be made when repairing T1-11 siding. The texture and grooves of T1-11 siding resemble rustic edges and batten cladding, making it an attractive choice for all types of above-ground projects. 

Primer will help seal the grain and prevent the topcoat from seeping if the wood has never been painted. You can use either an airless sprayer and roller or a paintbrush and roller to paint your T1-11 siding, but you should always clean the surface thoroughly before painting it, and you should only paint T1-11 siding in dry weather. T1-11 siding will run you between $1.50 to $4.00 per foot to paint, depending on several factors.

In this article, we will discuss what T1-11 siding is, why you should paint it, how much it costs to paint it, how to paint it, and the materials needed to paint it. We will also give you our best recommendations on how many coats to paint on T1-11 siding, what equipment is easiest to paint with, and more.

Read on…

What is T1-11 Siding? 

Rough-finished boards with narrow, evenly spaced grooves give T1-11 siding a pastoral look. With grooves spaced either 4″ or 8″ from the center, T1-11 siding can be used for many above-ground applications for a variety of looks. T1-11 siding is made up of wood particles that are compressed together to make each sheet. 

T1-11 Siding

T1-11 siding generally comes in two types: Oriented strand board (OSB) or plywood. The OSB tends to be the more affordable of the two options. Because OSB is made up of flakes or strands of wood that are pressed together, it tends to be less expensive than plywood and slightly lower quality than plywood T1-11. 

The plywood T1-11 siding tends to perform better under inclement weather conditions than the pressed T1-11, but you’ll need to protect it with an excellent all-weather stain. T1-11 is available in a few different finishes, depending on the manufacturer, with a choice of either a smooth or a rough finish. To give your home a more natural look, the rough finish is the best option. There are generally two sizes of T1-11 siding available: 48 x 96 and 48 x 120, and three different thicknesses: 3/8″, 5/8″, and 3/4″.

Here is a list of the pros and cons of T1-11 siding:

Pros of T1-11 SidingCons of T1-11 Siding
Lightweight Plywood T1-11 is More Expensive
Easy to InstallTends to Splinter on Edges
Plywood Type T1-11 is Less Prone to SplittingCan Be Tricky to Cut
Easy to Conform to Curved SurfacesVOC’s are an Issue
Easy to TransportProne to Termite Damage
Eco-friendlyNot the Best for Humid Environments
Strong and Durable
Thickness Options Available
Easy to Paint
Resists Shrinking and Cracking

Why Should You Paint T1-11 Siding? 

T1-11 siding makes it a beautiful surface, but you must be careful when painting it. It is important to prime and paint your T1-11 siding because a coat of primer seals the grain, preventing the topcoat from seeping, and keeping out unwanted moisture. In general, there may be better options than T1-11 for subtropical clients due to its wick-like ability to absorb moisture.


The natural woodgrain appearance of T1-11 siding can be quite appealing to many homeowners who enjoy a rustic aesthetic and are economical and convenient. It is important to consider the finish of T1-11 when stocking up on project materials, which can be rough or smooth. Depending on your choice, T1-11 can make a beautiful siding option for homeowners looking for a textured or rustic look for their homes.


The use of T1-11 siding is long established. There would be no reason for it to be sold and used today unless it provided some durability. You can extend its life expectancy by priming and painting T1-11 siding before installation. 

Stain should be reapplied every three to five years, and siding should be painted every eight to twelve years. In general, T1-11 can last for decades if kept dry and protected from insects.

Improve Home Value 

T1-11 siding is a great way to increase your home’s value, adding curb appeal, protecting your home and family from the elements, and adding value to your property for years to come. It is also lightweight, low-cost, and energy efficient. 

While many home improvement projects can be daunting, with properly painted and installed T1-11 siding, your home’s exterior will be protected and beautiful, giving you peace of mind and paying into your home’s overall equity.

Fix Damages 

It is possible to caulk and repaint minor cracks in T1-11’s surface. Medium-sized cracks can be repaired by sanding and caulking. Caulking highlights the problem since wide cracks cause the wood beside them to curl as they shrink. Occasionally, removing and replacing the panel is the best solution. 

How To Paint T1-11 Siding 

To get started, you will need to gather your painting supplies, whether you choose to use our preferred method, which is a sprayer followed by paint rollers or paint brushes. You may also need a pressure washer, sandpaper, and a wood filler, caulk, or other high-quality wood filler if you have any cracks, splits, or holes in the surface of your T1-11 that need repairing first.

To paint T1-11 siding, an acrylic primer should be used, followed by high-quality acrylic paint, but first, the surface should be properly prepared and sealed to prevent any wick-like action from allowing moisture to penetrate the substrate. 

Step 1: Clean

If there is paint or stain already on your siding, you can power wash or sand and scrape to remove the dirt and loose paint. Whether you are working with an old or new surface, it’s always a good idea to clean the surface before you paint your T1-11 to remove any old loose paint, dirt, mold, or dust that is present before painting. 

Be sure to clean the edges of the T1-11 board before painting to remove any burrs and prevent wick-like action from allowing moisture in after you’ve painted. If you clean your T1-11 with a pressure washer, you should allow it to dry thoroughly for 24 hours before painting.

Step 2: Repair Any Damages 

You will want to repair any damages to your T1-11 siding before painting it. T1-11 can last decades when properly painted and installed, so check carefully for damages before you start your painting project to ensure the best possible results.

Mold and mildew can be removed with a pressure washer for best results. If there are cracks or holes present in your T1-11 siding, fill in cracks and splits in wood siding with a wood filler if the gaps are less than 1/16-inch wide. Never use fillers that cure hard for small cracks or splits in T1-11

If there are holes in your T1-11 from woodpeckers or insects, and you can tell that the T1-11 is still in good condition, the holes should be filled before painting or staining. Bondo Wood Filler with cream hardener is a good filler for repairing holes in T1-11. Bondo is another option, especially if you need to fill any deeper holes, in which expanding foam can be used as a pre-fill. You can also use an epoxy filler made of wood to fill holes.

Step 3: Caulk

Ensure that the doors and windows are properly caulked before painting. If you are not removing the T1-11, and there is old caulk present, use a putty knife to clean any damaged caulk edges after cutting them with a utility knife. Make sure your silicone caulk is exterior-grade, flexible, and paintable, and it allows you to paint it after it dries.

A hybrid caulk creates a high-strength bond by filling or sealing cracks and openings. Depending on their composition, hybrid caulks are resistant to water, UV, mold, mildew, odors, and stains. 

Step 4: Prime

It is easier to stain T1-11 than to paint it. You might only need one coat, but cleaning the substrate first is even more important since dirt discoloration will show through. Using a semi-transparent stain will protect the wood from UV rays while allowing the grain to show. An additional mildewcide can be added to a stain to prevent mold from growing and add a sooty coating to the surface.

 Use a heavy acrylic primer to prime the siding. A quality primer that works well on T1-11 siding is XIM Peel Bond. Prime the surface of your T1-11 and all the edges, and then lap the paint for at least 4 – 6 inches on the back to create a capillary break and save the finish paint from peeling.

Step 5: Paint 

Sprayers and rollers are the best tools for painting T1-11 siding. The paint soaks into the grooves of the T1-11 siding better with the sprayer method. Paint sticks better to wood grains on the flat parts of the T1-11 when rolled into the grain, so rollers are recommended for the best results after spraying the grooves. 

High-quality acrylic paint should be applied in two coats for the best protection and appearance on your T1-11 siding project. An excellent paint for T1-11 siding is Duration paint from Sherwin Williams. It isn’t cheap, but it’s worth it for the quality. 

What Kind Of Exterior Paint Should You Use on T1-11 Siding? 

When choosing exterior paint for T1-11 siding, there are several factors to consider. It can be overwhelming to choose the right one. It is important to pick paint that will last several years. As previously stated, you should use a high-quality acrylic exterior paint such as Duration paint from Sherwin Williams for T1-11 siding because when added over a layer of primer, they last longer and seal better.

There are other options, though:

Majic Paints 8-0048-1 Latex Flat Barn & Fence Paint is a good paint for T1-11 siding, and so is INSL-X AMW100009A-01 WaterBlock Acrylic Masonry Waterproofer Paint. Prestige Paints Exterior Paint and Primer In One is a good choice for T1-11, but applying the primer layer first is still good, even though the Prestige Paints Exterior Paint And Primer In One says that the primer is mixed in with the paint.

Paint BrandFeatures:
Duration paint from Sherwin WilliamsRepels mold and dirtGood for outdoor use and applicationsGood for many surface types and materialt, including concrete, plaster, putty, metal (galvanized), vinyl, aluminum, wood, asbestos, slate, stone, bricks, etc.
INSL-X AMW100009A-01 WaterBlock Acrylic Masonry Waterproofer PaintFast Drying.Up to pH-13 alkali resistance.Resistant to hydraulic pressure of 12 psi Paint only at temperatures between 50° (10°C) and 90°F (32.2°C).Suitable for basement walls, stucco, brick, and masonry. 
Majic Paints 8-0048-1 Latex Flat Barn & Fence Paint
Fade-ResistantResists harsh environmentsNot for use on roofs or floorsSurfaces such as wood, masonry/brick, metal, and more can be painted with this product
Prestige Paints Exterior Paint And Primer
Rust-Oleum 7777502 Protective Enamel Paint Stops RustLow-sheen satin finishFade-resistantIndoors/outdoorsCorrosion-resistant and durableSurfaces such as wood, metal, concrete, brick, and masonry are protected from weather and corrosion with weather- and corrosion-resistant coatings

What Kind Of Exterior Stain Should You Use on T1-11 Siding?

Sherwin Williams Woodscapes acrylic stain is a recommended staining for T1-11 siding as well, as solid stains, semisolid stains, and semi-transparent stains are also available. Stains with solid pigments protect against UV rays. Use oil-based stains sparingly on T1-11 because oil-based stains contain chemicals that cause mold and mildew to grow.

How Much Does it Cost To Paint T1-11 Siding? 

On average, it will cost you between $2.15 to $4.17 per foot to paint T1-11 siding. It all depends on the job. Several factors come into play, like the size of the house, the condition of the T1-11 siding, and the job’s complexity. The national average for painting a house is $3,000, with the average range being between $2,500-$7,000 and the low end being closer to $1,000.

How Many Paint Coats on T1-11 Siding?

You should shoot for two coats of paint after you apply your primer to your T1-11 siding. The reason for that is protection. As previously stated, T1-11 siding tends to wick moisture from the air during rains, so when you paint T1-11, your primer and two coats of paint are recommended because it seals the wood and offers protection. 

Applying two coats of exterior acrylic paint to T1-11 siding is recommended, letting it dry completely between coats. Apply the first coat and let it dry completely, and then roll the second coat on. 

Can You Paint T1-11 Siding With a Sprayer? 100 words

That answer is yes. It is recommended to paint with a sprayer first, then come back with rollers or a paint brush, and finish off. The sprayer allows you to get into the grooves on T1-11 siding instead of having to fight with paint brushes getting the paint in the grooves.

Just spray the cracks one at a time, and then come back with the paintbrush or rollers, smooth over any excess paint, and paint the flat part of the board.


This post has helped you better understand how to paint T1-11 siding and given insight into handling the job if you’ve got holes, cracks, or mildew on your existing T1-11 siding. T1-11 siding can be beautiful and long-lasting when installed and prepared correctly.

 If you have questions about T1-11 siding or would like a professional painter to work with you on an upcoming project, use this form to get in touch.

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