What Is Prefinished Siding?

Factory pre-finishing is a value added process for Architects, home Designers, Interior Designers, Custom Home Builders, Contractors and Home Owners where paintable or stainable materials are coated in a factory controlled environment prior to installation. The finish is factory finished to provide a more consistent and higher quality job.

When did prefinishing start?

Prefinishing (factory finishing) has been around for more than 40 years and was originally designed to apply stains, primers and paint on Natural wood products. This process sped up the labor intensive process of staining the siding on site. By factory finishing the siding it was the best way to cover all six sides (also known as back priming) sealing out moisture which would help the wood siding last longer. With the advancements in siding products, including Fiber Cement and Engineered wood, this process works very well and allow us to custom paint siding in any color you can imagine.

What types of material can be prefinished?

A wide variety of materials can be prefinished from Fiber Cement products including those from Allura, James Hardie and Nichiha. Engineered wood products such as LP SmartSide benefit very well from prefinishing as does many composite materials such as Boral siding and trim products. Of course natural wood products such as Cedar, Cypress and Pine benefit greatly from prefinishing and is the best way to apply a primer, stain or paint to the wood ensuring six sided coverage.

What are the benefits of prefinishing?

  • Instant Curb Appeal – because the material is finished before installing, the project comes to life as the product is installed.
  • No Weather Delays – All products are finished indoors in a controlled environment and allows us to paint when it is snowing or raining.
  • Available Year Round – Extends the building season
  • Instant UV and Moisture Protection
  • No Lap Marks – Also known as brush marks or overspray when using an airless sprayer.
  • No Streaking – Consistent coverage on every board
  • No Shrink Lines – which can show when boards shrink during cold weather
  • No Overspray or Drips – No runs, inconsistent finish or drips
  • Five or Six Sided Protection – Natural wood is finished on all sides while Fiber Cement and Engineered wood are finished on five sides.
  • Factory Controlled Quality
  • Warranties Available


Prefinishing (factory finishing) is a great way to get a high quality finish applied to exterior siding products and interior wood products for all types of homes. Architects, Home Designers and Home Owners can select colors and textures to match the overall home design before construction ever starts. The home builder or contractor orders the materials prefinished to their customers requirements and the material is installed completely finished with only minor touch up needed. Both the home owner and the contractor now have a finished product that has been finished in a controlled environment for the best quality job and finished for that job specifically.

Prefinishing Is The Best Way To Paint When Weather Is Bad!

When building a new home or commercial building, painting it on site has quite a number of factors that are out of your control which can cause some significant delays especially if you live in a climate that has cold winters or quite a bit of rain. Pre-finishing the exterior siding, trim and soffit before it is installed, will make that task much easier and can save money in the long run.

How Cold is Too Cold To Paint?

Most if not all paint manufacturers recommend a minimum temperature of 50 degrees when applying paint to any product including oil based and water based paints/stains. Even though many of today’s latex paints are formulated to dry at temperatures as low as 35 degrees, these lower temperatures can cause the paint to dry slower.

Minimum Overnight Temperatures

The minimum overnight temperature should be 35 degrees and should be above this mark for 24 to 48 hours to ensure proper adhesion to the siding. Other issues such as applying the paint when it is above 50 degrees but nighttime temperatures fall quickly, the dew can stop the paint from properly drying which again can cause staining and adhesion problems. 

How soon should you paint after it rains or snows?

Rain and snow can cause further delays in getting a home painted on site. After a rain or snow event, the house still needs to dry out before the paint can be applied. Some southern facing walls will dry quickly while others (Northern or shaded sides) will need more time to dry. When the exterior is properly dry, the home will need 48 hours after the paint is applied to dry properly before the next weather event. 

Solution To Cold Weather Painting

Here at Legacy Pre-Finishing, we work hard to solve these problems by pre-finishing (factory machine finishing) all types of exterior siding, trim, soffit and fascia products as well as interior wall and ceiling boards. Our 42,000 square foot facility is a temperature controlled environment where we are always above 50 degrees. We do our best to make sure all incoming material is dry but there are occasions that are out of our control that require us to dry materials on racks inside our facility. Once the material reaches the proper moisture level, only then will it be approved for production. We machine apply the finish whether it is a solid color paint or stain and then we place the products on racks where it is allowed to air dry per the manufacturer’s┬áspecifications to ensure the best adhesion possible. Once the finish has dried properly, the material is stacked down on pallets and prepared to ship to the desired location.

When pre-finishing, what colors are available?

Almost any color can be applied to the exterior siding for your new home. We have samples on our website of the most popular solid colors and stains, but if you have a color you absolutely love, let us know and we will create a sample for you to review. All products are made to order to your color specifications using only the highest quality stains and/or paints. Touch up paint is included with each order to repair small nicks and seal all end cuts.