Last Updated on June 3, 2022 by legacy450

Factory pre-finishing is a value-added process for Architects, Designers, Custom Home Builders, Contractors, and Home Owners. The process involves painting or staining exterior and interior building materials in a factory-controlled environment. The result is a high-quality, consistent finish in your choice of color.

Custom Home with Prefinished Cypress Shiplap Vertical Siding

When did prefinishing start?

Prefinishing (factory finishing) has been around for more than 40 years and was initially intended to apply stains, primers, and solid color paint to natural wood products. This process sped up the labor-intensive process of staining these materials on the job site. Prefinishing the material made it easier to cover all six sides of each board (also known as back priming). Sealing out moisture from getting into the wood cells would also help the wood siding last longer. It’s also a great way to get a consistent finish, especially with stains, eliminating brush marks and streaking. With the advancements in siding products, materials such as fiber cement and engineered wood benefit from this process as well.

What types of material can be prefinished?

Natural Wood Siding

A wide variety of materials can be prefinished. Of course, natural wood siding profiles created from species such as Cedar, Cypress, Douglas Fir and Pine profiles benefit greatly from prefinishing. This process is arguably the best way to apply a primer, stain or paint to the wood, ensuring six-sided coverage. Siding profiles include traditional lap siding, board and batten, tongue and groove, shiplap, nickel gap, channel rustic, rabbeted bevel, dutch lap and more.

Fiber Cement Siding

Alternatives to wood siding such as Fiber Cement siding profiles from Allura, James Hardie and Nichiha benefit significantly from prefinishing. An unlimited number of solid colors can be applied to these products all custom finished to your choice of color. We can also create custom stain like finishes for a natural wood stain look. These stain finishes can only be applied to products with a cedar texture as the finish is designed to enhance the wood grain to produce the correct look of real stained wood.

Engineered Wood Siding

Another alternative to natural wood siding and fiber cement is Engineered Wood. The most popular brand of engineered wood is called LP SmartSide. The full line of LP SmartSide can be custom prefinished in an endless number of solid colors but also benefits from the same stain like finishes that we apply to fiber cement siding. We have 15 custom stain like finishes that can be applied to Lap Siding, Vertical Panels (used to create board and batten siding), Shake Panels, Soffit, and Trim.

What are the benefits of prefinishing?

Homeowners love the benefit of instant curb appeal. Since the materials have the final finish applied before installation, the project comes to life as the siding is installed. Delays due to poor weather conditions are no longer an issue since the finish is applied in a factory-controlled environment. Prefinishing is also available year-round, extending the building season for some areas.

When using natural wood siding (Cedar, Cypress, and Douglas Fir), Instant UV and moisture protection make a difference, especially to finish quality and longevity. The quality of the finish most always exceeds painting on-site, ensuring no brush marks, streaking, shrink lines, drips, or runs. Overspray is another issue for custom homes or commercial projects due to sensitive finishes on other exterior products (windows, doors, porches, and more) or nervous neighbors. Overspray on the job site is not a factor with prefinished siding products.


Prefinishing (factory finishing) is a great way to get a high-quality finish applied to exterior siding and interior wood products. These products are an excellent option for custom homes and commercial projects. Architects, Designers, Contractors, and Home Owners can select colors and textures to match the overall home design before construction ever starts. Since all of our products are custom-finished to order, you are free to choose a color scheme that is right for your project. To learn more about Legacy Pre-Finishing, Inc. please see our about us page on our main website. If you have any questions, please give us a call or fill out our contact page, and a sales rep will e-mail or return your call promptly.


    1. Vince,
      Thank you for the question and sorry it has taken so long to reply. We can apply almost any clear finish really and it will depend on the application of the final product. Are you looking for a specific application?

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