This post is sponsored by James Hardie®.

The exterior of my home, after I painted

Remember when I painted the house?

It used to be yellow and then I asked you all for help and you chimed in and gave me advice and we worked together to pick this paint color?

And I love it.

But here’s the thing.  Here’s the challenge that I never really discussed or explained and actually kind of glossed over in my hurry to get the house painted.


There are giant parts of the house that look like this.

The old siding on the house had some flaws even after painting

I know, right?

Did you gasp?

Did you look away?

Did you say what I said when they explained the whole house painting process to me?


Here's another look at our home after we repainted the exterior

The wood siding on our house is over 100 years old.

It’s been painted.  And then the paint sat and peeled and then people painted over that.  And on and on and on.

And to remove all the paint and scrap it down to the raw wood and paint it again is a literal fortune.  A fortune that we couldn’t afford because we have four children that love learning and higher education and would all like to go to college and graduate one day.

So we did the next best thing.  The house was power-washed and loose paint was removed and then they painted it with the discussion that when we could afford it, we’d have the wood scraped all the way off and the house painted correctly.

And then?

I discovered James Hardie®.

Here's the exterior of a home using James Hardie planks

Have you ever used any James Hardie® products before?

James Hardie® is the amazing creator of HardiePlank® lap siding that can be found on beautiful homes all over the country like this one.  It comes in textured, smooth or beaded finish and it’s North America’s #1 brand of siding.

You can mix and match HardiePlank for a unique look

There are so many different products that you can mix and match to create a unique look.

This home has HardieShingle® siding and HardiePanel® vertical siding.

(total aside:  I love those flower boxes).

James Hardie products come in a variety of options for your home

They have HardieSoffit® panels and HardieTrim® boards to add moldings and trim to porches like this one.

And the best part?

The wood won’t shrink or chip or crack like the siding on my home.

You can order samples of the products to see which you like best

You can request free samples here, so I ordered a several to get an idea of the quality and color.

It only took a minute to order and a week later these showed up at my door.

I know you’re surprised, but they are all shades of gray.

Here's the first sample piece- Light Mist

This is Light Mist.

Another sample, Gray Slate

This is Gray Slate.

Our last sample, pearl gray

And this is pearl gray.

I seriously loved them.  The quality is amazing.  The colors are so pretty.  And the house was looking at me with longing eyes and telling me it needed a new outfit.

It is an investment, but one that I know will be totally worth it.

Especially when you look at this every day.

Once we save some money, this is our next to do project with the HardiePlank

So I’m making plans and saving my pennies and one day soon, this peeling painted over paint will be a distant memory.

James Hardie® also has an amazing inspiration guide that you can download for free for your own future projects.

Download the inspiration guide for free here.

Have you ever used HardiePlank® lap siding or HardieShingle® siding and HardiePanel® vertical siding before?  Did you replace original wood siding?

I’d love any input you have.

Here’s to beautiful exteriors everywhere.

disclosure:  This post was sponsored by James Hardie®.

All opinions are my own.

Please see my disclosure page for more information.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Donnie Donnie

    We love Hardie here in Florida. When we built our home 22 years ago, we bricked three sides and have Hardie in the back. So pleased even 22 years later with this product. You will not regret your decision.

  2. Image for Kellie Zollars Kellie Zollars

    We have this siding on our house. We haven't had to paint it and it's 21 years old! Our house was a teardown and rebuild. We bought it three years after it was built. I was nervous about how this siding, would last, but it is still in good shape. We live in very mild weather in California so I can't speak to how it would weather through snow, but I don't see why it wouldn't.

  3. Image for Michelle Michelle

    Ooooo, I'm so in love with the Gray Slate! I hesitate in sharing this but I have to tell you vinyl siding doesn't do well here in Colorado because of our dry air and extreme temps. One of the most popular options to replace wood siding here and offer more protection with less maintenance is fiber cement siding -- extremely durable, termite proof, won’t warp or crack from water or extreme sun exposure, and it’s non-combustible. So it even stands up to fire. And the colors are baked on, which means you won’t have to worry about repainting. However, that leaves the down-side: I think you're stuck with the color.

    1. Image for Tori Tori

      Hardie siding is fiber cement board; and it can definitely be painted! 😀 We replace the facia boards around our house, and it painted up beautifully. Great choice, Karianne!

  4. Image for Jo Ann Bohannon Jo Ann Bohannon

    Yes! I have used this product for years on several homes and remodels. I have never been disappointed with one exception. It can crack or chip If a piece is unsupported underneath like at the bottom of a pier and beam house. So guard those edges because you install from the bottom up and replacing that piece that is damaged is a little more difficult.

  5. Image for Deedra Deedra

    We have James Hardie siding and love it! And I know you didn't ask, but the Slate Gray is amazing! I could so see it on your house. Have a great weekend!

  6. Image for Jenna Jenna

    Hardie siding is fabulous! We built our house in 2015 and chose “light mist” for our siding color. Here’s a link if you want to see it in action! (Best shot of the exterior I could find although I KNOW I’ve shown it better in another post, ah well.)

  7. Image for Linda B Linda B

    Beautiful colors! We have been doing rehabs since 2001. We love Hardie! We even used black siding on one memorable rehab- the house had been owned by a hoarder. There were two rooms in the house that we didn't even see until the clean out was nearly done. This is an outstanding product, and I can't imagine that you would be anything less than thrilled!

  8. Image for Barbara Barbara

    We have it and you will love it! And we do have snow, ice, high winds here in the mountains- holds up perfectly. Ours went on as the house was being built. I think it came already primed and the builder painted it with, of course, a Sherwin Williams color- Grays Harbor with Alabaster trim:) We have the ones that look like board and batten and smaller shingles along with the regular planks on areas of the house.

  9. Image for DIanne DIanne

    We built a home 2 years ago and used Hardie siding. On the porch and back deck we used the shingles I believe they’re called. We purchased the primed siding and spray painted it ourselves to get the color we wanted but mostly to save money. It’s gray of course. We love it!!

  10. Image for P Jones P Jones

    We totally recovered our 2 story house with colorized JAMES HARDI sliding. It was done in 1 week by Amazing Siding. We found this company at a home show. They did a fantastic job!

  11. Image for Terri Terri

    We have a dear friend who is a city building inspector / and has a contractors license.... He built a detached gorgeous cottage style garage on the back of his property and used this product for the whole garage ( here in Florida ) ... that was maybe 10 years ago .... still loves and recommends this Hardy product !!!! This would be a great choice for you "Texans" .... :) ... and maybe a New Outfit for your gorgeous girl is in order !!!! LOLOLOL.....

  12. Image for Susan Takeda Susan Takeda

    We purchased Hardie shiplap siding at our local Lowe's. I was shopping with my husband when I saw the product and my "gently" hints led my husband to do some research. We installed it ourselves in a day and we then painted it. It looks amazing and I would recommend this product..

  13. Image for Cathy Weber Cathy Weber

    Our entire cabin exterior in Northwest Montana is hardiplank. It looks beautiful and after ten years of doing absolutely nothing to it, still looks really beautiful. It is a vacation home and when we visit the last thing we want to do is touch ups or repairs. Has worked out great for us.

  14. Image for Cathy Weber Cathy Weber

    Our entire cabin exterior in Northwest Montana is hardiplank. It is a beautiful red cedar color. It looks beautiful and after ten years of doing absolutely nothing to it, still looks really beautiful. It is a vacation home and when we visit the last thing we want to do is touch ups or repairs. Has worked out great for us.

  15. Image for JC at the uncommon pearl JC at the uncommon pearl

    Yes, we used James Hardie Lap Siding on a new build we did about 18 years ago in the mountains of AZ. It withstood extreme temperature and weather variables and held up well. It is also fire resistant which lowered our homeowners insurance. You will love it!

  16. Image for Sherry Sherry

    I love the idea of what you want to replace with but cannot picture in my mind your home style with vertical siding. Do they offer it in the horizontal siding you already have? However what you do always looks lovely and you seem to be able to picture in your mind what things will look like so I am sure it will be beautiful. :>)))

  17. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    We had horrible siding on the city house...the cheap kind that when it gets wet over time will disintegrate...we replaced it with Hardie plank. We got the unpainted version from Home Depot and painted it. It's amazing! It looks so good. It's definitely worth it!

  18. Image for jae jae

    Hardieplank and the other products are used extensively where I live, and are wonderful. We plan to replace our vinyl with it soon. The only issue we have seen with it is in the installation. Improper installation can lead to multiple problems down the road. Be sure to get a certified installer, and you should be happy for years and years..... I do have to say your old boards have character. The alligatoring is common in older houses when people failed to scrape and sand, or use a heat gun before repainting. I figure I would have wrinkles too if I were that old......

  19. Image for Jean Jean

    My last home and the one I have now were built new with Hardie board, it is concrete board so it is rated like brick for fire and if you choose to paint it holds paint very well. My last house was 15 years old and still looked wonderful! You won’t be sorry, practically maintenance free.

  20. Image for Sarah Sarah

    I would definitely recommend this product with a factory finis rather than paint your own. But as you know one reno leads to another. Think about your windows and if they might need replacing in the not so distant future do both the siding and windows. You might have to send one of the kids to work though!

  21. Image for Marie Marie

    We're thinking about this siding for our ocean front beach house that gets pounded by high winds, sand, and salt air. We have to repaint every 3 years or so because one side of the house just gets sandblasted and the paint wears off. If anyone has used this on a beach house, I'd love to know how it has held up.

    1. Image for Debi Debi

      I have the Hardi shingles on our house across the street from the beach and it has held up now for 11 years beautifully. It has gone through Northeasters and hurricanes.

  22. Image for Caitlin Schubert Caitlin Schubert

    We chose James Hardie for our siding here in South West Florida when we remodeled three years ago and COULD NOT BE HAPPIER. We did a gray board and batten on the bottom and staggered shingles in all of the gables that we painted white. The material is amazing, paints amazing and is perfect for any climate. Couldn't recommend more!

  23. Image for Susan Susan

    James Hardie siding is a cement fiber composite. It comes in a beautiful choice of colors and styles and unlike vinyl siding it CAN be painted if you change your mind about color. It costs more than vinyl but there are so many more benefits. Doesn't warp or sag, fire resistant, better insulating properties, won't easily crack if hit by stones or branches. We saw it at a local home show, and it is the siding of my dreams. Just saving our money until we can afford to get it. Great product! P.S. original siding on my home is mineral fiber- similar material which has held up over 50 yrs!years

  24. Image for Sylvia Sylvia

    We knew about James Hardie because we have a plant in our town’s Industrial Park. When we built our brick home 20 years ago, we used their product for eaves.. They still look wonderful. Could not be more pleased..

  25. Image for Lisa Lisa

    Absolutely love our Hardy Siding. We are in So Cal by the beach so we have moisture issues. We removed our stucco in the front of the house and put up hardy board in a board and battin for a coastal cottage look. And at the peek roof line we did horizontal. It was a joy to be creative!

  26. Image for Denise Cox Denise Cox

    How ironic! Marian Parsons ( can't remember the name of her blog) just decided that she is going with the same brand herself...🤗

  27. Image for Mary Jamieson Mary Jamieson

    I don't want to be a "Negative Nellie", but having some experience with both wood siding and Hardi plank, there are some definite negatives to Hardiplank. It does look good and the paint stays fresh looking for years, but over time, the planks sort of curve and wave. It is most noticeable on a side of the house that has less windows and more expanse of siding visible. It looks like it is undulating! Also, once the siding is up, it becomes very brittle. You cannot drill into the siding to hang things like light fixtures, pot hangers, or anything that would normally require a nail or screw placed into the siding. If you do, you take a huge chance of the board splitting as the planks get so brittle. Also, if you have a water issue occurring under the siding, such as a leak, to fix the siding, ALL of the siding on that side of the house has to be removed above the damage of the leak and below the belly band (a band circling the house at the one story level.) I know this as we had an issue under the siding at our dining room window. All the siding had to be removed and replaced with new siding on that side of the house. Very spendy! With wood siding, only the immediate sections of the planks adjoining the damage need to be replaced. The final negative is that unless you caulk the seams on each plank regularly, the seams crack and expose the underside to moisture. More possibility of rot and water damage. We live in Oregon so moisture is a real issue! There is a reason wooden cedar siding is so expensive! It is by far the best siding available. Houses stand with wooden siding for hundreds of years. I am doubtful a hundred years from now, the Hardiplank will look as good as wooden siding. I wish that we had wooden siding even if that meant scaping and sanding and a lot of work to bring it up to a maintainable condition. Think twice about changing from true wood to cement siding! All the negatives aside, I love, love, love your blog, your style and everything about Thistlewood Farms!

    1. Image for Cassandra Cassandra

      After reading so many positive comments, I was biting my tongue. But, your comment encouraged me to chime in.. I’d suggested my mom rebuild with this after losing her home in the wildfires this autumn. It is supposed to be fire resistant. She said no way, the dust created when cutting in to the product is highly carcinogenic. It’s just not worth it to her be exposed or expose others to that. I’m sorry!

  28. Image for Charley Charley

    I live in North Carolina where sun is strong and termites too. Since moving here in 1997 we have had nothing but hardieplank. We will not even look at a house for sale unless it has hardieplank. We have never had to paint either one of our houses. No fading, not a single imperfection. We are die hard fans!

  29. Image for Meryll Meryll

    Totally worth the investment! We've used HardiPlank on all of our flip houses - giving new life to Victorian and Craftsman homes all over Nashville! ::) It would be perfect on your house!

  30. Image for Colleen Colleen

    It is an investment for sure and you must do your research on it thoroughly! I’m not saying it isn’t a good product, " but", you have to make sure that whoever installs it, is a qualified installer of Hardie products. I say that because, ..if anything does go wrong with it, and the installer wasnt qualified (I believe you also have to use all Hardie screws and whatever else it requires for installation ), the warranty will be invalid. So, read every little thing you can get your hands on, every review, etc. Also, the installation fee will be higher than other products because it is "very" heavy!

  31. Image for Carrie Carrie

    We restored a home that was built in 1835 and we Hardi planked it and it was beautiful, and maintained it's historic look. You will love it.

  32. Image for Gail Gail

    I have Hardi plank and have had no problems. You can re paint years down the road. Great in hot climates, keeps its color. You will like the look.

  33. Image for Rebecca Rebecca

    We have Hardie planks on our house. We removed the siding and replaced it with Hardie 12 years ago. I am just now going back and putting a fresh coat on and am amazed as to how well the paint has lasted. There is no peeling involved. I love, love the Hardie board. It took some convincing from my Husband to go with this. All I could think of was concrete boards! I thought it would look just like concrete but that isn’t the case. It has wavy lines just like wood planks. I highly recommend it! Good luck!...

  34. Image for Ruth Anne Ruth Anne

    That all sounds good, but I have to wonder why you want to destroy the history of the house? Is the siding actually failing or is it just a question of aesthetics? Since you like decor with a history this is a little surprising.

  35. Image for DeMarie Ingraham DeMarie Ingraham

    Karianne.....We bought a 1908 Queen Anne in a teensy little Nebraska town about 6 years ago. The first two years we drove from Colorado to this little hamlet (3 hr. drive) every weekend to work on this old gal. Our idea was once hubby retired (for the 3rd time) to live in between the grandkids who half reside in Omaha, and the other half along the CO front range. Her bones are good but, Lordy, she needed a major face lift, not to mention her innards needed some major work, also. Poor gal looked like she'd been rode hard and put up wet. She's well known by all the town folk. One of the more early notable abodes. She sits high on a hill (hence I named her Hill House) and was the home to the County attorney, and then his son, who later became the county attorney, and then to his son who, well, let's just say he had his issues when it came to all that legal stuff! . She then became a rental and saw years of neglect. A lovely older couple then purchased her and tried their best to start on repairs, but then the husband passed away (on the kitchen floor, no less - and yes, he's visited us a time or two), so along came us who said "Oh, lookey at that wonderful old beauty with the good bones, we can fix her up!!! Uh huh, forgetting that we were now a LOT older than we were when we fixed up other homes in the past I could write a book just how much difference there is in a 40 yr. old body and a 60 something yr. old body relating to renovation projects. . However, we bit it off, so we had to suck it up and see it through - doing most of the work ourselves. Anyhoo, you asked about experience with hardy board. The outside of the old dear still had the original siding, and I swear the only thing holding it on (what was left of it) was the layer after layer of paint. Like you, we thought perhaps we'd try and take the paint down to the original wood, but too much was either missing in spots or rotted, etc. So finally, two years ago (once we had gotten the inside livable) we decided to bite the bullet and replace the siding and wrap her first in TyVec. The wonderful thing about hardy board is it's virtually indestructible. We know this first hand because after we had the siding put on, it wasn't 3 months before we had a hail storm to beat all hailstorms. It hung over the town for 45 minutes pelting us with golf ball to soft ball sized hail. All but 12 houses in the whole town (that's about 450 homes) had to have their roofs replaced (ours included). Any car that was not under a shelter was totaled. That siding on both the house and the garage we built had not one dent or chip in the paint. To say we were amazed is an understatement. I would highly recommend it to anyone. Pricey, yes. But considering that it holds up so well for so many years, it's well worth it. So, I say, if you can, swallow hard, write the check and go for it. In the long run, you will not regret it. I love following your blog as your home comes to life with your love and attention. I can so relate to just how much blood, sweat, tears and moola goes into this kind of a project!

  36. Image for Cindy Brooks Cindy Brooks

    We used Hardiplank when we built our home. We love it.. We used it because we live where there is a danger of a wildfire coming through the woods. It is very fire resistant because of the cement in the board. When you have it installed call your insurance agent and let them know. We get a discount because of the Hardiplank!

  37. Image for j e j e

    Know your climate before you use hardiplank. it is a nightmare in the northwest where we get a lot of rain. our home was built with it and 20 years later it was all rotted and a nightmare to replace.

  38. Image for Gayle Gayle

    We built a new cabin and now are building a garage apt. using Hardy siding on red. We are Norwegian/Swedish and wanted a traditional look. Love it.

  39. Image for Nancy Dermyer Nancy Dermyer

    We’ve had it for twelve years on our home in Michigan. It’s beautiful! We had it painted a custom color (Martha Stewart Thundercloud) at the factory. We’ve repainted once. The only issue we have had is a “melting” problem in wet areas on the north side of the house. You will love it.

  40. Image for Pegi Pegi

    We have Hardie Plank on our house and LOVE it! It holds paint longer than wood also. You will love it! I think it made out of some type of concrete.

  41. Image for Becky Becky

    Your house might be historically significant. Replacing the original wood siding with Hardiboard may interfere with its historic value. Consider your removing the wood siding very carefully. You may want to consider contacting the local historical society.

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