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Community and Q&A

Shaker Panel Siding

AustinHarris | Posted in General Questions on

Curious if anyone has a good exterior grade panel/sheet product that could be used for the “panel” section of the “shaker panel” style siding in the photos attached?

I will be using P5 – for the stiles and rails, but unsure what to use for the paneling.

Maybe James Hardy cement panels would work? Azek panel?

Thanks in advance, 

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  1. user-6623302 | | #1

    Use MDO PLYWOOD. It is what they use for road signs. It is plywood with a weather proof outer layer. Takes and holds paint very well.

    1. bigred | | #3

      Azek make wide boards and panels. On the pricier side, but will not rot and looks good painted. When I resided my house, use Azek trim pieces and fabricated window trim. It cuts nicely, you can router the edges, and I even dimensioned it on my planer, don't get glass smooth finish off the planer but makes very glueable sides.

      1. Expert Member
        MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #4


        Azek is great but it shrinks, so the size of any one piece you can use is limited.

        1. bigred | | #5

          Malcolm, Azek claims 1/8" per 18 feet. I would think, at least based on the photos the OP provided, that you could do either a flat panel against the sheathing or other substrate and then rabbet the frame over the flat panel that would hide the expansion/contraction. With my window trim I rabbeted the trim to overlay my windows nailing fin. Has worked great so far and can't see any gaps that have opened and I'm in Central texas, so been through some pretty cold and a lot of real hot since install.

          1. Expert Member
            MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #6


            You are right, and that's not a lot. Azek might be a good choice.

          2. AustinHarris | | #8

            Eric & Malcolm, I think Azek is the correct choice when all said and done. Though pricey, it's worth not having to redo it all in a few years. Attached is a detail I drew up to hopefully take care of expansion and contraction concerns... simply overlay the 1x4 P5 and leave a 1/2" gap between Azek sheets? I should mention this is all over a vented & strapped cavity for air circulation and drying. Im in Vermont, zone 6, with some very colds winter nights and some very hot/humid summer days. Hoping this detail works out!

          3. virtus | | #10

            Check the specs of any Azek or PVC type material for LRV paint specs if you plan to paint it black or very dark as in the pictures. Many of them have a minimum LRV requirement because the heat from the dark paint can buckle or warp the panels.

            There are special paints for this application now that help as well since black trim is so popular.

  2. jollygreenshortguy | | #2

    I've been wondering the same. I see Jonathan has mentioned MDO. My first thought was HDO but I've had no personal experience with either.
    I'm also curious about how to treat the edges of the sheet goods that are exposed to the weather? Is primer and paint enough?

  3. virtus | | #7

    The p5 trim is wood. I would paint the P5 and any Azek or MDF or exterior MDF samples first to see you are happy with the sheen and how they match when painted. I was thinking of using dissimilar materials, Azek or Versatex which are basically PVC and wood on recessed panel column wraps because of differences in expansion and how they look painted.

  4. user-6623302 | | #9

    BORAL is also a good product for nonstructural work. Very green as well.

    I only use MDO when the edges will not be exposed.

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