Installing Masonite Siding with an Air Gun

man installing siding
  • 10-20 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 1,500-5,000
What You'll Need
Safety goggles
4-Foot level
Air gun
Circular saw
Masonite siding
Chalk line
Tape measure

Masonite siding is often used to cover the exterior walls of some homes. Although it is not as commonly used as other sidings, homeowners who do use it find it is often the preferred siding. This is usually because of its durability and because the pre-painted finish usually requires less maintenance. The amount of time required to install Masonite panels can be reduced by installing them with an air gun. Although installations of this type are not unusually challenging, you will need to take care in aligning these panels before nailing them.

Step 1 - Measure Your Wall Surface to Determine Material Needs

Because Masonite is usually supplied in 4' X 8' panels, you'll need to determine the number of panels you'll need to cover your home's exterior walls. To do this, use a tape measure with a long tape, and measure the height and width of each wall surface you plan to cover. Multiply the height times the width. For example: if your wall is 10 feet high and 30 feet wide, the square footage will total 300 square feet. Divide this figure by the square foot area of your Masonite panel (32 square feet). The result will be approximately 10. This means, you would normally need about 10 panels.

Step 2 - Make Allowance for Odd Shaped Pieces

In planning for the number of sheets needed to cover your 10-foot wall (as in the paragraph above), and if you plan to install your panels vertically, you'll have two feet at the top of each panel that you'll need to cover. To cover the length of your 30-foot wall, you'll need seven panels installed side-by-side. This will leave a two-foot space left to cover. You will need to cut two-foot strips from other panels to cover these two-foot top and side spaces, so take this into account when you're buying your panels.

Step 3 - Attach Your First Row of Panels

modern home with dark driveway and tan paint

Before attaching your first row of panels, determine if you'll want the panels placed vertically or horizontally on your wall. Next, place your four-foot level at the outside edge of the house where you plan to install your first panel. Be sure the edge of the house is plumb. If it isn't plumb, and if you install your first sheet even with the outside edge, all your panels will be installed slightly off plumb. To avoid this, cut the edges of your first panels so when you attach them they will be plumb and level. Then, all successive panels will be plumb.

Step 4 - Nail Your Panels

Position your first panel on the wall with the edge lined up with the outside wall edge. Use your air gun to insert nails at the two top corners of the siding, then insert additional nails down the edges of the panel and across the bottom at six-inch intervals. Attach the remainder of your panels the same way, adjoining the panel edges until you've covered the entire wall.