Wax Bleed

Stains that come from waxy substance in the reconstituted wood products used to make hardboard siding. When the substrate is painted, these staining substances bleed through the paint; they can even bleed through some ordinary primers, possibly causing dirt pickup, mildew and/or poor paint adhesion (see Dirt Pickup and Mildew).

Possible Causes

  • Failure to apply a proper primer to hardboard before applying the top coat.
  • Allowing hardboard siding to weather before being painted.


  • To treat or prevent, apply a quality exterior acrylic latex primer; follow with a coat of high quality exterior acrylic latex paint. The American Hardboard Association recommends two coat of top quality acrylic exterior house paint for best results. Some hardboard grades have adequate factory primer and need only a quality paint applied. Low quality, highly pigmented flat paints are more prone to wax bleed than are higher quality paints.