Small Cabin Picture

Small Cabin Siding Options

Smart Side Panel Picture

Plywood or OSB Sheets

You can use regular plywood or OSB sheets for small cabin siding. 3/8" or 1/2" thickness is a typical choice. This is a reasonably inexpensive option.

When you use plywood or OSB panels outdoors, you need to paint them. Because they are not primed, oil paint is the best option. It is more durable than acrylic/latex and soaks well into the panel.

SmartSide Sheets

A better, but more expensive option is SmartSide panels. They have numerous advantages:
  • Durability
  • Extra shear strength (you can nail it directly to the studs)
  • Treated for moisture, rot and fungal decay resistance
  • Termite damage protection
  • Shiplap edges
  • Surface pre-primed with resin-saturated primer (good paint adhesion)
  • No need for additional wall covering (plastic or aluminum siding)
  • Embossed cedar pattern with tapered grooves for traditional planking look

Painted Smart Side Panel Picture Because SmartSide panels are pre-primed, use an exterior 100% acrylic latex paint or a latex blend for painting.

The SmartSide panels are more expensive than plywood or OSB sheets. I've seen prices ranging from $29 to $80 per panel (3/8" thickness 4x8 ft).

I used SmartSide panels for the siding of my small cabin and plywood for siding of other structures.