How To Choose Clapboard Siding Nails – The Best Sizes And Types For Seamless Installation

Clapboard siding is a stylish and affordable way to finish your home, protecting it from weather damage. These overlapping wood or fiber-cement panels are called clapboards. They’re easy to install, but you’ll want to make sure you use the correct nails to get the job done. Here’s everything you need to know about choosing the best clapboard siding nails.

clapboard siding nails

Types of Nails For Clapboard Siding

Technically, you can use nails or screws to hang your clapboard siding, but nails are often the tool of choice. They’re easier to work with, waterproof to prevent rusting, and long enough to hold the siding without pulling out the exterior wall. The best nails are with rings or spiral shanks for added grip. Nails that have a smooth shank are more likely to pop out.

You may want to use finishing nails because they’re made to be less visible but resist the urge. Regular nails will better prevent the sliding from slipping off the wall, especially when it’s wet or begins to warp. This is because they have heads that hold the siding in place.

Stainless steel and high-tensile aluminum nails are best, though you can use hot-dipped galvanized nails in a pinch. 

nail types and various sizes

The Best Nail Size for Clapboard Siding

You should use nails at least 1 ¾ inches long, or 5d nails, because it needs to penetrate the siding panel and grip the wall. If you’re able to nail into studs, you’ll want to use 8d nails, which are 2 ½ inches long. The thickness of your siding may impact how long you need your nail, so it’s always important to consider various factors before choosing a nail.  

Things to Keep in Mind When Installing Clapboard Siding

While installing siding can be a nice project, there are several tips you should keep in mind to help make your siding last far past that extended warranty.


Weep Holes and Siding Installation

Weep holes are essential to help protect your home against water damage. They’re handy little holes installed in bricks and windows to help water escape your home. They let the house breathe, so you should avoid putting any nails in these areas.

You’ve blocked one of these important drainage points if you accidentally nail it in a weep hole. Your siding will expand and contract with the weather, and this wiggling will cause the nail to loosen over time, eventually falling out and leaving your siding insecure. It’s best to avoid weep holes when possible.


rusty nails

Painting Rusty Nails in Clapboard Siding

If you don’t use waterproof nails, your nails will rust over time, causing staining on your siding. You can strip the nails and replace them or paint them.  For painting, make sure to sand the nail heads to remove the rust stain. Next, you can prevent future rusting by sinking them further in the siding and caulking over them. After it’s dry, prime and paint the surface to match.

Consider Other Siding Tools

Nails are important. But there are many other siding tools out there. Consider good saw and do not forget safety glasses. Other siding tools you may need are:


Hanging Your Clapboard Siding

When hanging your clapboard siding, start at the bottom and work your way up. Use tools like a swing stick and story poll for even measurements and avoid weep holes. Take your time, and your house will look beautiful in no time!



My name is Donald and I am the main author of this little page. I love working around the houses during the day and writing articles about house improvement in the evening. If you have any questions, just ask in the comments! If you need professional siding services use the form.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here