We have been given the option, at exactly the same cost, to reside the three gables on our 100 year-old home with vinyl shakes, such as Nailite or with cedar. We are inclined to choose vinyl. Has anyone been dissatisfied with such a product/used Nailite or similar/have an opinion on the choice?
I would go with the cedar as I am not all that wild about vinyl as I have seen it fading in a few years and it does get brittle and no matter how good it is it still looks like plastic. If cedar is coated correctly it hold paint very well. A good way to go is apply a coat of exterior oil based primer (a slow dry rather than one of the quick dry) and apply 2 coats of a soild acrylic/latex stain. There is a product from James Hardi that looks like cedar shakes and that would be the best choice of all as it hold paint the best and it does not rot as it made out of concrete. You would prime that with an exterior acrylic primer and finish with your choice of either flat or satin house paint, 2 coats of finish would be best. I am partial to satin on this type of surface but it is all personal preference. Enjoy the new look on your house.
There are also aluminum shake shingles available which have a shake look but feature fade and chalk resistant coatings. These are often used for roofing but they work on siding as well. Visit www.classicroof.com to learn more.