It does not seems that emacs started with –daemon read the .Xdefauls resource it seems that the only way setting it is by the default-frame-alist variable.
I have my setup like this :
(setq default-frame-alist '((font-backend . "xft") (font . "Inconsolata-14") (vertical-scroll-bars) (left-fringe . -1) (right-fringe . -1) (fullscreen . fullboth) (menu-bar-lines . 0) (tool-bar-lines . 0) ))
PS: inconsolata font can be installed from the package ttf-inconsolata