Preparing Rough Sawn Lumber for Repainting

Pressure washing rough sawn lumber siding with peeling paint.Rough sawn lumber is often more difficult to repaint than traditional, smooth lumber because of the roughness and depth of the wood grain. Paint can appear to be solidly attached, when it's really loose. This can lead to damage from dry rot as water seeps behind the paint.

You want to prepare rough sawn lumber properly to ensure your new paint job seals the exterior of your home from the outside elements.

  • Inspect for any needed repairs and complete them. This would include identifying damaged boards and looking for missing flashing.
  • Mix a mild cleaning solution of warm water and dish detergent, soak the bristles of a stiff brush in the solution and scrub the wood. The water, soap and scrubbing will remove a majority of any loose paint. It will also begin removing grime that has accumulated in the rough surface of the wall. A cold water pressure washer can be used for large areas of siding. Be careful when pressure washing as wood can be removed or damaged.
  • Rinse the wood surface with clean water and inspect your work. Continue scrubbing the surface with your soap and water solution until wall is clean. If the soap and water solution does not appear to be working you can switch to a stronger cleaning solution of 2 cups of trisodium phosphate cleaner in 1 gallon of water. Make sure to rinse well. You must remove residual suds.
  • Peel away any loosened or peeling paint with a stiff putty knife or 5-Way paint scraper. You may also find a metal 2-edge paint scraper, or stiff bristle brush helps you pry up any loose paint ends for easier peeling. Remove as much loose paint as possible.

Using an airless paint sprayer to prime rough sawn lumber siding.If you are working with a rough wood, such as sawn cedar, your only choice may be to use a wire brush. The wire brush can be attached to a power drill to speed up the process. Just be careful. Cedar is a soft wood that can be damaged easily if you are too aggressive.

Use a sharp scraper to feather the edges of remaining old paint that is sound and doesn't separate from the wood. It is okay to leave old paint in place as long as it is in good condition.

  • Prime all raw exposed wood with a standard oil base wood primer. For excessive peeling areas a first coat of latex emulsion primer, like Peel Stop, can help glue down the remaining paint edges and prevent further peeling. Make sure to finish priming with an oil base wood primer. Normally spot priming the raw areas is all that is needed. For excessive peeling the entire surface should be primed.


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Stain is out if wood is sealed

Easy way to test if it's sealed is by scraping off some of the surface stuff you think is poly and see if it melts or makes black smoke when burned. If it's not poly, try staining an inconspicuous test area to see if it takes. If it doesn't soak in evenly - Painting is best bet, but treat surface first.
Sanding would be impossible if surface is very rough. Try washing the siding with a muriatic acid solution, which will chemically "pit" the poly surface, allowing paint to stick. Rinse well before painting though.

Ogdensburg home rehabilitation program gears up for phase two, on schedule  —
Some homes will receive extensive and visible rehabilitation, including the installation of vinyl siding, roofing and windows. Other homes won't have an obvious exterior update but will have new furnaces or flooring put in.

Shur-Line Shur-Line 00750 7-Inch Deck and Fence Pad Painter
Home Improvement (Shur-Line)
  • Rounded edges at both front and rear allows a scrubbing action which is necessary when applying paint/stain to rough surface
  • Ideal for applying exterior stains and paints to rough surfaces such as cedar siding or wood fences
  • Use with all paints and stains
Valspar Valspar/Cabot Part # 01-3000 Clear Solution, Natural ~ 1 Gallon
Lawn & Patio (Valspar)
  • Penetrating oil protection in just one coat/Protects against sun, elements & warping
  • Natural, water-repellent finish for bare wood/For new or reconditioned wood only
  • Use on decks, siding, shingles, trim & log homes
  • Smooth surface coverage: 400-600 sq.ft. per Gal.
  • Rough surface coverage: 150-250 sq.ft. per Gal.
Valspar/Cabot Valspar/Cabot #0806.008 Siding Stain, Solid Color - Acrylic/Neutral - 5 Gallons
Lawn & Patio (Valspar/Cabot)
  • 100% acrylic, one-coat coverage, solid color stain
  • Fade-resistant & water-repellent/Dries to a natural, flat finish
  • Water-based, clean up with soap & water
  • Smooth surface coverage: 300-400 sq.ft. per Gal/Rough surface coverage: 200-300 sq.ft. per Gal

Related posts:

  1. Spray painting exterior wood siding
  2. Exterior Pine wood siding
  3. Painting exterior vinyl siding
  4. Painting Metal Siding

  • Avatar outbackprophet What router bit would you need to make horizontal wooden siding?
    Apr 23, 2007 by outbackprophet | Posted in Do It Yourself (DIY)
    • You would be better-off getting a shaper with the head shapes that were recommended. Even with a router table it is hard to control the passage of the wood past the router cutters. The shaper makes it easy and keeps you from ruining a long piece of wood.