Spray painting exterior wood siding

How to Paint the Exterior of a Wooden Structure

  1. Begin your preparation with a power washer. Although it can be effective at cleaning, this must be done very carefully and not at close range, or it can damage siding and drive water into the wood and walls. The first opinion on this, overruled by the contributors, is that you do not power wash unless you plan to let it dry for at least a month. You do not want to paint over wet wood. Take your choice.


  2. For larger structures, scaffolding may be preferable to ladders.
  3. Scrub all mold with bleach and water and water only, then rinse bleach.
  4. Set all nails with nail set.
  5. Screw all loose siding, trim and accessories.
  6. Sand all loose paint. The Makita 5" disk sander is ideal. Never use paper disk sand paper, as it doesn't last long and is hard to control. Use hard board sanding disks usually 80, 100 or 120 grit, depending. You can sand very lightly with outer one inch of board, and no sanding grooves will show. Used correctly, this should last half, or most of the day.
  7. When you sand loose paint, use a painters mask to avoid breathing fine paint dust. Older paint has lead in it and it can give you lead poisoning. One advantage of the scrubbing is that it reduces the dust that you breath.
  8. To seal rusted nails drain pipes etc. use Red Mercury. However, this is poisonous; wear mask with filters specifically for the chemical.
  9. Break painted-in windows and repair window glaze by removing loose and patching. Redwood window sills may need to be sanded to wood and fiber glassed with Redwood compatible epoxy. Use some mix of Linseed Oil on dry rot and overly dry wood. You can also use fiberglass to seal overly damaged dry rot. Primer with oil base primer. Never use water base primer outside as it will not hold up on wood.
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    Put paint into a 5 gallon bucket with a roller screen, in combination with a hook, to hang it from ladders and scaffold, and as a catch if it should slip. All tools can be equipped with hangers. Roll on the paint with a long nap roller for speed, best quality, and then painted out with brush. A three and one-half inch acrylic angle brush is light, easy to use, and can be used for nearly every application. A brush holder can be bought which hangs on the bucket. Spray painting is faster, but will never do the job of hand application, since the paint is usually thinned for the gun. Beware of contractors who use the cheapest materials, and the fastest means to save labor costs. Often they charge the highest prices and do the cheapest job.
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    Do filling. Fill will stick better to paint, than raw wood. Fill all nail holes or anything up to one or even two inch diameter with 'Dap 33', oil base window glaze. The only thing ever used before someone decided to make money on unnecessary substitutes. Allow the surface to glaze over for more than one day before painting. You can also use fiber glass filler for large holes. Use elastomeric, paintable caulk, the most long lasting that you can get, for most vertical joints, cracks, some knot holes. Seal up vertical framing like windows and trim. Do not caulk overlapping horizontal ship lap, and use a cutting tool to open already sealed, although this is tough and may not be necessary. The theory is this allows breath-ability.
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    You must use paint over the entire exterior surface with exterior primer before you paint. If you do not use exterior primer, the "oxidation" on the old paint will burn the new paint and between 1 and 2 years it will peal off. If you prime with exterior primer, the paint will last over a decade. I painted 2 homes and a duplex in 2000 with an expensive exterior primer and in 2010 I still do not have any peeling.
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    Choose paint. Lighter paint reflects the sun; darker paint absorbs it, and tends to break down faster. Best to use 2 coats of only '100 percent acrylic', over oil base primer. Exterior latex will not last. Two coats will last longer than one. A good paint job should last ten to fifteen years. Usually like everything, the best paint costs the most money. Use big-brand, and do not buy paint from chain hardware and discount stores, since they tend to be primarily interested in profit.



  • Outdoor painting can be dangerous when heights are involved. Tall ladders should be tied down. Scaffolding is the safest, since if one slips, one can usually find something to grab onto. Always have a plan in your head, for if the worst happens. Never take chances.
  • The city required me to paint around an attic that was located in the middle of a highly inclined roof. I tied a long rope to a fence and threw it over the roof to where I would go up. I went up and kept one hand on the rope and did all the preparation and paint with one hand while someone else handed me the materials.

Source: www.wikihow.com

CFI Products CFI Products TruCleanEX Deck and Roof Cleaner Concentrate, 32-ounce
Home (CFI Products)
  • Makes 2.5 gallons; Can be used with pressure washer; Cleans about 500 sq ft
  • Will not harm/discolor shingles. Restores natural color to pine, cedar, redwood, cypress and birch
  • For use on decks, siding, fencing, docks, cedar and asphalt roofs, gazebos, brick and concrete
  • It is a water-base product, containing no bleach. It will not harm shingles or bleach wood. No scrubbing needed
  • Makes 2.5 gallons; Can be used with pressure washer; Cleans about 500 sq ft.

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I paint houses for a living. Where I work no license is needed. I do have a city business license though. I think the most important thing to do is check references. Ask what jobs he did recently and go look at them closely. Look for missed areas, sloppy transitions from one color to another. Look for paint drips (a few drips are normal).
I feel all exterior jobs should have mildew removed with a bleach/water solution and then pressure washed. Caulking is usually required where the old caulk has dried up and cracked. Also any spots that were missed the first time or areas where settling has occured (esp windows/doors)

Ogdensburg home rehabilitation program gears up for phase two, on schedule  — WatertownDailyTimes.com
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.

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