How to Paint Exterior Siding - Page 2

  • Step 4 : Remove old caulk

    During the scraping process, use an old screwdriver to dig out old caulk that is dry, brittle or damaged. Dust it out with an old paintbrush so the joint can be recaulked.

  • Step 5 : Repair damaged siding

    Repair damage

    Use exterior wood filler to fill holes or rot or other damage. Some two-part products require careful mixing and must be applied within a relatively short time. Spread it with a putty knife and smooth with sandpaper when completely dry.

  • Step 6 : Sand and sand

    Sand surfaces

    Use a rubber sanding block, palm sander or a random-orbit sander to smooth the hard edges of paint around scraped areas, a process called feathering. Start with medium-grit and finish with fine-grit abrasive. Keep the sander moving to prevent heat buildup, which can cause paint to soften and gum up the sandpaper, making it useless. Wear a tight-fitting dust mask and goggles during this process. Do a particularly good job around entryways and other areas that are most visible. Rinse off all the sanding dust.

  • Step 7 : Prime bare wood

    Prime before topcoating all unpainted wood surfaces made bare during scraping and sanding. Cedar or redwood siding may require special primers that are designed to prevent wood resin or tannin bleeding from knots. Shade the color of the primer with a paint tint so a single topcoat will more easily cover it.

  • Step 8 : Caulk open joints

    Caulk open joints

    Seal joints between exterior trim and siding and between dissimilar materials, such as metal and wood or wood and masonry. Use a quality siliconized acrylic-latex caulk, which can be painted. If joints are deeper than 1/2 inch, press in a foam backer rod to fill the gap to within 1/4 inch of the surface. Caulk will adhere better to a dry surface so allow plenty of time for the joint to dry out after washing and before priming or caulking.

  • Step 9 : Prepare to paint and make a staging area

    With the siding prepared and a forecast for clear, warm weather, get ready to paint. Use blue painter's masking tape to protect any fixtures you cannot easily remove and other areas you don't want painted, such as the outside edges of window and door trim. Reposition drop cloths to protect the ground and shrubbery and set the ladder carefully in place. If you intend to spray the topcoat, additional protection procedures -- such as covering windows with plastic sheeting - are a good idea. Designate a shaded spot in the yard as a staging area for paint and supplies. Lay down a drop cloth and use the workstation for stirring and mixing paint and storing supplies. Stir the paint in the can and get it ready to apply.

    Plan the job like a painting contractor who likes to "follow the sun". That means it's best to paint on a sun-warmed surface but not while the sun is beating down on it. So let the sun warm up the side you intend to paint and start painting when the sun moves on to the next side of the house. There might be a slight difference in colors between various cans of paint that you won't notice until the paint has dried on whatever surface it is covering. To avoid this, use a mixing process called "boxing" that is utilized by the pros. Mix at least two gallons of paint together in a bucket or 5-gallon container and as the job progresses, refill it with new gallons, as needed. Make sure you stir the paint thoroughly before applying.

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