Ah, wood siding. It's one of the things that gives our Heights homes their character. It's also one of those things that requires regular maintenance...
I talked with our neighborhood carpentry guru about how to fix small problem areas in siding, such as peeling paint. He gave me this run-down:
Step One: Scrape off loose paint
- This initial step involves two different types of scrapers: a small one and a big one. The bigger one is useful for large, flat areas, while the smaller one helps with the more intricate detail areas. This step is an integral part of preparing the surface.
- After all the loose paint has been scraped off, it's time to sand the area with a coarse sandpaper (like 60 grit). Depending on the tools available, as well as the size of the area you're refinishing, you can sand by hand or use a machine. Again, this step is an integral part of preparing the surface.
- Another aspect of preparing the surface involves hammering any loose nails as well as re-nailing any loose siding. During this stage, it's important to use a nail set which allows you to apply force to each nail more precisely and prevents the wood from getting dented.
Step Four: Prime the area
- Once the area has been scraped, sanded, and re-nailed, it's time to apply primer. Check the weather before applying the primer to ensure that it won't rain for at least twelve hours. In total, you'll want to let the primer dry for an entire day or two.
- This step is not the place to skimp on materials! Avoid being lured in by a $2 tube of caulk. It's worth a few more dollars to ensure that you get a good caulk that won't fail you. You'll want to caulk areas where the siding boards come together, as well as around doors and windows. Pay special attention to the area on top of windows!
- The final preparation stage involves lightly sanding (approximately 120 grit) the areas you primed to give it a nice, smooth finish.
- The final step is to paint over your repaired area (with at least two coats of paint). And--voila!--you're finished!