In need of advice on surface prep

hokiehorticultureJuly 22, 2010

I am starting a restoration project on an old barn on my grandmothers property, it's not in bad shape, but doesn't exactly look new either. It was built in the 60's and probably last painted in the late 60's early 70's. So I am assuming it contains lead paint. But, my question is about the surface prep, I was out there today attempting to scrape the old paint off, but it was almost impossible to do. I was out there for a couple hours and I think I scraped one vertical board to bare wood in that time. So, the surface isn'tpeeling, it's actually holding together well for its age, but it's dry, cracked looking, I believe 'chalky' is the term. I am wondering whether there is an alternative to scraping (power washing, stripping chemicals) anyone would recommend for this situation. Or is getting down to bare wood even essential if the paint isn't in terrible condition? Would a coat of primer and a coat of paint turn out fine? Or two coats of solid stain do better? I'm basically a newby at this whole construction restoration thing and just need advice, thanks.

here is a link to a picture of the barn (yes it is actually pink, the color is not faded, apparently it is a mixture of who knows how many gallons of paint, I guess it was expensive back then lol)

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This is what we would do in trying to do a first rate job but I haven't seen pictures of barn.
Check every inch of the surface you want to repaint for peeling or lifting (looking real close & tapping on suspect parts with your finger nail).Scrape those parts off only. No need to strip off wood at all.
If this is a wood surface it's unlikely any of it is lifting.
I would get towels and clean surface with water/bleach (unless wood is too rough)....then sand the surface as smooth as your humanity/patience will allow...this will determine how well it comes out. Do your best here & use a mask.
Vaccum/wipe all including room,till no dust appears on your hand as you wipe.
The parts that are missing paint I would use a Sweedish Putty (FPE,Vermont)
but there are less costly alternatives by Muralo to fill in those areas...let dry then sand even. For wood dents we usually used High performance Wood Filler....then sand even
Then get the very best oil primer to coat as it is probablly oil paint and it needs to adhere.(Spot prime transparent areas after first coat)
Then get best quality Paint to finish (Pratt & Lambert Alccolade or equal) 2 coats.
For best look,one of us rolls and other follows with brush strokes up & down to add traditional finish as roller finish is just damn unattractive.
A girlfriend comes in handy for this part by the way if you don't have one ..get one...Best wishes..

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 1:46AM
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Thanks Nick, I will follow your advice. But a couple questions: First, I will not be able to reach an extension cord to this barn, so hand sanding will be necessary, I'm guessing pretty coarse grit paper due to how rough the boards are? Is a dust mask enough for this job? Or should I buy a half face respirator? I don't believe there is any "wood dents" but then again I'm not exactly sure what you mean by that, but I will be looking into getting some of the putty you speak of for the areas missing paint, I guess thats just to level the painting surface? I have a retailer nearby that carries Muralo, heard good things, but when you say less costly, how much are you talking? And this barn is about 900 sq ft by the way, would it tell me on this putty container how much it will cover? If not could you give me an estimate? Many thanks

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 10:19AM
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If the current coating is not peeling, then power washing is really the best way. The chalky old paint should just wash right off. I don't really see a reason to fill anything in the wood. I would do long drying exterior oil primer followed by 100 percent acrylic stain because stain does not peel like paint does.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 12:36AM
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Agreeing w/ PG here....

But, another option-

You'd be spending a year filling/leveling flaws in the siding. Since it's a smaller structure:
* Might as well invest in new clapboards then...
* Depending on your expectations, new clapboards may be the best option....
* Consider the moderate PHYSICAL effort of just getting the existing boards READY to paint/stain.
* You wouldn't be dealing with much lead exposure this way, and it would look better for a longer time.
*'d be done A LOT faster. That's worth some $$$ too IMO!


    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 1:02AM
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