Best Painting strategy for OLD clapboards?

sarahandbraySeptember 1, 2012

**cross-posting on old house forum**

We are at the painting phase after taking off the siding and I'm getting a little gun shy! T-minus two weeks!

We have the painter lined up and trust his prep work, attention to detail, finished product, etc.

What I'm not sure of is the product we should use for the longest hold. He has an exclusive with Sherwin-Williams but is pretty flexible using any of their paints/primers that we decide. As of now, we are down for "SW exterior primer" and "two coats of SW Emerald exterior paint." I know that Emerald is a latex paint (should we use oil-based instead?) and I'm not sure what type of "exterior primer" he is using.

The clapboard and trim and scalloping all seems to be in good shape with only one layer, maybe two of paint. There are not many exposed areas. I'm sure it's pretty dry underneath, however. It is not flaking though it does have that alligator look in some areas. Last time it was painted was probably the 1940's since the aluminum was put on in 1952. The window trim, which has been exposed, has more flaking of paint and looks dry.

I'm aware of all of the lead issues--wondering more about what primer I should insist the painter use and then what paint. Maybe he would be willing to go outside of Sherwin-Williams for the primer, if necessary, but it would be easier if I could stay within that brand.

I can't seem to get a decisisve answer on what would make the paint stick the longest without bubbling and flaking.



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If it were my house:
Hand washing with scrubbies, sponge, detergent. (no pressure washer).
Sanding problem areas with a sander hooked to a HEPA vacuum (to keep the lead contained) or wet-scraping and the necessary plastic sheeting to contain the mess, then double-bag in 6-mil black trash bags, seal w/tape and off to the landfill)
Sanded areas get primed the same day (or as soon as dry if wet-scarping) to prevent any weathering of the exposed wood/feathered edges of paint/wood.
Primer is as important as good prep: I use a thinned oil primer for outdoors. If it is not a linseed oil primer to begin with add a couple ounces of it per gallon, and thin with turpentine.

Caulk and fill all your nail holes after priming. Perhaps spot prime over the nail holes if the spackle shows through as a dull or shiny spot. You want to avoid the freckles. Don't over caulk. There are discussions about where and how to caulk. Never caulk the horizontal seams of woodwork. They must remain unsealed to allow the wood to dry out and breathe. A house never fell down because of too little caulk, but great damage can occur from overuse.

For speed roll on (4" roller) and brush it in. Or use an airless sprayer and brush it in for large areas. Don't ever simply spray on and walk away.

Make sure painting happens after the dew is off, and stop painting an hour before dew could fall.

The quality of the topcoat, then, is only going to determine how long before the paint fades, as a prep job I have described will give it every chance of adhering to the substrate.
If your colors are light, you can get away with cheaper paint, but make sure dark accents are the best you can buy so they don't fade. Also, try to keep to the natural pigments and avoid colorants that are synthetic/dyes, they fade the worst.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 12:59PM
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Wow, thanks!! I'll forward over to my painter and see what he thinks...he wanted to power wash but that makes me nervous with the old wood...

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 5:02PM
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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

If "the painter" is good, just let him,her, do the job.They should not and do not need any influence from you

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 5:04AM
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