Preperation for painting the outside of my house.

happycthulhuOctober 3, 2006

My house is a craftsman style house complete with all the rafter tails and roof overhangs.

Every scrap of wood on the house is painted in this awful Pepto Bismol pink color.

There is lots of chipping and places where the paint is completly off.

My questions is, do I have to completely remove all traces of the old paint before I start putting a new color on?

Or, can I just scrape off the obvious bad parts and paint over the rest?

If I just scrape the bad parts and paint over, will it look obvious or will the new paint hide that?

Lastly, can I get tinted primer? And, how long after I prime do I have to start painting? (I have 37 windows to repair and prime and that might take a while to finish.)

Here is a link that might be useful: My Old Home

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I will preface this response in saying that I am not an expert, but have done my share of research and painting over time.

You do not need to remove all the old paint. You can leave any paint that is adhered firmly. When in doubt, remove. If the old paint is an oil base then I would recommend applying a primer and then coating with a latex paint. You could reapply with an oil base paint, but applying the primer and then a good quality latex paint will be worth the extra effort. How can you tell if the old paint is latex or oil base? Well, I can't really answer that one, but maybe you already know.
It may look obvious depending on a number of factors including how many coats are already there, the location, and how the light hits it, how well it was painted before, etc. Three coats of old paint will leave a ridge next to bare wood. If you like things perfect, then best to remove all the paint. On the other hand, after the paint job is completed, no one is likely to notice until you get ready to sell it. I generally remove only that which can be removed with a good scaper and stiff wire brush. I would also recommend sanding any bare wood to make sure it is smooth.

Don't forget, if the home is old, it is likely to have paint containing lead. Sanding this stuff could be hazardous to your health.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 12:34PM
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Preparation outside is just like preparation inside: it's 80% of the work of painting.
Yes, you can leave securely stuck on paint on. You have to remove the rest (ultraviolet light, heat, scrape, sand, or chemical peel), and then sand or scrape down the edges where remaining paint and bare wood meet. You should also plan on washing the painted surfaces first, as they need to be clean in order to adhere to the new paint. (Warm water mixed with a stiffish dose of Clorox and some TSP, applied with a scrub brush -some elbow grease required - and then rinsed off with a garden hose, not a pressure washer.) If the previous paint is still shiny, you will need to de-gloss it chemically or sand it lightly. (Feel free to curse previous paint jobs that left you with shiny paint in that case.)

Then you have to make any repairs to dings; deal with any visible nail heads, etc. If some of the wood is really old and dried out, you may need an undercoat of linseed oil/turps mix. Then pre-prime the repairs and nail heads, prime the whole shebang and then put on two coats of the finish color(s). Oh, yeah, don't forget to check your caulking and flashing and replace what needs attention post prime, pre-finish coat.

I have to believe you live somewhere south of the Mason Dixon line, because where I am, tardy painters are working under lights and praying for dry warm days in order to get their projects completed before it's too late.

And since you described your house as a Craftsman, it's important to determine if you are dealing with lead paint before you do anything that creates lead vapors, dust or chips.

It certainly is possible to do your house yourself, but it's not a small job and you will need good ladders and scaffolding, lots of tarps, a lot of free time, etc.



    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 4:21PM
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Brushworks Spectacular Finishes

There is lots of chipping and places where the paint is completly off.

Chipped paint needs to be feather sanded to prevent future peeling. The bridge created at every chip weakens the new paint and cracks there first, leading to failure around it.

After the prep, I recommend a quality acrylic primer and two coats of 100% Acrylic Exterior Enamel.


    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 9:54PM
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Yes, you may regret you posted here!! All previous posts are right on. Feathersanding, filling, priming, etc., are CRUCIAL to a long-lasting job.
>>> Tinting primer: usually only necessary under deep colors, especially reds/burgundies...then use a GRAY primer, followed by 2 coats minimum of color about 5 hrs. apart.
>>> Bright colors (like a lemon yellow) would need a tintable primer that can handle the full formula of the regular topcoat.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 1:19AM
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I feel for you. We did the same thing....we restored the trim and all 26 wood windows in our 1930's home. We wanted a smooth finish, so we stripped off the original paint using heat guns and chemical removers, and sanded smooth. VERY labor intensive but well worth the time and body aches. If you want a smooth finish, as others have stated, you will have to remove the old paint or at a minimum, feather it out. Painting over old paint that was just scraped/wire brushed will result in seeing "outlines" of the old finish.

Be sure to use a HEPA respirator even when using a heat gun ... paint molecules will vaporize resulting in toxic fumes (our house had the original mercury paint on its trim).

As far as tinting primer, I tinted the primer slightly lighter than the finish coat, which is a tan shade. This was recommended by the paint store and it covers well.
Good luck and BTW, love your house!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 7:01PM
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>If some of the wood is really old and dried out, you may need an undercoat of linseed oil/turps mix.

I am working on one exterior wall. I am in N. Central TN so we should have 2-3 more good weeks.

The siding is 150 years-old yellow poplar clapboards. It is dry, cracked and warped, but I am trying to save it through at least one more paint job. I am stripping down to the bare wood and plan to use oil based primer.

Many of the nail holes have rotted around the nail heads. In the past I have repaired these by pulling out the nails (the old fashioned cut nails), usually by just grabbing the nail head with my fingers and pulling it right out, and replacing the nail with a longer decking screw using the same hole. Where the wood has rotted excessively around the nail hole in the siding, I use brass washers under the heads of the screws, and sometimes cut washers out of a piece of scrap sheet vinyl for especially bad pieces. It seems to hold the siding in place and doesn't look too bad once it is painted.

The linseed oil/turps mixture sounds like a good idea to somewhat restore the dried out and severely weathered wood. My question is what ratio of linseed oil to turps (turpentine?) should I use? Would mineral spirits work just as well? I assume boiled lineeed oil would be the product to use, not raw.


    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 12:31AM
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