How to Prep and Paint Your Home’s Wood Siding



The key to successfully painting your home’s wood siding is preparation. If you existing side is already in good shape, the only thing your preparation might require is a thorough washing. If your existing paint is cracking a peeling, you will need to remove it or sand it down, so that the surface is flat, smooth, and free from peeling outdated paint.


  1. Power Washing


When you start to hose down your siding, you will want to be careful not to force any water between your joints and siding boards. In some situations, you may be able to use a power washer, but this should be accomplished careful as to not erode your wood siding’s surface.


Note that if your siding has mildew, washing alone is not enough to remove the mold from the surface. If you are experiencing moisture or mildew issues, it may want to consider a siding replacement.


  1. Sand the Surface


To ensure that your painting surface is even and smooth, you will want to sand down the edges of any areas that are chipping or scraped. For bigger jobs, a power sander can be used. A 7-inch commercial grade sander is recommended if you are tackling the entire side. This can be found at your local equipment rental company or home improvement center.


When you use a high-powered sander, keep these tips in mind:


  • The sander should always be operating at full speed before you touch the surface.
  • To preent gouging of the wood, always keep the sander moving.
  • Keep the sander at a slight 5 to 10 degree to prevent it from spinning out of control.
  • Begin with a 60-grit sandpaper and follow with a 100-grit to ensure the smoothest surface.
  • When the sanding disc becomes covered with paint, discard and replace.
  • Do not operate in the rain.


  1. Use a Scraper


For any areas that your power sander cannot reach, use a scraper. Two hands should be used to avoid gouging of the wood. If gouges occur, fill them with a exterior vinyl spackle.


  1. Prime and Paint!


Upon completion, you are ready to prime and paint your wood siding? Dust off any remaining sawdust and debris, and caulk visible seams and openings. Bare wood should be primed with a latex primer tinted towards your desired finishing color. Allow the primer to dry completely before you begin painting.



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