It’s a fact which most people hate but is true all the same – painting wood requires approx. 80% preparation and 20% actual painting. In some cases preparation can be skipped but in these situations it’s more likely that all you need to do is clean rather than paint.
Although there are a plethora of power tools on the market, most work you need to do will require good old fashioned elbow grease. Preparation work involves a lot of tedious scraping, sanding and wiping. Fun it is not.
But in order to achieve the best results, all this prep work is a necessity. When you prepare the exterior wood, painting will be much quicker and easier. You’ll also be able to enjoy a really good, smooth surface with a beautiful shine.
How much time and effort you exert on preparing and painting the wood depends greatly on the condition of your house and the wood itself.
Amount of Work Required – Paint which is peeling will require more work. Scraping the old paint off and sanding down the wood is essential. If there is mildew you’ll need to attend to this by removing it and treating the wood to protect it before painting. Aluminum siding however will probably just need a wash and perhaps a little sanding.
- Inspect the surface – Use a 6-8 inch scraper for areas of peeling paint. You don’t have to remove every tiny bit of paint, just the areas which are likely to continue peeling. For scraping away paint in corners you can use a small scraper instead.
- Washing – If the surface area is dirty give it a good wash before you take sand paper to it. Although you could use a power washer it could be a little too powerful and damage wood. You might want to use TSP (trisodium phosphate) and a regular garden hose. If you are having difficulty reaching the surface, try a car washing accessory with and extendable arm.
- Allow to Dry – If you try and sand wet wood it could damage the wood’s fibers. By sanding wet aluminium this will shorten the lifespan of your sand paper. Depending on the weather, it could take a day or two for your surface to dry out.
- Sanding – If there are any bits of paint left give them a sand down so that the edges are smoothed out. Areas which were affected by mildew should be sanded along with areas where putty has been used for filling dents.
- Wash Again – Sanding will leave dust so you want to make sure that it’s all washed away. You want your paint to be easily absorbed so a clean area is essential. Otherwise you end up with paint peeling or flaking off.
Now all you need to do it get the rest of the job done is to paint.