Exterior Painting Preparation

When we strip houses, we follow this procedure:

  1. Set all nails below surface using a hammer and nail set.
  2. Scrape any paint that will come off with a scraper.
  3. Strip all paint agreed upon with chemical stripper and/or sanding.
  4. Cover the ground to catch all paint being removed and clean up daily.
  5. Neutralize stripper with tsp substitute: apply, scrub and rinse with hose.
  6. Sand all wood with 80 grit paper and palm sanders. Wood is bare at this point and does not put out paint dust.
  7. Clean siding by hand with damp painting rags folded flat.
  8. Putty all nail holes; caulk all cracks and seams, and spackle wood defects. (We do not caulk along horizontal undersides of siding because it is not designed for it and will hold water and cause peeling.
  9. Sand all spackling and clean siding again.
  10. Prime siding by brush with first coat exterior oil primer thinned about 10% with paint thinner to promote penetration into wood.
  11. When wood is primed, it shows any wood defects missed or nail holes needing more putty, so at this point, we do second prep. (Spackling, wood defects, etc.)
  12. Sand all siding with 120 grit sandpaper. This sands down any wood fibers that stiffen with first coat of primer and second round of spackling.
  13. Clean siding again.
  14. Prime all siding by brush again with full strength oil primer to fully prime and prepare for painting.
  15. Sand primer lightly by hand.
  16. Clean siding again.
  17. Apply first coat of exterior paint by brush.
  18. Check for defects and hand-sand lightly if necessary.
  19. Apply second coat of exterior paint by brush.

When we do not strip the paint, we follow this procedure:

  1. Set all nails below surface and putty, sand and prime.
  2. Scrape any paint that will come off with a scraper.
  3. Sand all wood and paint with 80 grit paper and power sanders, which removes more failing paint.
  4. Spackle all rough areas and defects on siding and trim as agreed upon or specified.
  5. Caulk all seams, cracks, etc., using premium caulk.
  6. Prime all bare wood, repairs and any bare metal.
  7. Sand all primer by hand.
  8. Clean all areas.
  9. Apply first coat of exterior paint by brush.
  10. Check for defects and hand-sand lightly if necessary.
  11. Apply second coat of exterior paint by brush.