I was on a consultation here in the Wichita, KS area the other day looking at an exterior paint job. Over the years, I’ve seen many bad paint jobs. Many times we think of overspray paint on the bricks or bad “cut – in” as the main culprits. Those are a big problem; however there are even bigger problems that can be much more subtle. Failing to properly prepare your siding for paint is a problem many people overlook. Prep work makes or breaks an exterior paint job.
Here are three prep work areas that can ensure a quality exterior paint job.
1. Nail Holes
If the siding nails are not caulked with a good flexible caulk, water will start seeping into the hole and swell the siding. The siding will start rotting and go bad very quickly. 15 years ago in Wichita, KS it was very popular to use Masonite lap siding. Many times the nails would penetrate the surface of the siding leaving a spot for water to sit. Make sure these holes are filled with a good caulk.
It’s also popular in Wichita to use 1×4 rough cedar on the corners for trim. Builders many times will use cheap caulk between the trim and the siding. Low quality caulk gets brittle and cracks with expansion and contraction. This allows water to penetrate and start rotting out the wall sheathing behind the siding. Many caulks claim to be flexible, but very few caulks actually have the flexibility to withstand the expansion and contraction. Make sure your contractor uses a good flexible caulk.
It is pretty rare to find flaking paint on siding, but where I see it the most is on cedar trim. Many times this trim will get scraped and primed by your contractor, but a cheap latex primer is used and in a couple of years it starts peeling again. A slow drying oil based primer is best. Because it is slow drying, the primer seeps into the wood and gives great adhesion to the surface.
It is a good idea to look over the exterior of your home each spring to see how your siding fared over the winter. Keep these tips in mind to prolong the life of your investment! Do you have a question or comment about your siding? Leave a comment below!