Look at the job and make sure you have the capability and equipment to do it. Run your hand over the wood siding on the sunny side of the house. If a chalky residue comes off on your hand, you will need to power wash or scrub your home, because this chalking will impair paint adhesion.
Power wash your home if it is chalky or very dirty. You can add mildewcide and siding detergent to most power washers to get rid of stubborn dirt, mold and mildew. Power washing will also remove some of the loose paint.
Scrape off the remaining loose paint with a chisel-edged paint scraper. If your house is old and has multiple layers of paint, you may want to consider using solvent-based paint strippers or a heat gun to remove the old paint, but be aware that these methods are potentially dangerous. Check with your homeowners insurance carrier to make sure you are covered for these activities.
Sand weathered wood and remaining paint with an electric palm sander and 60- or 80-grit sandpaper. This both provides a smoother surface and improves the adhesion of paint and primer.
Prime all bare and weathered wood with high quality acrylic or oil-based primer.
Caulk joints and gaps between the siding, but do not caulk along the bottom of each siding board because this doesn't allow moisture to escape from within the house. Use exterior spackle or epoxy wood filler for nail holes and gouges in the wood.
Apply two coats of 100 percent acrylic house paint once the primer has dried according to label directions.
Things You Will Need
- Power washer
- Electric sander
- Brush, roller or sprayer
- Caulking gun
- Spackle or wood filler
- Use the best primer and paint you can buy. While some paints are advertised as "self priming," meaning they don't require a primer over wood, the Paint Quality Institute recommends a primer. Use oil-based primer on cedar or redwood siding to prevent tannin stains from bleeding through.