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Painting the House

Although siding is probably the largest area to paint, the work will go surprisingly fast whether you are using a brush or a faster sprayer. Follow these simple home improvement tips so that your home will be painted in no time.

Tips For Painting Siding
  • New or Untreated Wood Siding:
    Coat the new or untreated siding as soon as possible. A coat of primer followed by two coats of topcoat is needed or two coats of stain if using stain. Seal any wood with an alkyd primer-sealer that has a tendency to bleed tannin such as cedar or redwood.  Apply a latex topcoat after this.
  • Rough Lumbar:
    A quick and effective way to paint or stain rough lumbar is by is by airless spraying. Be sure to use a brush and back brush the pant or stain in to area the sprayer misses or cannot access and work the finish in to the surface. New rough sawn wood may snag rollers and pad fabrics but if the wood is already painted use a roller followed by a brush for back brushing.
  • New, Smooth Wood:
    Some new siding that installed with the smooth since out doesn't accept stain well and sometimes is even too shiny for paint or solid color stain.

If you plan to use the stain, ask the siding installers to install the wood siding with the rough side out. The smooth surface or mill glaze as it is commonly called on the siding doesn't provide enough "tooth" for paint or solid color stain to grab on to. You may need to sand off the mill glaze with 100 grit paper and then stain or paint.

Painting Hardboard Siding
If previously painted hardboard is clean and in god condition you can topcoat. If you plan to paint over an original factory finish or siding it is recommended you use an alkyd primer if you're unable to determine when the existing finish was applied.

After cleaning and repairing any holes or cracks, use an alkyd primer to spot prime any areas where you removed the existing finish.

Next, apply latex paint approved for hardboard siding. Use a brush for best results, as it will get in to all the grooves. If you use an applicator use a brush to back brush and get the paint in to all the areas the applicator missed. Two coats are generally recommended for best results.

Painting Aluminum Siding
The finish on aluminum siding eventually fades with age. If you're okay with the color, try to clean the siding to give it new life. You can also try to use a paint conditioner such as penetrol to restore the luster. Penetrol also provides an excellent base if you wish to paint the siding anyway.

Firstly apply a primer sealer, similar to those used for hardboard siding. You can ship this step but if you do you should mix a bonding additive to the first topcoat to help improve paint adhesion. Emulsion bond is a good such bonding additive. Emulsion bond is a good such bonding additive. It is not recommended to add the emulsion bond to the final coat as it may cause the finish to have variation in the amount of sheen.

  • Painting Vinyl Siding:
    Yes, you can paint vinyl siding although the color of the vinyl is continuous through the material. Painting takes away one of the main advantages of vinyl siding, namely that it is maintenance free. It is better to use a light color when painting vinyl siding as dark colors can cause excessive expansion and contraction resulting in paint failure and buckled siding.   

    Use a high quality primer sealer or a boding adhesive as recommended for aluminum siding.

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