Wood siding takes a lot of care and maintenance, so painting your wood siding yourself might seem like a good idea. Every few years, the paint on your siding will start to wear and peel, so you’re left to hire a professional painter or paint the siding on your own.
Here’s a look at what it takes to DIY painting wood siding and whether it really is a good idea or not.
Steps to Paint Wood Siding
Painting siding can be tricky. It’s essential to prepare the surface, use the proper paint, and follow the correct application technique so the paint will be long-lasting. After spending hours painting your house, the last thing you want is to have it start peeling after a matter of months. Follow these steps when painting your wood siding yourself.
- Power Wash Siding
Attempting to paint over dirty siding will yield poor results, so cleaning your siding thoroughly before you move on with the rest of the prep and paint is crucial. A power washer is the easiest way to get the job done. You can rent one from your local home improvement store if you don’t own one.
Start with light pressure and go over the entire surface of your siding. This will help knock off any dirt, debris, and loose paint. Use a soft-bristled brush to help scrub off any remaining debris. Turn up the pressure as needed, but avoid using such high power that it damages the wood.
- Sand Down Existing Paint
While it might seem most straightforward just to paint right over the existing paint, this will lead to premature wear and tear. You’ll get a much longer-lasting paint job if you first sand all of the siding to remove any existing paint. Sanding will also help minimize splintering wood and eliminate debris that didn’t come off during the power washing.
When you’re sanding, be sure to apply even pressure across the entire surface. An electric sander will make this job much faster and easier, but be careful not to gouge the wood. Keep the pressure firm and even, and use caution around sharp edges. Avoid using the sides of the sander since that’s where most gouges come from.
- Fill Holes and Repair Damage
Now that your home’s wood siding is clean and fully exposed, you probably notice some spots that require repair. You might find cracks, holes, or even broken pieces of siding.
Use a waterproof exterior wood filler to fill holes evenly, and be sure to allow plenty of time for it to dry. An epoxy filler is best since it will expand with the wood as the temperature changes.
If the damage is more extensive or you find mold, you may need to replace the affected panels. Call a professional for the best results on repairing damage to your siding.
- Sand Again With Fine Grit Sand Paper
Once the siding is patched up and repaired, it’s essential to sand over all repaired areas with a fine-grit sandpaper. This will also be necessary on any new panels of siding, especially the rough edges. Sand lightly over areas covered in wood filler, and reapply filler as needed if holes reemerge after sanding.
- Apply Primer
One of the most critical steps to a quality paint job is applying primer. Wood is highly porous, so it absorbs paint quickly. Primer helps fill the gaps in the wood, so the paint doesn’t soak straight into the siding. You might need to apply a few coats of primer, but it’s worth the extra work to ensure every surface is covered well. It will make the actual painting so much easier.
- Seal Cracks With Caulk
Moisture might be great for the earth, but it doesn’t belong underneath your siding. In fact, allowing moisture to seep its way between the siding and your home can lead to severe problems like black mold. That’s why it’s essential to seal all of the cracks and edges with caulk.
The best time to do this is right after the primer and before the paint. As the primer dries, pay attention to areas that show separation and gaps. Look closely and use a waterproof caulk to fill all the gaps and lock out moisture so your home isn’t susceptible to damage.
- Paint Siding
By this point, you’ve put in hours of work, but the good news is that you’re almost done. It’s finally time for the actual painting to begin. Make sure you’re using high-quality exterior paint. The technique here isn’t super important.
You can use a brush or a paint roller, but the fastest way is to use a paint sprayer. Protect your windows, trim, and doors as you paint. It’s best to brush around those areas to avoid overspray and get the most precise lines.
Whichever method of painting you choose, it’s best to paint in several light coats of paint and allow it to dry in between. Thick and heavy layers of paint are prone to drips and extended dry times.
Once you’ve finished, allow several days for the paint to dry before it gets wet. This will help yield long-lasting and beautiful results so you can admire your hard work for years to come.
Refresh Your Siding With M&M Gutters & Exteriors
As you can see, painting your wood siding yourself can be difficult. But it certainly can be done. So if you’re ready to refresh your home’s siding, contact the experts at M&M Gutters & Exteriors for all of your siding repairs, replacements, and all other needs. Our knowledgeable and professional team have decades of industry experience several decades of industry experience, and no job is too big or little for us.
Our skilled crew is fully licensed and insured. We are committed to delivering high-quality gutters, siding, and service to homes and businesses in Salt Lake, Weber, Davis, Utah, and Summit counties in Utah. Contact our team to learn more today.