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Repairing Paint Problems

Got Paint Problems?
Look for blistering, peeling, cracking or buckling paint. You may be inclined to blame these problems on the weather, but guess what: most of these paint maladies are caused by a poor paint job. Paint that is applied over wet or dirty wood, is put on too thick or layered over previous coats that weren't first allowed to dry, and/or paint that is just plain inferior, will not wear well and will require repairs.

Pick The Right Day For Painting
To repaint a section that has peeled, buckled or is otherwise damaged, it's best to pick a nice sunny day, between 50 to 90ºF (10 to 32ºC), without wind. Wait until late morning so that dew has had time to evaporate. If the area is very dirty or greasy and needs washing with detergent, rinse it off very thoroughly and wait a day for the area to dry completely. If there's mildew present, you'll need to treat the area first. There is no point in painting even slightly damp wood'it may be what caused the paint to fail in the first place and you'll find yourself doing it again unless you wait for dry conditions.

Repair First, Then Paint
If any areas need to be repaired (such as re-anchored), do the work before you paint. Clean the affected area with a stiff brush, paint scraper or sandpaper until you establish a smooth surface. If damage is bad, go down to bare wood and use fine-grain sandpaper to blend the edges between bare wood and the existing paint.

Use Water Repellant
If moisture has hastened the paint to deteriorate, treat the section with a coat of water repellent, prime with an oil-based primer (a brand such as "Kilz" exterior primer purports that it performs these steps in one) and, once dry, apply two coats of good weatherproof paint.

Use Sealant
Siding and board edges are more porous than surface areas and require the application of a clear waterproof sealant once the paint is dry to help resist water penetration.

For information on how to fix more paint problems, visit our paint problems article.

Hammer Need help with your paint problems? Talk about your DIY project to others in our Siding forum.