Home>Discussions>PAINTING & FINISHING>exterior: one coat or two? Fill in nail holes?
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exterior: one coat or two? Fill in nail holes?

The house is 203 years old. I've resided a lot of it with primed cedar where I have done renovations. The rest is not in great shape paintwise.
I've had several bids for painting. Neither bid includes filling in the nail holes on all the new siding (and there is a lot). They will fill trim holes. Is that right?
Also, one guy says definitely two coats, another says only one...
Some advice would be helpful - I don't want to spend this kind of money for a long time!

Re: exterior: one coat or two? Fill in nail holes?

Well, I see that no one has thrown in here so here's my .02.

I don’t think filling nail holes is necessary, could be it would just be something for moisture to get behind and pop loose down the road.

I’d vote for two coats of paint especially if you change the color at all. IMHO two is always better than one…………………………….. Unless, you’re in a really lousy marriage, and then one is the only way to go……. But, I digress.

Oh, to clarify, I ain’t no pro painter but I have done a ton of painting on my own homes. I rode by one of them a while back and it is still painted the way I left it 10 years ago……….. Looks pretty good too.

A. Spruce
Re: exterior: one coat or two? Fill in nail holes?

Filling nail holes is more personal preference and aesthetics than anything else. If obvious areas have been done, but not others, then I'd say to finish the job, just make sure you use an exterior grade spackle.

Painting should always be two coats. You said that you've got a significant portion of new siding, patch work, and a mix of older original siding and color. All of that has different textures and porosity which will affect how it covers when you paint. The spackled nails isn't going to help either. The first coat doesn't hide and cover all that well. It acts as a base/sealer, with any irregularities of the surface or original paint showing through. The second coat covers those flaws. If your siding has a rough texture, it may be necessary to back-roll with a paint roller to force the paint into the nooks and crannies. Textured siding will also make spackling a very difficult process.

Re: exterior: one coat or two? Fill in nail holes?

I am in the process of painting my old house now. I went directly to Sherwin Williams and purchased a good primer and paint. Primer is essential to smoothing out any problems and making the paint last longer. I plan on one coat primer and two of paint. I am NOT painting this house again! Good luck!

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