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exterior painting

Hi. Any tips on how to paint exterior clapboards?
Do I use a roller?
I guess I can use a long pole to paint up high, but the roller might get awkward going from side to side like that.
Do they make rollers that go horizontally?
Any clues?

A. Spruce
Re: exterior painting

Personally I'd spray it out with an airless which will use less paint and provide better coverage and finish.

You can make a "horizontal" roller by simply bending a standard roller open a bit. The problem is, you're probably not going to get into all the nooks and crannies like you need to, which means needing to back brush as well. Back brushing is just a fancy term for working the paint into those nooks and crannies with a brush, then laying the surface off with even strokes.

Re: exterior painting


Certainly siding can be rolled. Rolling was the primary meathod of application during my contracting years. You want a roller of approximately the same width as your siding reveal. I have Hardi-Plank clapboards with a 7 inch reveal. I use a seven inch roller to apply the paint rolling horizontally with the clapboards. I then back brush to knock down the roller texture and get under the clapboards laps.

There is no substitute for getting up close to the surface being painted! Both preparation and painting demand you be close to the surface. A "long pole" will not suffice, at least not for a quality, professional type paint job!

When rolling, you do not want to take more than 2 or 3 boards at a time. this allows you to keep a "wet edge" which mean you avoid lap marks. Unfortunately, when working up high off an extension ladder, you will make many trips up and down the ladder. Most professional painters would be working off a plank placed between two extension ladders with ladder jacks upon them ( I understand this is not allowed in Canada).

When working up high, it is best to work out of a 5 gallon bucket with a paint grid hanging inside. I fashion a hook on my brush by driving in a finishing nail right above the metal ferrule of the brush and bending it into a hook. This allows you to hang the brush on the rim of the bucket while laying out the paint with the roller. Basically, you are a one handed painter when working off an extension ladder, so you have to alternate between holding the brush and the roller.

Of course, on a single story home, merely working out of a standard roller tray is an option. Fortunately, I presently have a ranch house, so maintenance is relatively easy for me.

I certainly have nothing against spraying of homes, however, I am biased towards back brushing. Without back brushing, areas such as under the lip do not get the same coating as the broad, flat area. I also feel that the adhesion will be better when the paint is physically rubbed onto the surface with the brush.

Whether spraying or brushing, preparation of the surface is paramount. Field dust and old paint oxidation must be removed first, usually by power washing. Every home I painted was first power washed with bleach and detergent, followed by a very vigorous power rinse.

Of course, any peeling and bare wood should be scrapped, feathered and spot primed first.

Tacoma John
Re: exterior painting

I don't know what kind of lap siding you have or what shape the paint is in. They make may different types, smooth cedar, rough cedar, composite wood and cementitious, (Hardy type), clap boards. Other factors are what color are you covering with new color, yellow is the worst to use to cover another color. If the lap is composite and the paint is in bad shape, you must at least back brush all drip edges, this means ladder. Any cracks in the paint must be spot primed with a brush, or at least back brushed. Cedar clap boards with cracked paint or bare wood must be primed with a slow dry oil primer to prevent bleed through, if it is to painted with a latex paint. Best bet is if you have a dramatic color change, do all the prep work yourself and hire a pro to finish it with a sprayer, at least the body of the house. This way it is one heavy coat instead of 2 or 3 hand coats. If you still want to paint the body your self, I prefer a 2 gallon bucket and screen when on a ladder and a QUALITY 7" weenie roller and bucket hook. Never put more paint in the bucket than you will use on one ladder trip and are willing to clean up. Paint is important too. It is best to use a low sheen or eggshell paint. It holds up to the elements much better than flat paint and is easier to clean.

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