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Wood Siding Maintenance



Wood siding is beautiful and easy to install, but it can be difficult to keep clean and well-maintained. It’s important to keep it completely sealed, because nothing will ruin beautiful wood siding faster than water damage!


What You'll Need:

  • wire brush
  • paint scraper
  • fine-grit sanding block
  • exterior primer
  • paintbrush
  • exterior paint (matching you exterior finish)
  • bleach
  • sponge
  • eye protection
  • gloves
  • water-repellent stain

How To:

  1. 1

    Inspect your wood. Wood is porous, so check your wood siding carefully for mold or mildew. If you see dark spots on your siding, chances are you have a mold or mildew problem (even houses that aren’t shaded can develop this problem). Mold and mildew on wood siding can be a sign of more serious moisture problems such as excessive indoor humidity or a leaking roof, so if you see a lot of dark spots, we recommend contacting a professional to deal with the problem. If you don’t notice any mold or mildew spots, you can skip step #2. Jump to step #3 if you’re going to paint your siding. If you’re going to stain your siding, jump to step #8.

  2. 2

    Fight mold and mildew. It’s important to remove any mold and mildew you find because wood is porous and problems can spread quickly. Don your eye protection and gloves. Then, mix ¾ cup of bleach with a gallon of water. Dip your sponge into your mixed solution, and use light pressure to scrub the moldy areas. Leave your bleach solution on the problem areas for half an hour and then rinse the solution thoroughly. If you’re going to stain your wood siding, not paint it, jump to step #8. Note: It’s very important that your wood siding dries thoroughly, so if your moldy area is in the shade, you might want to call a professional instead of tackling the problem yourself.

  3. 3

    Inspect your paint. Inspect your siding for weathered or worn paint. If you find worn areas, use a wire brush to remove any cobwebs and dirt from the surface. Always brush in the same direction as the grain of the wood.

  4. 4

    Scrape away loose paint. With your paint scraper, remove any remaining loose paint that didn’t come off with the wire brush. You want to paint your new coat on clean, splinter-free wood. Again, scrape in the same direction as the wood.

  5. 5

    Sand your siding. Sand the scraped areas with a fine-grit sanding block. You want the surrounding paint to blend seamlessly with the exposed wood (read: no splinters). Sand lightly until you’ve achieved this.

  6. 6

    Prime your wood. Using even strokes, paint your bare wood with primer (note that there are some products that are a combination of primer and paint that, while more expensive, may save you some time). Before you move on to step #7, allow your primer to dry for at least five hours.

  7. 7

    Paint your wood. Once your primer is completely dry, apply an even coat of exterior paint over the primer. Let your first coat dry, and then paint a second coat. If you’d like to save your paint color in the cloud, check out BrightNest’s Homefolio where you can store home-related info such as paint colors, phone numbers and more!

  8. 8

    Stain your siding. To start, sand the areas that need to be stained with a fine-grit sanding block. Sand lightly until your wood is completely smooth. Apply a high quality water repellent wood stain to the siding with a paint roller. Make sure the stain is resin-based and not oil- or vegetable-based (mold finds these stains delicious). Read your manufacturer’s directions clearly. If they recommend a second coat, apply it once the first coat has completely dried.

  9. 9

    Check your foliage. It’s important to keep your bushes, tree branches, shrubbery and flowers away from your wood siding. Foliage contains moisture which can quickly lead to mold along your siding. A good rule of thumb is to always be able to comfortably walk between any foliage and your siding.

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