We are having, what this humble writer considers a Redwood renaissance, with customers increasingly deciding to go with the natural elegance of Redwood over the competition. The following are tips to properly apply siding to your home exteriors.
High-grade redwood heartwood siding is an excellent material choice for painted or solid color stained exteriors. The use of a quality primer and finish will result in a surface that will easily last 10 to 12 years or more. Painting or applying solid color stain to redwood does require careful surface preparation and the redwood should not be allowed to weather after installation and before the finishing process. Priming is extremely important and is key to a low-maintenance finish.
Power wash the surface thoroughly with a wood cleaning product if the siding has been allowed to weather without a primer or protective sealer. Take care not to get excess moisture under the siding lap joints or to damage the surface with too much pressure. Allow to dry thoroughly.
Replace or reset any fasteners that have surfaced and fill holes with wood putty as required.
Sand the surface of the siding as required with 80-grit or finer sandpaper to level any repairs or to even out surfaces. Weathered redwood will have to be sanded completely to expose the surface of the wood again so it will take the primer coat well.
Caulk as needed around any vents, windows or door frames.
Spot prime any obvious knots or sap veins with an alkyd primer or shellac-based product using a brush.
Prime the surfaces completely using a thick nap roller cover and a brush to smooth out, or “back brush” lap marks. Apply one coat of quality, oil-based alkyd resin primer. Alternatively, apply two coats of a quality water-based, latex acrylic, stain blocking primer, allowing the recommended time to dry between coats. Be sure to work the primer under all the lap joints and into all the exposed ends.
Decide on either paint or solid color stain depending on how much of the wood grain showing through is desired. Both have excellent opacity and protective qualities but paint will leave a fuller body film surface.