To get at the nails in the board above, shove a flat pry bar up under it and gently pry the board outward. In most cases, this will pop up the nailhead, so you can pull it with your hammer claw. If you run into a stubborn nail that won’t move easily, don’t use brute force and risk splitting the good board. Instead, slip a hacksaw blade behind the siding and cut the nail (Photo 2).You can’t get the new board in unless you pull the remaining shank of the cut nail (Photo 3).
To remove a bad piece of siding, you have to pull out two rows of nails: the ones in the bad board itself, and those in the board directly above. Siding is thin and splits easily, so the tricky part of this job is pulling nails without damaging surrounding boards. A cat’s paw is the best tool for digging out nails if damage to the surrounding wood doesn’t matter (Photo 1).
Before the scrubdown, protect nearby plants by misting their leaves and saturating the surrounding soil with water, pulling them away from the house, and shrouding them in fabric drop cloths. (Plants will cook under plastic.) Lay more drop cloths along the base of the walls to collect any falling paint debris. Walls should be wet down before getting scrubbed, then washed with a gallon of water mixed with 1 cup chlorine bleach and 1 cup of either a concentrated, phosphate-free cleaner, such as a trisodium phosphate (TSP) substitute, or Jomax House Cleaner. Working in sections, from the bottom to the top, will avoid streaks. Be sure to rinse walls well before the solution dries. Wood siding and trim should be ready to paint after a day or two of dry weather.
B. Harley Bradley House in Kankakee, Illinois. This commission helped launch Wright’s Prairie School period where he experimented with open floor plans, long ribbons of art-glass windows, horizontal elevations, and other elements that forever changed how homes were designed. An American Home: Frank Lloyd Wright’s B. Harley Bradley House spotlights the story of this architectural treasure and explores its uncanny connection to the rise, fall, and resurgence of its designer and the community in which it resides.
As you scrape, you may find that the wood has turned gray or black in some areas. Check for rot by probing these areas with a nail. Spots that are discolored but firm are simply weathered. Weathered wood doesn’t hold paint very well, so sand away the gray surface. If you find soft areas, you’ve got rot. Small, shallow soft spots can be dug out and repaired with a two-part filler such as Minwax High Performance Wood Filler. But when rot is deep and widespread, it’s best to replace the entire piece of wood.
Small random-orbit or pad sanders make this job go faster. (Wallis first covers these boundaries with Synkoloid patching compound so no edge is visible after sanding.) As shown, you want to make sure that there is a feathered, smooth transition from exposed wood to old paint. For areas that might get close scrutiny, you can follow up with a 100- or 120-grit rubdown to erase any scratches.
The best time of the year to paint your home is typically in late spring and early summer when it’s warm outside and moisture is low. This can change based on your geographic location. For example, fall can be a good time to paint in California when the difference between high and low temperatures is low. Your painter will select the optimal time to start your exterior painting project.