I need advice re preparing and painting *over* old exterior lead paint. A portion of my house is wood siding with 1 or 2 layers of modern latex paint (Sears Weatherbeater, circa 1975) over old white paint that, per home test kit, contains lead. The latex paint is peeling in some areas to expose the white. The white paint still seems to be adhering well, with just one or two patches of small peels.

What would be the appropriate way to prepare this surface for painting? I donít need or want to take off the leaded paint except in the peeling patches; I just want to take off the loose latex paint on the surface of the leaded stuff, as well as ensure that the surface of the latex paint thatís still holding is clean so the new paint will adhere.

This section of wall starts over the garage doors and runs up to the second-floor eaves. I have not definitely decided to do the job myself, but having painted all the one-story areas myself, Iím at least considering it.

1) Would it be safe to use a power-washer for this purpose?

2) Would I be able to get sufficient force with a rented power washer to knock the peeling paint off from the ground?

3) Should I prime the exposed lead paint, and is an oil-based primer best? Given that any exposed lead paint is exposed *because* the top coat peeled, I'm inclined to prime those patches to try to improve the adhesion for the new paint. I'm further inclined to use oil-based primer because I think it's tougher than latex, but is that true?

4) I think I should prime the rest of the siding with latex primer, for color reasons as well as to ensure good adhesion, because I'm changing the color from avocado to light blue, but is that actually necessary? I'm planning to use two coats of color paint regardless of whether or not I prime, but if priming really isn't necessary it'll be a very big savings.