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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    8

    Default Exterior painting - latex on lead paint removal

    Hello,

    I am in the early stages of prepping my 1946 home for repainting. It appears the siding is not wood but some junky composite material (fiberboard of some kind). The paint I am removing is no more than 2 years old and peeling badly, likely because of poor prepping and no primer. The original paint - probably lead-based, not positive, is underneath in most places.

    My questions/dilemmas are: 1) Although I don't have plans to have kids, I'm concerned about the neurotoxic properties of lead paint. I can research this more myself, but do I really need to go beyond the face protection, ground clothes, etc? 2) The latex outer layer was simply applied over peeling spots, creating an pesky layer line that we're attempting to sand down or apply stripper to. My thought is to strip as much as possible, sand, apply some bondo, sand again. Any other ideas? 3) The siding material seems shoddy and I worry about powerwashing. How necessary is powerwashing vs. hosewashing after prep is done?

    Thanks for any info. Yesterday I was tempted to say forget it an slap vinyl on it, but that wouldn't necessarily be any easier!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Oak Ridge/Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Exterior painting - latex on lead paint removal

    Newbie-pressure washing is not the best way to prep a house for painting, we rarely use significant pressure, but rather solution wash (a strong mix of bleach and detergent, TSP or even laundry detergent will work)the house to kill algae or mold and remove the dirt, hand brushing where necessary, washing it off with a strong stream from your garden hose with a small diameter tip on the end will suffice. Keep the surface wet for ten to fifteen minutes to let the solution work before rinsing well. There are several good products we use to deal with the edges of peeling paint that are huge labor savers. Of course, any paint that wants to come off must be removed, but if is adhering to the wall, leave it and seal it in. XIM's Peel Bond primer is made especially to bridge and fill gaps and smooth out edges like this, and also to fill rough siding such as T 1-11 or badly weathered trim boards. They also make a heavier bodied product specifically for trim and weathered wood on window sills and other more eroded wood that is still sound, not rotted. Sherwin Williams Duration Exterior and Pittsburgh Manor Hall Timeless are both also designed to give more DFT (dry film thickness) to help fill and bridge conditions like this. Check out the Product Data Sheets for them at the respective manufacturer websites. They are pricey, but not as much as labor, and they are superior products which last a very long time. You really get what you pay for in paint. (I never use Behr, though they do have good marketing). The preparation alternatives are labor intensive and expose underlying conditions like lead. Lead remediation, as opposed to abatement, allows sealing the lead with primer and paint instead of removing it, and all the of complications and expense that go along with full remediation or especially abatement. Common sense protective measures should of course be followed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Exterior painting - latex on lead paint removal

    Thanks for the great info, Davidfry. I agree on the paint quality being equivalent to price. I imagine the paint that's currently on the house was on sale at home depot. I'm glad you had a different opinion on power washing from others I've asked (mostly those who work at places that rent power washers), as I'm pretty sure my siding was wilt at the sight of one.

    Helpful stuff, I appreciate it!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
    Posts
    1,802

    Default Re: Exterior painting - latex on lead paint removal

    Newbie,

    You don't mention exactly what kind of siding you have. Over the years, many products have come and gone. Masonite had a presswood product which was horrible. It would alligator and if you tried to sand it, you would soon be through the tempered outer layer and into soft wood fiber pulp! If this is the type material you have, save yourself some trouble and replace it.

    The age of your house, you almost undoubtably have some lead paint on it. Lead was the primary white pigment in good paints up until the early 70's,when titanium replaced it. Personally, I think lead fears have become the new "cause du jour". I spent a lifetime putting on lead paint and in subsequent years, sanding it off. I have been tested for lead and never tested positive.
    Admittedly, lead is of more concern to young kids. Beyond wearing a protective mask against dust inhalation, I would not be overly concerned.

    I power washed every house I painted in later years ( ja, I predate power washers ) I would use bleach and detergent on them routinely. I would power wash as vigourously as possible, short of causing damage to the siding. If paint had a bad bond and wanted to peel, I would prefer to encourage it to peel with a good blast of water now, rather than later as the new paint film bonds and contracts and possibly pulls it off!

    Were I to name the most beneficial advances in painting in the last few decades, power washers would be high on the list! The arrival of Latex/Acrylic paints would be right up there too. They are clearly superior to oil paints when it comes to exterior siding paint.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Exterior painting - latex on lead paint removal

    Thanks for your input, Ordjen. I wish I could tell you just what kind of siding I have, but I can only say it comes off rather easily at the edges with a sharp sc****r and seems very low quality. I'd love to replace it, but my budget is low and manual-labor driven. I'm not buying junky paint, but saving money everywhere that's reasonable. Short of replacing the siding, would you still powerwash this kind of material? I just fear it will blast it to pits if I did that. Joys of homeownership...

    Thanks again!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
    Posts
    1,802

    Default Re: Exterior painting - latex on lead paint removal

    Newbie,

    If it is the Masonite pressboard type product, I would be gentle on it with the powerwasher. If you are down to the fibrous material underneath the tempered surface, give it a sanding to kind of feather the fibrous wood material, then prime it with an oil based primer. Water based primers will further aggravate the swelling of the pulp. After it has been primed, you can use a latex/acrylic housepaint. It the surface has many flaws, a flat paint will highlight them less than a glossier paint.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    nova scotia, canada
    Posts
    1,522

    Default Re: Exterior painting - latex on lead paint removal

    based on the age of the house, i really want to say asbestos siding. ive done a lot of work in a 2 neighborhoods which were built just after ww2, almost all of these houses originally had asbestos shingles on them, only one of 18 in one specific neighborhood had cedar on it as its original siding.

    post some pictures of the siding so we can get a better idea

    as for the lead, you definitely dont want to get into that yourself. i have several contacts in the states and they have all had to become licensed in dealing with lead. its a mandatory licensing program for all remodellers
    fire up the saw and make some dust

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