What & When to Repair
The Wall System Paint
Losing Connections. This paint is failing in tightly isolated spots. The rest of the paint is in good condition. On older buildings heavy paint buildup is common. The thick paint film traps moisture in the wood. As the moisture escapes from the wood it pushes the paint off the wall, leaving spots of bare wood.
Re-Connecting.The paint film is a system of layers. The first layer, or primer, sticks to the wood and acts like an adhesive for the other layers. Finally, a topcoat layer provides additional resistance to the weather. In this instance, spot paint maintenance is the goal. The loose paint is chipped off, and bare wood is spot primed and given two spot topcoats of paint. A full paint job is not needed and would only contribute to a thicker film, accelerating the rate of peeling. Plan your work: Once every two or three years, do a round of spot paint maintenance. Coordinate paint work with exterior woodwork repairs. Maintenance tip: Track down and determine the source of moisture. If the film is thicker than 1/16 inch, just spot-paint the bare wood. Don't bother to sand down or "feather" the thick edges of paint surrounding the patch to get a better seal. The thickness of the paint film will cause it to peel, regardless. Record the paint type, brand and product, and stockpile two unopened gallons for future spot paint maintenance needs.