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Is it Okay to Paint Over Damaged Wood?

Posted on Sep 27, 2021 9:00:00 AM by Eric Dokey

shutterstock_1570307926The wood on the exterior of your house can get damaged for a number of reasons. Exposure to elements over time can lead to issues like wood rot, peeling paint, and chipped wood. Other issues, such as termites, can also cause the wood on the exterior of your house to become damaged. If there is damage to the siding of your home, it may be tempting to paint over it – especially if the damage is relatively minor. There are some big potential issues if you do decide to paint over damaged wood.

Hide problems that can worsen over time

Damage to the wood can be a sign that there is some type of issue going on. You need to take the damaged wood seriously and look at it as pointing to an issue you need to address. For example, if you have wood that has been damaged from termites, the termites can continue to cause problems. You could end up with much more damage over time. If you do not address the problems before you paint, you may pay for it later with more widespread damage.

Reduce the life of the paint job

Painting over damaged wood can reduce the life of the paint job. Painting over wood with chipped paint, for example, will lead to the new layer of paint chipping much earlier than it would otherwise. The chipped paint that you paint over will still be coming off of the surface of the wood. The same issue will occur with cracked paint. Painting over a surface that already has cracked paint will cause the new paint to crack sooner.

Degrade the look of the finished product

The way that your house looks after being painted will be impacted by the condition of the wood when you paint. If there are uneven layers on the wood that you have painted, those imperfections will show through in the finished product. Wood is a natural product which means that it will never be as smooth as a manufactured siding product. But there is a vast difference between some natural striations in wood and the look that comes from painting over a damaged, old paint job.

The bottom line is that you will not be happy with your short- or long-term results if you choose to paint over damaged wood. If you are going to go to the trouble and expense of having the exterior of your home painted, do what you can to make sure you have the best possible results. If you have wood that is damaged, find out what caused the damage and address anything that is part of an ongoing issue. Repair or replace the damaged wood once you are sure you addressed the underlying issue. In most situations, you will not need to completely remove all previous paint before a new paint project. You do, however, need to deal with damaged paint and areas with very uneven surfaces. If this all sounds like a lot of work, look for a painting pro who offers prep services. You can get a pro to handle your paint project from start to finish – including repairs and prep work – so you can rest assured that you will get a finished product that you love.

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Topics: Residential

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