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We are continuing our series in getting the exterior of your Ann Arbor home ready to paint.

Today we're going to go over step four in the painting process and that is priming.

Primer is a great base layer to apply to wood surfaces because it helps to smooth out the inconsistent rough areas before you apply your paint. If you don't prime first you're going to have bumpy patches once everything dries.

Often times, your wood can look like the image below so you really need to prime properly in order to achieve best results.

Ann Arbor wood priming

Now quickly let's go over the equipment that you're going to need when you prime your house. First you're going to need a good exterior grade, I recommend the oil based primer. You're going to need a good brush, this is kind of an old brush that I use for priming. You're going to need a pot with the primer in. You're going to need a roller and a bucket to roll out of along with the grit. You might want to use a weenie roller if you don't have too much priming to do, but if you've got a lot, go ahead and load up with a regular roller, probably three eighths inch nap. You might also want a roller pole.

Now one more product that I would like to actually recommend by name and that is this peel stop made by Zinsser. I've got some areas on this house where the paint is really cracking. It's not necessarily peeling, I couldn't really scrape it off but it's cracked everywhere. That's what this stuff is made for. Essentially it's a clear primer that goes on the house and sort of glues down those cracks, fills them in and it's meant to get rid of that problem, provide a flexible barrier that will allow that cracking to maybe continue underneath but it won't come through the surface cove.

In addition, if you've got any stains like burn stains or anything, regular primer often won't cover them up. You might try this KILZ stain blocker, comes in a little spray can. That's good stuff too. Of course you need your one inch putting knife, you need your five way, going to need a duster brush to dust off areas before you prime them. You're going to need your rag. Don't forget your radio.

And the last thing you're going to need is your finger nail because today we're going to perform the fingernail scratch test. I'll show you how in just a minute. All right, it's prime time.

Now as promised, we're going to perform the fingernail scratch test. Now after you've tried colors on the house or if you haven't been trying on colors, you need to get some of the paint that you're going to use when you paint the house and put it on, let it dry for a day or so. Once you've done that, go up to it with your fingernail and give it a good hard scratch. Now I can see I'm marking it up a little bit there because it hasn't cured, it's fairly fresh paint.

However, I'm not able to scratch any of that paint off of there. If it's peeling off of there, if it's not adhering properly you should be able to tell. If you think that's a problem, then you need to go down to the paint store, talk to the paint store manager. Maybe even ask him to come up and take a look because there might be something on the surface of that old siding that's preventing that top coat from adhering and you need to get to the bottom of that problem before you go any further in this process.

Now here's where I'm using the peel stop that I was talking about. You remember this area here, it's not peeling so bad but it's cracking everywhere ... Now here's a close look at some alligatoring I've got along a piece of fascia here, so I'm going to hit this with peel stop real quick.

Okay, we're done with the peel stop I've cleaned up that brush and roller off it. Given it several hours to dry, if you're in a high humidity area you might let it dry overnight. Now it's time for the regular oil based exterior primer. Got my brush and my cutting pot. Got my five gallon bucket with a roller ramp and a roller in it. You might want to bring along a masker and a roll of tape because this stuff's real messy and it is oil based so it's difficult to get off if you get it on the concrete or the roof or something. You're definitely going to want a drop cloth too.

You're going to take the brush or the roller and hit every little spot of bare wood where you scraped the old paint off. The main thing to remember about priming is you want to try to feather it out and smooth it out as much as possible because you don't ever want to put the top coat on and be able to see a big blob of primer under there because you weren't careful when you put it on.

Okay, let's go get it done ... Now here's a good example of some place you might want to put down some tape and paper [Music 00:05:03] Okay I'm done. I got everything primed I wanted to prime. Spent most of the day on it, that's probably about what you can figure. Now, I need to clean this oil brush. Go to my website, howtopaintahouseright.com and you'll find a video called how to clean a brush for oil based paint. That'll tell you how to do it so that this brush will be ready to use the next time you're ready. You'll also find a lot of other helpful information there, free Pdf's you can download, and a whole series of videos that I've created to help you paint your house right.

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