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Clicchi 09-10-2011 05:03 PM

Prep, repair cedar siding before restaining
My first post. I will try to keep this short and succinct. I had insect damage to a portion of my western red cedar clapboard siding and began repairs by replacing the old with new siding on that section (after dealing with the pests first which is another discussion). I knew nothing about siding when I started but now have done a lot of research. As I removed the old boards to replace them, I found that the idiots who installed this siding had double nailed each board (through top and bottom) and trying to remove the boards by following the info I'd found on the net was almost useless. One by one as I tried to loosen the board below the top nailing would become a major problem. The 3" ring shank nails were often not even nailed into studs but sometimes into sheathing or worse into rigid foam panels. At any rate they would be sometimes impossible to remove without completely damaging the board. I could go on about the crappy way this siding was installed but let me get to my immediate question.
I don't have the money right now to hire out for repairs that's why I'm here. Because of the double nailing of these 8" beveled siding boards there are many boards with long cracks in them and places where the nails are protruding and the siding is buckling (I think that's the term) IE. pulling away from the house.
My idea is to try to reset these nails, repair the cracks as best I can with wood glue (on end cracks) and Ready Patch on cracks in the center of boards and the almost falling out knot holes. I can't afford the cost of replacing all these siding boards at this time and as I said trying to remove one board only ends up damaging the next one up. The caulking at the corner boards is cracked too. I plan to re-caulk right over the old because this stuff is so hard to get off.
I need to know if I should wash (powerwash ?) and scrub and then sand (random orbital sander) first and then do caulking/gluing repairs or should the washing part come after the caulking/gluing/sanding repairs? Common sense tells me not to powerwash into cracked and open knot holes in siding or it will get moisture behind the siding and that's a bad thing.
I have solid color stain (color matched) after all this prep is done but this Q is all about prep work and especially the order of the prep work (washing, caulking, sanding etc.).
I'm an old guy, 56, not in the best of shape but out of necessity must do this work by myself. It seems I'm always doing the second thing first and then have to redo the work. I need tips on the order of proceeding on the prep work. Thanks in advance to all who bother to help.

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