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bofusmosby 06-07-2007 10:30 PM

Repairing the wood for painting
I have a house about 100 years old, and I am doing a complete restoration. I am also trying to keep as much of the original wood as possible. There is a lot of history in the old place, and is somewhat historical. No designation though.

I am in the process of removing all the paint, bringing it to the bare wood, repairing all the termite damage, and all the splits in the wood.

Let me explain to you what I am doing, and give me your opinion if it will work, or is there a better way to do this.

Over the years, the old wood has many splits along the grain. previous work was to fill the cracks (or splits) with caulk, and paint. The problem is, as the wood starts to expand, and contract, this in time, splits the paint at the crack, causing problems.

After removing all the paint, I am using a small saw-blade on a drill to open the split to good wood, and removing all the caulk and paint. I then use an industrial type of epoxy to fill these splits, in 2-3 layers. When sanded, it holds paint (and primer) well, and you would never know it ever had a split.

Do you believe this to be a permanent repair, or is this just a short duration fix? Going across the front of the house, there are 6 columbs about 22 feet tall. I have noticed that there are some new splits opening up on them, which I repaired several years ago. I was not opening all splits then, so this might explain that.

I would appreciate any opinions on this matter.

Thank you

joewho 06-07-2007 11:12 PM

For a 100 yr. old house, you might consider talking with someone that knows more about the construction and preservation for that period.

Knowing more about the inside will help you decide what to do outside.

AtlanticWBConst. 06-08-2007 03:33 AM

Epoxy Resin repairs on wood are supposed to be permanent.

The problem arises if you didn't do the work properly back then and it split now, or you didn't get all the moisture out of the damaged area previosly.
I am not a "restoration expert".... but we have done many, many exterior epoxy repair projects on wood with zero issues (even years after the work was completed)

bofusmosby 06-08-2007 09:18 PM

Thank you for your comments and suggestions. As far as the restoration goes, I am an amatuer archaeologist, and have been doing restoration work on artifacts for years, but wood is a different story. I am very familiar with the historical types, and am in contact with historic preservation when a question arises. As a matter of fact, I am more strict with the work that I do, than the historic guidelines for my area. I am thinking that the reason why some more splits are opening up is because I was not as thorough as I am now. At least I hope this is it. Back then, I was using a putty knife to open up the splits, and then some acetone on a cloth, to get all the "gunk" out of there. Now, with the saw attachment on the drill, I am just cutting it all out, all the way to the good, hard wood.

I was just wondering, if I will be having to be going back every so often, to repair more splits. At that rate, I feel the job will never be done. Oh well, such is life

paperprofit 06-16-2007 11:55 PM

Make sure you seal the end grain of any repaired board to prevent swelling of the wood due to capillary action. This is especially true of vertical members (like a column). And I believe the columns need to be ventilated. Aren't they supposed to be open at the top and the bottom to allow condensation inside the hollow core to evaporate and prevent the wood from swelling (placing your repair in danger) and, eventually, if allowed to continue indefinitely, cause the column to rot (or dryrot).

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