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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all,

I have a handyman getting the house ready for my real painter. I want to get the scraping calking and raw wood primed.

My handyman asked me to get some backer rod which I did. It is MD Backer Rod #71480. It says to push to a depth of 1/4 to 1/2 inch to allow room for caulking. In many places the backer rod is right on the surface. It isn't apparant because he has rubed Big Stretch caulk into it. But you can push on it and it acts like foam.

I have pulled him off the job till I figure out what has to be done. Do I need to pull it all out and start again. That big stretch is kind of a pain to pull out - it really does stretch. It actually doesn't look bad now but I am afraid my paint won't adhere properly - even with the caulk rubbed into it.

Any comments helpful and much appreciated. Pictures are below.

Best,
wdpcpa





 

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Backer rod comes in at least three differant thicknesses.
Ony enough caulking should have been use to fill the gap, not all over the face of the boards.
 

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I'll pile on. It looks to me like some spackling has been done, and the overall surface needs a good sanding. No caulk should be on that surface until all the sanding has been done and any required priming is done. Caulking is done just prior to top coating.
As to the backer rod question, I would agree with Chrisn. It should be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I hope that suface is not ready for the painter:eek:
As to the backer rod, if it is flush with the surface( as it appears to be) calked and oil primed, it should be fine. It looks like the " handyman" is making more work for the painter by smearing calk all over the place.
Ok- Many thanks.

Yes, he got a little wild with the calk. Actually, these boards are inside corners that just lay on top. I didn't care if they were calked at all. I don't paint them as trim. I paint them as wall and they just fade in. If the siding was not such an issue on this inside corner, I would have them there at all.

Best,
wdpcpa
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'll pile on. It looks to me like some spackling has been done, and the overall surface needs a good sanding. No caulk should be on that surface until all the sanding has been done and any required priming is done. Caulking is done just prior to top coating.
As to the backer rod question, I would agree with Chrisn. It should be fine.
The surface is hardy. I guess I can sand that off.

This is really hard. I hired a installer to replace rotted lap siding with hardy. While I was at it, I asked him to replace the trim boards with hardy as I though it would hold paint better. When he pulled the old trim boards off, he took off the top part of the lap board as well. We are priming with Benny Moore Oil Based but he has tried to smooth over the ruff areas with a little caulk as well. It sort of works if you are very careful. But he is getting a bit heavy handed.

I am not sure what to do. Sort of a mess.

I thought with the Hardy, if he got a little on the board I could paint over it but maybe not.

Best,
wdpcpa
 

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Not trying to rough you up there Wd. I popped a red flag in your first sentence. You hired a handyman to prepare for your painter? I'm honestly surprised that your painter would agree to those terms. I wouldn't, and I've had similar propositions.
Handymen hang pictures, unstick stuck windows, repair broken glass, replace some rotted trim, and other such things, they don't do paint prep. And homeowners shouldn't either really. Sorry if that sounds brutal, but I have plenty of experience to back that up, and people aren't served by hearing what they want to hear, but what they need to hear. Probably a reason so many don't like me.
I've had quite a few guys come through my business who told me they were painters, one just the other day. After I see their work, I realize they don't understand process and procedure, nor do they have the necessary attention to detail, nor do they have a proper understanding of materials, and they don't posess the skills to do prep and painting at the professional painter's level. When I quiz them about their experience, it's then that I find in reality they do painting at the handyman level, or it was something they did on weekends while off from their real job. This requires knowledge and skills that can only come from day in day out experience over the long term. After two plus decades in this business I'm still learning and sharpening my skills. I'm not trashing them, or your guy, I'm merely putting things into perspective. When I look at those pictures, that is what I see. I don't see any professionalism in that work, and I'm concerned that things that could affect the long term durability will be missed, aside from the aesthetic issues present in the pics.
I've had some homeowners over the years who wanted to help, and save money. I had one guy who decided, while I was at lunch, that he was going to sand all the drywall patching I did in his dining room, quite a bit of it. He took a piece of eighty weight paper he had on his tool bench and went to town. What he didn't sand practically down to nothing was left so horribly scratched that I had to re-spackle all from scratch, a complete do over. There are others, but you get the point.
Again, I'm not trying to put you or your guy down. We're here to help people get a durable, quality finish, and sometimes that means being straight up. My best advice to you would be to call your pro painter, your "real" painter, in and tell him to finish the prep and do the painting. It might cost you a little more now, but a problematic job will be more costly in the long run.
 

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First of all, do you have a picture of another joint that has not been touched yet? I would like to see this joint before it is munged up. Most people dont know how to apply sealant. It took me about 30 years to figure it out and once I did it was one of those head bangers where you hit yourself in the forehead and say "Madone, what a schmuck I've been"

Its easy when you do it right and its a mess when you do it wrong.

1. Whether you need backerod or not depends on the size of the joint. If you need backerod, it is not supposed to be flush with the surface. It should be down far enough so that when you tool the joint you are left with about 3/16" inch thickness at the center.
2. A dissimiliar type of sealant can act as a bond breaker. That my be all you need here.
3. With sealant, less is usually better. If you make it too thick, it cant stretch. Analogy:a rubber band versus a hose.
4. You push sealant, you dont pull it.
5. You tool sealant using a peeling stroke, not a spreading stroke. Thats why professionals use refillable guns. when you tool properly, you sometime remove as much as you leave, till you get really good at controlling the bead.
6. "Caulk" is not elastomeric. "Sealant" is elastomeric.
7. A good joint made on the same plane has an hourglass shape.
8 A good gun, like an Albion 139 (Shown Below) is a really worthwhile investment when you consider how much good sealant costs, and how aggravating run on is. (Note Thumb Latch)

Apparently the guy who did this job knows none of the above, nor does he know what white cotton rags or alcohol is.
 

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are you talking bout hardie board ? if so is it pre primed? if not i would go with a high alkaline resistant acrylic primer over hardie board.sorry not to be a wise guy but a painter could be on LSD and do a better job at prepping.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Not trying to rough you up there Wd. I popped a red flag in your first sentence. You hired a handyman to prepare for your painter? I'm honestly surprised that your painter would agree to those terms. I wouldn't, and I've had similar propositions.
Well... sort of. I actually hired two.

1. I hired a contractor who charges a little more than most but has a good reputation and has been around for a long long time. My paint contractor acturally started out with him. Let's call it ABC Contracting.

So the discussion was, ... can I replace part of the failed lap siding and rot without completely ripping off all the lap and residing with Hardy - which was very expensive.

Also, I wanted to replace the vinyl skirting with a wood plank skirting - and in a manner to make it accessable at any time and from any point.

And I wanted it trimed in a style common to old houses and I wanted all wood primered front and back prior to painting.

2. I called a well known painter in the area (lets call him XYZ Painting) to give me a bid on the painting. At the time there was lots of prep work. The bid was very high. XYZ explained that a good job was all in the prep.

And I believe him. I had a professional painter paint and do the prep last time. I should post the pictures of the porch skirting - it was cedar plank and was painted without any primer .... at all. It is all peeling off.

Handymen hang pictures, unstick stuck windows, repair broken glass, replace some rotted trim, and other such things, they don't do paint prep. And homeowners shouldn't either really. Sorry if that sounds brutal, but I have plenty of experience to back that up, and people aren't served by hearing what they want to hear, but what they need to hear. Probably a reason so many don't like me.
I love you. There is a reason people shouldn't do their own corporate tax returns and a reason the last three letters of my handle here is "CPA". I get you.

After two plus decades in this business I'm still learning and sharpening my skills. I'm not trashing them, or your guy, I'm merely putting things into perspective. When I look at those pictures, that is what I see. I don't see any professionalism in that work, and I'm concerned that things that could affect the long term durability will be missed, aside from the aesthetic issues present in the pics.
That is my concern as well.

But I am not getting what I want even from my contractors and I am stuck kind of in the middle of this project. Example - I physically built, primed and painted a 4 foot proto type of the underpinning. The underpinning was built off site. When it came back the color was wrong because... "Sherwin Williams can't match your color". And some of the trim went up without front and back priming as speced. And it goes on....

The thing in retrospect would have been to call a James Hardy contractor and told him to do the whole house - too late now.
I've had some homeowners over the years who wanted to help, and save money. I had one guy who decided, while I was at lunch, that he was going to sand all the drywall patching I did in his dining room, quite a bit of it. He took a piece of eighty weight paper he had on his tool bench and went to town. What he didn't sand practically down to nothing was left so horribly scratched that I had to re-spackle all from scratch, a complete do over. There are others, but you get the point.
I do indeed. Plus it takes us 3 times as long to do anything and that's before spending half a day thinking about it. I was out today sanding a piece of trim with 150 after priming. I am not a painter. That's why I hired.....

I have had some luck in the past by the way. I had a guy that took care of multiple rental properties and had access to lots of labor. Really - he was pretty good. This guy isn't that guy.

Again, I'm not trying to put you or your guy down. We're here to help people get a durable, quality finish, and sometimes that means being straight up. My best advice to you would be to call your pro painter, your "real" painter, in and tell him to finish the prep and do the painting. It might cost you a little more now, but a problematic job will be more costly in the long run.
I may have to do that but it really was cost prohibative. Seriously. If I had it to do over again, I would fork out 25K to the James Hardy rep and so go for it. I can't now.

Really, this is a DIY forum but DIY is always dicey. Some of the short cuts for the painter involved facing the facia with hardy - it paints easier and it is pre primered. Some of it meant replacing old pine trim with Hardy trim. What you saw in the pictures was new. All the trim boards have been replaced. Some of it is just scraping and priming that still needs to be done.

How bad is that botch up? Can it be fixed? Approach? I am pretty befuddled at this point. I am going to primer and paint some raw wood just to protect it. After that.... - If you were in the Dallas area I would have you come bid it.

wdpcpa
 

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Discussion Starter #12
are you talking bout hardie board ? if so is it pre primed? if not i would go with a high alkaline resistant acrylic primer over hardie board.sorry not to be a wise guy but a painter could be on LSD and do a better job at prepping.
Yes.

I had asked the building contractor to replace all the trim boards with Hardy. I thought it would hold paint better and it would be pre primered.

The question now is how to get the caulk (Big Stretch) off of the Hardy.

I was not going to primer the Hardy at all.

Now a different Hardy Trim Piece.....

There is a pine trim piece that is really chair rail. It is an accent piece. It was supposed to be primered back and front before it was attached by the contractor (not the handyman). It wasn't. It is attached on top of a piece of 8 inch hardy trim that separates the skirting. So I used Benny Moore Fresh Start Oil Based Alkyd for the raw wood of the chair rail. Here it is:

http://www.worldpaintsupply.com/benjamin-moore-moorwhite-alkyd-exterior-primer-white-1-gal/

We were not careful in keeping it off the 8 inch Hardy that the chair rail sits on. Hopefully, that has no effect on the Hardy. Let me know if it does.

You guys are great. Keep the comments coming. I don't mind the criticism. It is helpful.

BTW....

I actually saw a product today called LP Smart. I don't mind wider trim and this stuff isn't expensive. I was actually thinking of facing the 4in trim with true 5 inch LP Smart. I would have to rip it. It is 3/8 thick, light, and comes in 12 foot legnths. I could have it up and cover all the sins in no time. It would just lay on top of the siding instead of being butted. That's wrong but I see that fairly often. Then I don't have to caulk anything but window trim. Happy to let the painter do that.

I would face that peeling cedar under my porch but I think the cedar might rot. My contractor (not my handyman) actually did face some cedar facia with some hardy, and I have my fingers crossed on that.

wdpcpa
 

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I have to get to work, and I'm already late. Sandman wouldn't let me go.
I appreciate your humility and understanding, not always the case here, and sparks sometimes fly. Thanks for taking the words in the helpful nature they were meant.
It seems like you have a clue, so between what you know and the help you can receive here, this can be pulled off. We do counsel HO's to do this stuff, but I guess I thought you were less informed and at the mercy of the handyman. My bad.
I would ask your questions a little more directly, clearly, and individually, rather than posting a variety of points of inquiry in one mega post. Sometimes a question that's more important to you might get lost.
I'll be back later tonight, but there are plenty here who can help you. You're in good hands Wd.
 

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From the pictures it i'snt really all that bad. Buy a good right angle grinder and a brass wire wheel hold it on edge and lightly hit the swarf. Prime all and paint it. It aint a Piano.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
From the pictures it i'snt really all that bad. Buy a good right angle grinder and a brass wire wheel hold it on edge and lightly hit the swarf. Prime all and paint it. It aint a Piano.
Thanks Jagan and JSheridan. JS asked for some more pictures before it is mucked up and I took a few more as well. I will follow up on the grinder.

Here is the perspective from the area in the other pictures. Back a bit.




Here is an area not mucked up as JS asked. Old cualk is removed. We have to do something about the top layer of the lap. Probably just oil based primer and paint.




This area has not had the old caulk removed yet.




This is an area repaired, primered, and spot painted. Supposedly ready for the real painter. Used Benny Oil base primer, he smudged a bit of caulk over damaged lap siding, smoothed with water and sponge. Painted with Benny latex.




Same are with some distance perspective.




Thanks for everyone's advice. I won't tackle this till after Christmas and I will put together a good plan. If I use the handyman, he will be on a short leash.

Thanks,
wdpcpa
 

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jsheridan;1073923[COLOR=red said:
]I have to get to work,[/COLOR] and I'm already late. Sandman wouldn't let me go.
I appreciate your humility and understanding, not always the case here, and sparks sometimes fly. Thanks for taking the words in the helpful nature they were meant.
It seems like you have a clue, so between what you know and the help you can receive here, this can be pulled off. We do counsel HO's to do this stuff, but I guess I thought you were less informed and at the mercy of the handyman. My bad.
I would ask your questions a little more directly, clearly, and individually, rather than posting a variety of points of inquiry in one mega post. Sometimes a question that's more important to you might get lost.
I'll be back later tonight, but there are plenty here who can help you. You're in good hands Wd.

and I thought I was the only one working all weekend:whistling2:
 

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I would step lightly with a grinder:eek:. There doesn't really seem to be a lot of failure. The one pic with the scraped wood would feather out nicely with a sander and some 80 or 60 paper. I don't know about the Texas environment, but in this area a lot of exterior spackling doesn't fare well with temperature caused expansion and contraction. I prefer a mix of feathering rough edges, living with them, or use spackling sparingly.
I would suggest a lightweight vinyl spackle for filling nail holes and small repairs. Over fill the hole and sand lightly when dry. Instead of caulk.
Also, it looks like your guy could use a wet rag and finger when smoothing out the caulk, and also a little more care and control.
Things to be mindful of,
Any exposed wood should get a good sanding with at least 80 weight paper to remove any dead surface fibers and get to a sound surface.
Don't just lay on primer. Priming wood requires brushing it into the pores and grain. "Massaging" it into the wood if you will. Never apply primer with just a roller. You can apply it with one, but back brush it in.
Be sure any type of previous sheened coating gets a good scuff sand to promote adhesion of the new finish. Be sure you dust surfaces before applying any caulk, spackle, primer/finish. Carry an old 3" paint brush.
Any caulking and spackling is done after priming.
Be sure any voids where moisture can enter are filled, even the smallest. Don't surface caulk joints, fill them.
Use a quality exterior finish. Relative to labor, materials are cheap. Short sighted people spend innumerable hours of hard labor preparing their home, their investment, for painting, and then decide to buy a cheap paint to protect it. Doesn't make sense.

I'm sure others will have additions, but these are the basics to be mindful of when doing exterior prep and finishing. Good luck.
 

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jsheridan, Yes Thats why I said soft brass wire wheel on edge. The problem with sand paper is that it wont get into the grain pattern to get the sealant fill out. When you hit elastomeric sealant with sand paper it just turns into little balls as it rolls off, because it IS elastomeric. I really dont think that the poster needed backerod at all from what I can see, but its hard with photos. Seems like a nice properly tooled fillet bead would have been fine. Frankly I dont get the separate contractor to caulk, and then to paint. Any painting contractor worth anything knows how to caulk, and would rather do it themselves, as Prep is everything, as has been stated by others posting here.
 
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Discussion Starter #20
jsheridan, Yes Thats why I said soft brass wire wheel on edge. The problem with sand paper is that it wont get into the grain pattern to get the sealant fill out. When you hit elastomeric sealant with sand paper it just turns into little balls as it rolls off, because it IS elastomeric. I really dont think that the poster needed backerod at all from what I can see, but its hard with photos. Seels like a nice properly tooled fillet bead would have been fine. Frankly I dont get the separate contractor to caulk, and then to paint. Any painting contractor worth anything knows how to caulk, and would rather do it themselves, as Prep is everything, as has been stated by others posting here.
Thanks for the followup. I was going to ask what swarf was. I see. I should just hit the hardy lightly with the wheel and knock off the smudge.

I tried mineral spirits, alcohol, and sand paper and got nothing. I would never have thought of a grinder.

I can always replace the trim or turn it backwards but I can't really replace the new lap siding. I was just going to prime the smudges and paint. Now I will try to get the smudges out with the grinder.

I agree that the handy man caulking idea was not good.

wdpcpa
 
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