Q: In an article on restoring a Victorian, you mentioned exterior painting using three coats: a coat of primer, a second coat of one-half primer and one-half coat of finish paint, and a final coat of finish paint. Is this your suggestion for all exterior painting? A: Yes, especially on older wood homes. We also recommend the three-coat approach when painting trouble spots -- such as windowsills -- that are subject to the ravages of sun, wind and rain. Wood siding on Victorian houses in the San Francisco Bay Area is usually clear heart redwood. A century ago, when the siding was applied, building paper and insulation were unknown. As a result, the wood dried from both sides. Even if the house was painted regularly, today the siding is as dry as a bone. A paint job on this type of...
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