Treasure Coast Painting Company

How To Clean Wood Siding Before Painting

Wood siding is a popular choice for exterior cladding because it offers a natural look and feel, and it can be painted to match any color scheme. However, if the wood isn’t properly cleaned before painting, the new paint job will quickly deteriorate. Follow the steps on how to clean wood siding before painting so that your new paint job will last for years.

Ways To Clean Wood Siding

There are a few ways that you can clean wood siding in preparation for painting. You can either use a pressure washer, a garden hose with a spray attachment, or a stiff brush.

Choose your way from the following:

By Hand

Climbing a ladder and scrubbing the wood siding by hand is the most labor-intensive way to clean it. But if you don’t mind getting a little dirty, this is an effective way to remove any dirt, debris, or mildew that has built up on the surface.

For scrubbing wood siding by hand, use trisodium phosphate powder (TSP). Mix one part TSP with four parts water in a large bucket. Use a brush for scrubbing in the small section to properly clean and rinse off to let it dry.

With A Garden Hose

For a large area of wood siding to clean, using a garden hose with a spray attachment is the quickest way to get the job done. This can be done by using a garden hose with an adjustable nozzle set to “shower” mode.

Spray the wood siding from top to bottom, making sure to overlap each section so that you don’t miss any spots. Start at one end of the house and work your way around until you’ve covered the entire area.

Homemade Cleaner

If your wood siding is particularly dirty, you’ll need to use a stronger cleaner. White vinegar is an excellent homemade wood siding cleaner. Just mix one part vinegar with three parts water in a bucket, and put on gloves and protective eyewear before scrubbing the siding.

For a stronger cleaner, mix one-part bleach with three parts water. This will kill any mold or mildew that is growing on the siding.

Bleach Solution

If you have mold or mildew on your wood siding, you’ll need to use a bleach solution to clean it. To do this, mix a solution of one part bleach with three parts water in a large bucket. Put on gloves and protective eyewear, then dip a stiff-bristled brush into the bucket and start scrubbing the siding and rinse it off.

Cleaner For Grime And Mildew

For a dirty wood siding, you may need to use a commercial cleaner designed for grime and mildew. You can find these cleaners at most home improvement stores.

Power Wash

While using a power washer to clean your wood siding, be very careful. Use a low-pressure washing setting, and avoid spraying the wood for too long in any one spot. You don’t want to damage the wood with the high pressure of the water. Just remove loose paint with a pressure wash of the entire house.

Steps To Clean Wood Siding Manually

If you’re going to be cleaning your bare wood siding by using brushes, a hose, or a thorough cleaning agent, follow these steps:

Choose One Side

Start at the bottom of one side of the house and work your way up. This will prevent any dirt or cleaner from running down and dirtying areas that you’ve already cleaned.

Remove Debris

Start by removing any large pieces of dirt, debris, or leaves that are on the paint surface of the wood siding. Use a brush to sweep them away, being careful not to scratch the surface.

Spray Siding

Use a garden hose to spray down the wood siding. Be sure to hold the nozzle about 12 inches away from the surface and move it back and forth as you work your way up the side of the house exterior.

Scrub And Rinse

Once the wood siding is wet, it’s time to start scrubbing. Use a brush dipped in TSP or another cleaning agent to scrub loose and flaking paint on the wood clapboard. Be sure to rinse it off with clean water when you’re finished. Don’t scrub brush your home siding if you suspect lead paint.

Let It Dry

Once you’ve finished scrubbing and rinsing the wood siding, let it dry completely for at least 24-48 hours before applying any type of sealer or paint.

Fill Holes

Once the wood siding is dry, use a putty knife to fill any holes or cracks that may have been damaged during the cleaning process. You can use an exterior spackling compound or wood filler with a soft bristle brush to get done your exterior paint job.

Apply Primer

After the holes have been filled and the wood siding is completely dry, apply a primer to help the paint or sealer adhere better.

Seal The Cracks

Once the primer is dry, use a caulking gun to apply a sealant to any cracks or gaps that may be present in the wood siding.

Get Painted

After all of the cleaning, work has been completed, it’s time to apply the exterior paint. Be sure to choose a paint that is designed for use on wood siding. Apply two or three coats, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next.

Maintain Wood Siding

To keep your wood siding looking its best, it’s important to perform regular maintenance. This includes cleaning it at least once a year, staining or painting it every three to five years, and caulking any cracks or gaps that may develop.

By following these maintaining tips, you can keep your wood siding looking new for many years.


Doing cleaning carefully and on regular bases is the best way to maintain wood siding and make it last for many years. It is necessary to wash it at least once a year to avoid dirt, grime build-up, and mold off your home siding.


To keep your wood siding looking its best for many years, it’s important to stain it every three to five years. Staining will help protect the wood from issues like cracks and chips that may arise over time.


After you have cleaned and maintained your wood siding, it is important to seal it with a clear sealant. This will help keep moisture out and protect the wood from any damage. Clear sealants should be reapplied every couple of years to keep the wood looking its best.


While repainting your wood siding, be sure to choose a paint that is designed for use on wood siding. Apply two or three coats, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next.

Prevent Moisture

To prevent moisture damage to your wood siding, keep humidity levels down inside your home. You can do this by ensuring that your home is properly insulated and ventilated. Proper insulation will help keep the heat in during the winter months and proper ventilation will help keep the air circulating and avoid any humidity buildup.

Keep Away From Incests

Keep plants, trees, and firewood away from your siding, as these can all attract insects. If insects are allowed to infest your wood siding, it can cause serious damage and may require professional repair.

Conduct Annual Inspection

After a heavy rain or big storm, it’s a good idea to inspect your wood siding for any damage that may have been caused. Look for any cracks, holes, or other damage that may need to be repaired. If you notice any damage, take care of it as soon as possible to avoid further damage. 

Schedule Your Siding Inspection

To have your wood siding repainted, it’s important to choose a painter who is experienced in this type of work. Get your home a new look with the help of Masterpiece Painter. Our skilled painter will be able to apply the paint or sealant evenly and smoothly, ensuring a professional finish. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.



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