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Hi All,

I've just started my own residential painting business (ThePaintExpress - working on the webpage now...) and although I'm comfortable with interior painting the only exterior work I've ever done was my own home. I went out to do a bid last weekend on the interior of this cottage and the owner asked for an exterior bid as well. I'll sum it up but there's one picture that may help and I've attached it for reference.

The siding is a compressed wood (hardboard?) with embossing and it's in good condition but the previous paint job is a really smooth sheen. I'm not sure if I need to sand the entire exterior or just use something like Krud Kutter (gloss off) to surface prep it. Also, the nail heads of which there are many are starting the rust. Whoever installed this stuff did NOT use galvanized nails unfortunately. So my thoughts are the entire exterior should be power washed, DE glossed, primed and then painted.

The hole in the picture is going to be repaired correctly by the carpenter doing the interior remodeling. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated....thanks in advance.
I am not a fan of this type of siding. There are a few names for it, but in the end it’s just a fancy chip board (OSB) with exterior glue. If it’s hardboard Masonite-type siding, it’s treated the same way: use solid stain. It weathers poorly in areas of water exposure, predictably, such as water shed areas from roofs, and etc… it is important to make sure that the boards nearest the ground are monitored and kept in good condition, as rain and snow tend to cause these boards to fail first.

Latex solid stain is common maintenance for this type of siding if it has not been painted already (to treat it the same as Cedar in this regard). Can stain directly onto surface as is, but soft wash 1-2 weeks before painting work is recommended. Re-stain every 7-10 years. Builders sometimes spot prime nail heads at time of install, but if they are rusting it might be simplest to price a coat to prime entire siding using an oil based primer tinted t color, and then top coat with latex solid stain. Caulk with paintable caulk. Good luck with your business. I am located in Wisconsin too,so I deal with the same regional weather conditions as you. Is that Lake Michigan, or another lake?
 
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