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So I'm painting my first fiber cement exterior. The panels are all "pre-primed" although they look just like cement to me. The panels are just face-nailed to the framing, 12" OC with roofing nails, so they've got standard size nail heads. About half the nails are installed so they're just touching the surface, the other half have been pounded flat. There's also some overdriven holes that are usually accompanied with an immediately adjacent nail that's either flush or just on the surface.

There's also pre-primed Fry Reglet aluminum trim around all the edges.

So any tips on painting this so the nails don't jump out at you? I called Hardie (the panel manufacturer). They apparently have two products. Their Reveal system they recommend overdriving the nails and filling the holes with PC Woody epoxy putty and then sanding flush. These are HardiePanels and they don't recommend overdriving...just caulking any overdriven holes and around the other nail heads. Can't help but think I'm going to have to go pound every single nail on this thing so it's flush or else I'll see them all... Also, caulking the overdriven holes seems problematic as the caulk will shrink and you'll see a concave divot....plus you can't really sand any caulk I've used without it just gumming up and looking terrible...

Pointers before I get in there and learn by trial/fire?

Here's an example of what I'm talking about (pulled from Wikipedia):

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Another quick question while I've got you here. So everything here in Tucson is generally sanded stucco (Santa-Fe style) exteriors. So we always spray and then backroll. I'm thinking that's the WRONG thing to do here as the backroll will likely cause stippling of the finish and will probably end up making the paint bridge around some of the details where the trim contacts the panels. Thoughts?
 

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I installed panels up under the soffits on my own place to enclose them and make it an easier area to paint and keep clean.
I drove the nails pretty much flat or just slightly in. Caulked around the nail heads, wiped things neat and clean with a damp rag leaving just a bit of caulk around the edge of the “hole”. Never really saw the nail heads after that since the texture of the panels pretty much hid them.
 

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I installed panels up under the soffits on my own place to enclose them and make it an easier area to paint and keep clean.
I drove the nails pretty much flat or just slightly in. Caulked around the nail heads, wiped things neat and clean with a damp rag leaving just a bit of caulk around the edge of the “hole”. Never really saw the nail heads after that since the texture of the panels pretty much hid them.
I wonder if a "mortar caulk" would work well with this application (sinking the nail heads and then caulking)?
The slight sand texture of the mortar caulk would disappear against the sanded stucco.

Photograph Green Brick Font Line
 

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I would think, A: How the nails are set are not your problem. B: They won't be that noticeable after you paint, especially with a flat finish. I certainly wouldn't try to sink any of the nails unless contracted to do so . The other ones would be fine with a dab of caulking or Ext. wood filler.
 

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I would think, A: How the nails are set are not your problem. B: They won't be that noticeable after you paint, especially with a flat finish. I certainly wouldn't try to sink any of the nails unless contracted to do so . The other ones would be fine with a dab of caulking or Ext. wood filler.
What do you mean by "Exterior Wood filler"?

I know what many customers would "think" you mean by that, and then would proceed to use wood putty. And of course, anything brittle will pop out when used exterior.
 

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What do you mean by "Exterior Wood filler"?

I know what many customers would "think" you mean by that, and then would proceed to use wood putty. And of course, anything brittle will pop out when used exterior.
Well personally ya I would use something more flexible like an elastomeric caulking. Although If the hole was deep enough I'm sure an epoxy wood filler would do fine.
 
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