1.Remove loose, flaking, chalky or blistered paint with a paint scraper, putty knife and wire brush. Loose paint can also be removed with a power washer. Sand the edges of the areas where paint has been removed to create a smooth surface.
2.Fill gouges or holes in wood siding with an exterior-grade patching compound. If damage is more extensive, replace the damaged piece(s) altogether before painting.
3.Seal cracks, seams and gaps with paintable exterior caulk.
4.Clean the outside of the house from top to bottom. If you use soap, rinse the siding well. Allow the surface to dry.
5.Mask off areas that are not to be painted. You can put newspaper or plastic drop cloths over things like windows, doors, sidewalks and driveways to protect them from drips.
WARNING! If you scrape, sand, or remove old paint, you may release lead dust or fumes. Lead is toxic. Exposure to lead dust or fumes can cause serious illness, such as brain damage, especially in children. Pregnant women should also avoid exposure. Wear a properly fitted NIOSH-approved respirator and prevent skin contact to control lead exposure. Clean up carefully with a HEPA vacuum and a wet mop. Before you start, find out how to protect yourself and your family by contacting the USEPA National Lead Information Hotline at 1-800-424-LEAD or log on to www.epa.gov/lead. Follow these instructions to control exposure to other hazardous substances that may be released during surface preparation.