previous
  • 9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
    9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
  • 7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
    7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
  • 7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
    7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
  • Design Inspiration
    Design Inspiration
  • Tips & Techniques for Painting
    Tips & Techniques for Painting
  • Hot Water Now
    Hot Water Now
  • Energy-Smart Details
    Energy-Smart Details
  • Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
    Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
  • All about Roofing
    All about Roofing
  • Video: Install a Fence
    Video: Install a Fence
  • Basement Remodeling Tips
    Basement Remodeling Tips
  • Clever daily tip in your inbox
    Clever daily tip in your inbox
  • Master Carpenter Videos
    Master Carpenter Videos
  • Read FHB on Your iPad
    Read FHB on Your iPad
  • Pro Tool Rental. Learn More.
    Pro Tool Rental. Learn More.
  • Remodeling Articles
    Remodeling Articles
  • 7 Small Bathroom Layouts
    7 Small Bathroom Layouts
  • Custom Flooring Inspiration
    Custom Flooring Inspiration
  • Magazine Departments
    Magazine Departments
  • A New Approach to Classic Cabinets
    A New Approach to Classic Cabinets
next
Pin It

Patching holes in siding

Q: I’m painting my 100-year-old house. The clapboards are in pretty good shape, but I have some holes and gouges to fill. What type of filler should I use?





A: Tim Leahy, a finish foreman for Kirby Perkins Construction in Newport, R.I., replies: My company does a lot of restoration work, so I deal with damaged clapboards all the time. Because our jobs are often time sensitive, I like products that dry fast enough for me to fill, sand, prime, and paint all in the same day.


The type of filler follows the size of the patch. For holes up to and gouges narrower than 1/2 in., use Elmer's interior/exterior Carpenter's Wood Filler. Any holes and gouges larger than 1/2 in. should be filled with an epoxy filler or Bondo.
Photo (left) by: Dan Thornton.; Photo (right): Courtesy of Simpson Strong-Tie.The type of filler follows the size of the patch. For holes up to and gouges narrower than 1/2 in., use Elmer's interior/exterior Carpenter's Wood Filler. Any holes and gouges larger than 1/2 in. should be filled with an epoxy filler or Bondo.

Photo (left) by: Dan Thornton.; Photo (right): Courtesy of Simpson Strong-Tie.
For holes up to 1/2 in. dia. or for gouges narrower than 1/2 in., I like Elmer's interior/ exterior Carpenter's Wood Filler (www.elmers.com). It sands well and is creamy, so it works well off the knife. I sand the damaged area to bare wood and spot-prime the holes to seal the old wood; then I force in the putty. Deep holes and gouges might require a second application. Although the product claims to be shrink-free, the filler occasionally shrinks slightly as it dries. I sand and reprime the area once the filler dries.

For holes and gouges larger than 1/2 in., I reach for an epoxy filler or Bondo (www.3m.com), which is a polyester compound. Bondo doesn't adhere well to paint or smooth surfaces. Before I apply it, I sand an area to bare wood about an inch around the repair. If the hole or gouge is deep, I also carve out small crevices with a chisel or putty knife around the perimeter of the repair. This gives the filler more area to cling to. I fill the hole, then sand the repair with a random-orbit sander to smooth the surface to level.


From Fine Homebuilding 205, pp. 76 July 16, 2009