How To Repair Vertical Wood Siding

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Things You'll Need

  • Wood cleaner

  • Nylon scrub brush

  • Wood putty

  • Putty knife

  • 120 grit sandpaper

  • Pry bar

  • Slater's ribber

  • Hack saw blade saw

  • Replacement boards

  • Circular saw

  • Corrosion resistant nails

  • Hammer


Certain types of wood contain high levels of tannins and may darken during the cleaning process. If your wood turns dark, and if you are planning to stain it, use an oxalic acid based wood brightener to neutralize tannins and restore the luster and color of your siding.

If you're planning to stain the siding, select a wood putty that matches the tone of your siding and can accept a stain.

Image Credit: Images

Vertical wood siding is a traditional building material that is popular in certain regions. Typically vertical siding is comprised of wood panels, or a board and batten pattern in which the seams between wider boards are covered with narrower ones. Any natural wood siding is susceptible to damage from sun and rain. Wood can split or check. Additionally, birds and insects can bore holes into wood. Wood cleaner can be used to remove sun damaged wood fiber. Smaller defects in vertical wood siding can be filled with wood putty, while severely damaged siding boards may need to be removed and replaced.

Removing Sun Damaged Wood Fiber

Step 1

Mix a solution of wood cleaner. Wood cleaner is generally sold in a concentrated form. Follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding the dilution recommended for removing deteriorated wood fiber.

Step 2

Wet down the wood siding and apply the wood cleaning solution. Allow the cleaner to sit on the wood for 15 to 30 minutes.

Step 3

Scrub the siding vigorously with a nylon scrub brush. Scrubbing will remove the grayed and weakened wood fibers, while leaving the healthy underlying wood intact.

Step 4

Rinse the siding down thoroughly with water.

Repairing Minor Defects in Vertical Wood Siding

Step 1

Use a putty knife to fill holes and surface gouges with exterior wood putty. Work the putty down into the holes and leave a little excess over the surface and edges of the defect.

Step 2

Follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding dry time for putty. Smaller repairs may require only a couple of hours, while deeper, larger fills may require 24 hours to cure completely.

Step 3

Sand the repair with a piece of 120 grit sandpaper. Use the sandpaper to create a smooth surface and to bring the putty flush with the siding face.

Replacing Badly Damaged Vertical Siding Boards

Step 1

Use your pry bar to lift the siding board or panel and reveal the nail shafts.

Step 2

Pull the nails out with a slater's ripper or cut the shafts with a hack saw blade saw.

Step 3

Remove the damaged siding board or panel.

Step 4

Fit a new piece of siding vertically in place of the vacant material. A circular saw can be used to cut a given board or panel to the proper height.

Step 5

Fasten the siding into place with corrosion resistant nails. The length of the nail to use varies depending on the siding thickness. Consult the manufacturer's recommendation regarding nail size and style. Follow the nail pattern along the existing siding to maintain a consistent look.


Robert Howard

Robert Howard has been writing professionally since 2004 and writes a weekly column for the "Synthesis," a Chico, Calif.-based newspaper. He maintains a blog and has published articles and works of fiction in a variety of different print and online magazines. Howard holds a Bachelor of Arts in visual arts from the University of California, San Diego.