Things You'll Need
Sharp double-sided paint scraper with extra blades
Stiff scrubbing brush (not wire)
Wear eye protection when scraping Use caution on the ladder.
The invention of the pressure washer has saved many a homeowner from the difficult task of hand-scraping paint off siding. But if your home is sided in traditional cedar shingles, you're stuck doing it the old-fashioned way. Cedar is a soft wood, and the force of a power washer, while it will take the paint off easily enough, will also very likely damage the wood and drive moisture deep into it, causing your future paint job to peel off later.
Set up your ladder at the highest point on the exterior wall.
Work your scraper from the top of each shingle toward the bottom, in steady, even strokes with the grain of the wood. Hold both blades of the scraper against the wood firmly, but don't press so hard that it gouges. For tough areas, scrape lightly several times rather than trying to scrape heaily once. Get all the loose paint off. Leave the paint that won't come off with three or four scrapes.
Continue scraping as far to either side as you can safely reach, and as far down.
Once you've scaped all that you can, take your stiff brush and scrub over all the siding from side to side (the opposite direction from that of scraping) to take off any residual dirt and dust. Make sure to get up into the lines under the bottom edges of the shingles.
Move your ladder to a different section and repeat the process.
Kevin McDermott is a professional newspaper journalist and landlord. He was born in Chicago and graduated Eastern Illinois University with a degree in journalism. He currently covers regional politics for a Midwestern newspaper. McDermott writes about home improvement for various websites.