Solutions to the problems of paint deterioration

Q. The paint on our second-story balcony wooden deck stays on for only two or three years. Some water must seep through the somewhat deteriorated deck. Also, the paint on the fascia blisters and peels within a year of application. What do you suggest? Robert L. Wilkinson Rockville, Md.

A. Two or three years of service on the deck paint is about par for the course. On new wood decks, the best coverage is an oil-base semitransparent stain which should be touched up every few years. Stain is preferable to paint film.

Sand the deck down to solid wood, removing the old paint and any deterioration. Apply an oil-base semitransparent stain. Otherwise, sand or scrape the peeling paint and repaint with the same deck paint which you used earlier.

Should the deterioration of the wood deck be significant, you might apply a new waterproof plywood overlay. Then stain or paint it.

The fascia board likely is getting some moisture on its back side. The sun then dries the fascia out on the front, taking some paint with it when the board gets warm.

Hopefully, the original fascia boards were carefully selected for straight grain, no knots, and were fully dry. Paint holds best on quality lumber.

Sand and scrape the loose paint down to bare wood. Then cover with a top-quality acrylic latex primer. Follow with an acrylic latex finish coat. This method provides a totally breathing paint system which could reduce some of the blistering and peeling.

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