Best Method to Sand Fascia Board?

topic posted Sat, January 28, 2012 - 12:26 PM by  A
I'm going to repaint my old, too long ignored (dilapidated) fascia board. Will also be replacing some of it. Single story house and garage.

I have some trouble with my shoulder and overhead work is pretty hard on it. I was thinking of roping myself off and lying along edge of roof and sanding it - instead of coming at it from below with a ladder or home-made scaffold (Yes, I'll most likely have a safety harness equipt with rope-grab).

Also, would I be better off buying a belt sander (cordless? air?) instead of going at this with a sanding block?
Would the belt ride up off the track when used on this type of surface - vertical and running parallel to the ground?

posted by:
offline A
  • Unsu...

    Re: Best Method to Sand Fascia Board?

    Mon, January 30, 2012 - 7:56 AM
    Belt sander? Nope that's the wrong tool Won't do anything but get all gummed up and ruin your day. Besides they weigh a ton.

    First imperative is to know what kind of paint you are stripping.
    If you are not stripping the paint you might ask if there's even a need to do anything other than maybe pressure wash. Usually there is no reason to abrade the existing finish for adhesion. So, it's pressure wash and paint, or you are going to strip the old paint and get to fresh wood. Make your choice and stick with it.

    If the old finish is ancient alligatored oil paint you can use a paint grinder ( disks) with great success. I have the Porter Cable Paint Stripper which lovely machine also serves as a right angle grinder when I strip off the paint grinder guards. That thing will strip paint like who dun it and leave a truly baby bottom smooth finish on the fresh clean wood. Super coarse disks will give you a clean smooth finish.

    If your existing finish is latex or acrylic (which is just latex paint that they renamed to keep you from thinking of all the problems that plagued older latex paints) then you can use a propane torch and if you can get one use a flame spreader because it'll speed things up.

    Always have a garden hose handy - as in up on the scaffold with you because you may need it.

    There are infra red tools for this some work on propane and others use electricity and you can also buy an industrial heat gun.

    The thing with heat ( however you apply it) is that you want enough heat to cause the old latex paint to blister up so you can get a scraper under it and peel it off in great huge sheets.
    It goes really fast once you get the hang of it.

    Using a propane torch requires you play the flame over wide areas never settling in one or it'll scorch the paint and make it gummy,
    You just want to blister it

    After you blister the old latex away you have to use an abrasive grinder of some sort to get to fresh uncontaminated wood. If you fail to do this the new paint won't have good adhesion.

    Then after you finally get ready for new paint use only Benjamin Moore top of the line paints.
    Then as the years f go by - - - follow the manufacturer's recommendations about repainting.
    Don 't let it get too long in the tooth because a re- application will serve to preserve the older paint underneath so you gotta be good about it. This'll keep you from having to strip and grind like this again for many decades.

    • A
      offline 0

      Okay, so no belt sander

      Tue, January 31, 2012 - 12:16 PM
      Thanks Cliff, that's a lot of good information to digest!

      First - what kind of paint? I'm not sure. I peeled of a small piece and it is somewhat pliable - so I'm guessing it is latex and not oil or lead-based.

      "... if there's even a need to do anything other than maybe pressure wash."
      I'm not a fan of pressure washing - based on some reading I've done in the past, can end up tearing up wood and this time of year - between cold temperatures and occasional snow - I will be looking at narrow time-windows for painting opportunities (can't afford to wait for extensive drying times).

      Yes, I did a little survey years ago and found Benjamin Moore paint was rated highly - and used it. Nice to see it still holds an excellent reputation. I'll have to cough up the extra bucks and do it again - including a good primer.
      I'm going to be changing colors, so my plan is to clean and prime first.

      I read up on your Porter Cable paint stripper - a lot of people swear by it - when used properly and under the right conditions (I don't have the upper body strength - injured shoulder - or $300+ .

      My adjusted strategy:

      My detached garage - is newer; the fascia and paint are in better shape. So, I will remove gutters; hand sand lightly; make any needed cosmetic repairs; hand sand lightly again; lightly brush-wash (telescoped pole) with TSP.
      Hopefully it will fully dry in 24 hrs and I will hit it with Benjamin primer and paint.
      I'm going to try to paint with roller on a pole to save time and hassle of moving ladder and my home-made scaffold.

      My house is older - at this point (may change mind after doing garage), I think I'd be better off just to rip off all fascia and replace with new wood. The fascia on the house is in pretty bad shape - was going to just replace sections, but after seeing how much trouble it may be to remove paint - in addition to making repairs - I think I'll be much better off to replace all fascia (very small 2bdrm house). Torching up under my eave would be too nerve racking for me - for that and lots of other reasons - replacing fascia board makes a lot of sense to me.

      Replacing fascia - I can pre-prime & paint on the ground - much, much easier painting flat and then give a final coat after I've installed it.

      Yes, maintenance and re-applying paint in a timely manner is very, very important (coming from someone who doesn't follow that policy very well - and pays a heavy price).

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