House Painting And Pressure Washing ?

Hello,
Have a question regarding painting my house. Concerns really.
House is the typical wooden clapboard style. Hasn't been painted for about 7 years or so.
I guess the normal thing that they recommend is to have it pressure washed first, to remove any mildew and clean the surface prior to the new paint.
The new paint will, I guess, be a coating that adheres to the old paint, and will never actually see the wood underneath. Is this so ?
So, if the old paint flakes off the wood, it would take the new layer of paint with it. Am I looking at this scenario correctly ?
As there are a few spots that do show some flaking (the paint that's on there now), I'm a bit concerned about the pressure washing loosening up even more of the original paint.
But there sure is some light mildew here and there that I would like to have removed. Also, I guess a good cleaning will help the new paint adhere better. True ?
Is pressure washing first, therefore, a good idea, or best not to have it done at all ?
Any thoughts on this would be most appreciated.
Thanks, Bob
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Done carefully, it's a reasonable way to remove any loose/flaking paint and mildew.
There's no point in putting new paint over either.
Your new paint job will only be as good as the preperation you do before application of the new paint.
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Yep, except for spots that have chipped, flaked, etc.

Yep.
If you are pressure washing with the tip a reasonable distance from the surface and it's flaking off then you don't want it to stay on. It's gonna fall off soon anyway, as you said, along with your new coating. The nozzle pattern should be some form of fan and not the jet stream. The jet stream can actually dig a hole in asphalt. Even with a fan pattern, if the nozzle tip is too close it will chew the wood. It may look like you're doing a nice thing while doing it but when it dries it will look nasty. When you paint over it it will look like shit.

Yep.
I always pressure wash first to get anything loose off, clean dirt and mildew off. Sometimes you will wash say like trim that looked fine and you'll see chunks of paint fly off. Looking closely you'll see the trim is rotted. Now's the time to fix it. Part of the overall prep phase.

As you are painting, always keep a scraper in reach. Scrape any questionable areas. Doesn't have to be a hard 2 handed scrape. If it comes off, you want it off.

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Robert11 wrote:

Sure. The new paint will stick to whatever it's put on top of. Whether that item is sticking to the wood is another matter. If your existing paint is flaking, it's obviously not sticking to the house.
Modern latex paint is, to some extent, forgiving of site preparation. It can make a rubbery covering that is quite tenacious and cohesive.
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paint, prime bare wood in oil, and dont paint a hot surface or in hot sun. Go to a real paint store and work with their pros on the whole job.
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