Exterior trim should be backprimed. This means that the decorative
pieces of wood on the outside of your house should have paint on all
sides before they are attached to the house. Without backpriming, the
wood can absorb moisture, which can cause warping, rotting, and shorter
paint life on the front of the piece of trim.
Builder and Cont. Ed. Instructor at Emory University
Author of www.renovation101.com
How fast do they build and sell homes where you live?
"My doctor says I have a malformed public-duty gland
and a natural deficiency in moral fiber, and that I am therefore
excused from saving Universes."
Calling me "clueless" or my suggestion "stupid" does little to
elucidate the merits of the original assertion. If you have a better
source that denigrates backpriming, other than your conjecture, I'd
love to learn from it.
The Landmark Society of Western New York is the Rochester region's
historic preservation organization. They advocate the following:
"Backprime new [porch] decking..."
"Backprime all [column] base parts and end grain cuts..."
"Backprime all replacement boards..."
Agreed. Ransley, sometimes newer approaches work better than
traditional approaches, and backpriming certainly doesn't hurt, albeit
it costs a little more and takes a little more time. Backpriming is a
conservative way of preservation.
It is not done, it had not been done, on the best of houses , buildings,
structures, that are still standing after hundreds if not a thousand
years. Take a trip to Europe to visit 1000 year old buildings. In theory
it might sound better. In fact the wood is outside it may do nothing
since rain hits exposed wood, not the backside. Keep your siding caulked
, painted, and it lasts, let the paint peel and it is garbage in 20
years. Now if you still believe it, figure hand paintings cost of a
truck load of wood before it is installed, just that cost would be
thousands. Just because some historical group says so doesnt mean it is
It would be the ideal to back prime, and possibly even the first finish coat
for all exterior wood, however money, time and materials always enter the
picture. Commercially built houses will never have this happen. Custom built
houses may have some items back primed, but the same factors will govern
what and when. Craftsman built houses may have more items backprimed, wood
siding is a good example, but pressure from the same factors that influence
commercial houses will limit how much other trim is done.
If one were to build a "perfect" house, there are many things that could be
done and would make the house last longer, but will never be done because
the owner/buyer could not afford the cost, materials and the time to do it
all, as desirable as it is.
I've seen them do back priming on This Old House. And I've done it
myself. I had a piece of trim molding that was badly warped after only
10 years. When I replaced it, I made sure to back prime it. As far as
adding cost, sure it does. But you only have to paint the back once.
How many times do you have to paint the front and how much does it cost
to replace if it warps and fails?
Now I'm not saying everything has to be back primed, but it's certainly
done sometimes and shouldn't be ridiculed. Compared to some things that
people are willing to pay for, it seems very reasonable to me.
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