We have a 100 year-old house in Seattle, Washington. Much of the
exterior paint has been neglected for so long –at least 15 years,
maybe 50 –that large areas of wood are bare, where the paint has
completely departed. The underlying wood seems hard and sound, yet is
dry and porous –the siding is old-growth, tight vertical grain,
We are worried because we've heard from neighbors with similar homes
that when we repaint (the bottom, disconnecting layers are lead-based,
and are going to be professionally removed), even an oil-based primer
may be sucked so far into the old, dry bare wood that the pigment
might be left stranded on the wood surface, with no binder left to
connect it to the wood below, and the top coats above.
Some people have suggested that one or more coats of boiled linseed
oil can be applied (thinned with turpentine, or paint thinner, I
suppose?), and allowed to completely dry prior to brushing in one good
coat of primer.
I have also heard that shellac/alcohol may be the way to go, before
We want to do this right. I have test-painted a siding board with
1-part linseed to 2-parts turpentine, and I can repaint several times
over a weekend before the surface ever retains a film of unabsorbed
Should we do this? Will paint makers warranty their primer for
adhering to linseed (or shellac) treated wood, providing the oil has
been allowed to dry?