Painting over decayed wood and paint/filler quality

We had some painting done on our wooden window frames, soffits, fascias and cladding about a year ago and the paint is already cracking in places (and peeling in one place).
Some of the wood was a bit manky beforehand and the men replaced some wood and filled it in other places.
At the time I noticed that the paint used wasn't a quality brand that I recognise like Crown or Dulux (it was just labelled something like 'White Gloss Paint') nor did the filler they used specify 'for exterior use' or anything similar on the tubs.
Also I saw no sign of any tins of wood restorer/preservative/hardener being used on the decayed wood before it was filled and painted
The painter now claims that the cracking is due to water ingress from leaks at the edge of the roof. This is plausible in one place where the paint has peeled (rather than cracked) off the soffit, but there are other places (such as window sills (exterior window sills- not sure if 'sill' is the right term) where there isn't anywhere for water to get in other than via the paint cracking.
Rambling a bit here, so I guess my key questions are i) how rubbish was the paint and filler used ii) Should they definately have used some kind of wood restorer/ preservative/hardener on the manky bits before filling and painting - do such products work.well?
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Dave Smith wrote:

All I can add, is that many moons ago, I had rot in a couple of window frames, where the uprights met the bottom of the frame. I dug all the rot out and filled it with considerable amounts of Elastic Plastic Padding and then filed it to shape. Several years later, there was absolutely no sign of any deterioration. I suspect you need to get the rot out, to provide a decent key. Doubt the paint matters much, as long as the repair is good.
Andy C
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Dave Smith wrote:

Why didn't you say something at the time?

Why didn't you say something at the time?

Did you specify (and pay for) at the time for them to use preservative?
What it really boils down to here, is that you have rotten wood in various places and you don't want to pay to have it replaced. It's not the job of the painter to go to all these extra lengths, free of charge, he probably specified the usual for exterior work and that is rub down, fill where neccesary, prime where neccesary, then 1 coat of U/C and 1 coat of gloss.
If the sills are cracking, it's probably due to water ingress, that is to say, the paint hasn't cracked and *allowed* water in, the paint has cracked because the wood has swelled *because* water has got in by some other means.
If you have rotten wood, either get it replaced completely, or have a joiner come down and splice some new pieces in, anything else is a bodge, and if you have asked someone to bodge a job, you can't ring them back a year later to complain - it's what you asked for.
--
Phil L
RSRL Tipster Of The Year 2008
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Methinks you have just discovered why there is a forum called uk.d-i-y. A conscientious painter is a rare beast indeed.
S
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If you let timber get too far gone, you have a problem.
#1 - Putty protects very well - but cracks, hard to replace but worth it #2 - Remove rotting wood, apply wood hardener until it takes no more, use wood filler, alkyd primer, alkyd gloss #3 - Quality alkyd paint is Sikkens or more tolerant Dulux Trader Weathershield 1-2-3
I say more tolerant because it will stick to linseed putty on the glass-to-putty gap whereas quite a few Sikkens paints will not bond very well and "shell off" long before the 5-6-7yr overcoat period.
If the wood is above a certain moisture content it will not take paint well.
Water lapping over the bargeboards? You need someone to lift the bottom row of tiles and slip some new felt / DPC under the existing felt so it laps into the gutter. This is sadly an increasingly common job these days.
You basically need to do this yourself where possible in the spring (May is good, you want above 10oC).
If you have very rippled wood then you have a decay problem on a larger scale and may want to replace bits - window cills (or sub- cills) should be hardwood but very often are not a durable timber. Oak is good, but difficult to get paint to stick to it. Meranti is another (although I think they can be difficult too (some gloss paints tend to matt).
Wood is repairable, PVC is not. Economics of DG are very poor indeed, unless your windows are falling out. Key thing is D-I-Y - if you have really "rough" wood re rot & moisture penetration you have to get it fixed and primer'd before the painter arrives. They want to paint and bill based on that, not a complete restoration job.
If the downstairs is worst, you can rip out the old putty, strip off what has been painted, do a proper repair job before the winter. The low overnight temperatures will invite fogging of the gloss, but it should last ok - easy to go over in 3-4yrs time. Wood bargeboards of older houses (1940-1960) can be left bare and still do not rot, kiln dried to petrufication it would appear or perhaps substantial ventilation and vertical surface makes all the difference :-)
The ideal filler is a flexible epoxy, they exist but prices can be quite substantial. Wood Hardener + Filler are good enough, you may need to fill again if it shrinks but it will not open up again unless you have a hidden water leak (overflow down a wall which borders the window is a classic).
A split window cill will last about 20yrs if it is just progressing from one end to the other. A rippled window cill from moisture getting past the putty (looks like cadbury's flake, but firm not mush, paint bubbling) is easily fixed by ripping out the putty. Tape the glass in case you slip and bend a thin screwdriver and it will take a few hours. When re-putty'd over alkyd primer (critical!) it will last fine, one I did 25yrs ago when a teenager is in quite solid condition.
Wood is maintenance, do that yourself then a painter in - a painter is not a restorer unless you pay thro the nose per hour.
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