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Other stories by Bill Feist

  • Nail Stains and Mahogany Decking

    Q: The mahogany decking we installed on a house last year has developed some dark staining around the stainless steel nail heads (see photo). The staining is worse on the front porch, which is covered, and not nearly as bad on the back deck, which receives full sun. Whats causing it?

  • Squirrels and Cedar Siding

    We installed untreated cedar shingles on the exterior walls of a vacation home in central Maryland. Now the owners are complaining that squirrels are eating the new siding. And the squirrels really are eating it - they're not just trying to get inside the house. Is there anything we can apply to...

  • Polyurethane Paints for Wood Windows

    Q: My client's old wood windows are badly in need of a new paint job. My client, a sailor, suggested using a high-performance polyurethane enamel boat paint on the windows to cut down on future maintenance. It seems to me that if a finish can adhere to the hull of a wooden boat, it should be able...

  • Persistent Mildew

    Q: Twelve years ago, we sided a house with vertical-grain cedar treated with a solid oil stain. When mildew started to appear, we were asked to return and apply a second coat of stain. The house cleaned up nicely when we washed it with a bleaching solutio

  • Paint Over Stain?

    Q. Paint Over Stain? Is it okay to use an exterior latex house paint over stained wood siding?

  • Skip the Primer?

    Q. Recently I discovered that an inexperienced member of my crew mistakenly used finish paint instead of an actual primer to prime a fir exterior door. Now the door has two coats of a 100 percent acrylic house paint, but no primer underneath. Since it leads to a covered porch, the door is protected...

  • Sealers for Porch Floors

    Q. Sealers for Porch Floors We just installed a T&G fir floor on a covered porch that the customer plans to have painted in the spring. I would prefer to at least seal the wood against the weather until the painter has a chance to prime and top-coat the f

  • Q&A: Backpriming Siding

    Q: I have often read that wood siding should be backprimed before installation. But I believe that a primer without a finish coat is of no value, because I don’t think a primer can slow down moisture movement. Has there been any research or testing on thi

  • Q&A: Painting Asbestos Shingles

    Q: We will be painting a house that’s sided with asbestos-cement shingles. What type of paint is best? Assuming the shingles contain asbestos, do we need to take any precautions?

  • Q&A: Using Pressure-Treated Wood for Trim

    Q: We are planning to use pressure-treated wood as exterior trim on a house with fiber-cement siding. The siding will be finished with acrylic paint. Is pressure-treated wood appropriate for use as exterior trim? What precautions, if any, are necessary when painting pressure-treated wood? Can we...