A.Stephen Jordan responds: I prefer to see the siding nails driven flush with the surface of the siding. Nails set and filled are very unforgiving of any movement or shrinkage in the wall framing. This movement may cause "nail pops" — the exterior version of the infamous drywall nail pop. Hardboard siding should be fastened so the nail head is drawn "snug" against the siding.

On the other hand, finish nails used to fasten exterior trim (the brick molding around a door unit, for example should be set and filled. DAP’s linseed oil-base Painter’s Putty (Dap Inc., P.O. Box 277, Dayton, Ohio 45401; 800/543-3840) is my favorite, and it works well under an oil-based primer. I add "whiting" (a thickening...

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