Editorial & Photography By: Dr. Christopher Cooper
The image in Figure 1 is usually the last nail in the proverbial coffin of older wood siding. A dryer vent, which is no longer in use has been filled-in with a very inappropriate expanding foam patch (which should never be used due to large amounts of moisture in its make-up). It is simply ugly and the average home-owner is not aware of high quality wood epoxies available on the market. Old Home Living’s Editor-in-Chief, Chris Cooper, has been using Restoration Grade Epoxy products for 22 years now on high-profile wood restoration projects around the globe, transforming rotted wooden elements which would be torn-out wholesale and bringing them back to life utilizing this high-tech product.
Chris will take us through the steps on how to restore the siding to better than new in minutes. Chris usually utilizes this product in conjunction with a liquid two-part epoxy however, in this case where there is no rot present, he will use Restoration Grade Epoxy (see fig.2). The foam was rebated using a utility knife, and a patch of tar-paper is stapled into place with stainless steel staples.
A very sharp chisel was then used to square-off the existing holes (see fig. 3). Because we are recycling board from the gable-ends of Old Home Living House we have exact patching materials, however, a piece of like material or poplar can be tapered with a belt-sander to fit (see fig. 4) the two pieces were then screwed into place with stainless steel screws (heads have been painted black for photographic contrast).
Two equal parts of A & B Restoration Grade Epoxy is kneaded by hand for 30 seconds to ensure a complete blending of the two-parts (use latex gloves it is rather sticky, see fig. 5). Chris has an interesting technique of applying the epoxy which has a pot-life of around 30-60 minutes. He first smears it into voids and cracks (see fig. 6), then pushes and palms the epoxy into place (see fig. 7) higher than the surrounding areas. Note: Restoration Grade Epoxy does not shrink, this just insures that all low spots have been filled.
After allowing the recommended time period for hardening (we waited overnight), Chris uses a random orbit palm sander to bring the epoxy flat, smooth and even with the surrounding clapboards (see fig. 8). Figure 9 shows the impressive results of this product which can now be sawn, nailed, planed, machined, stained, painted and finished as desired.
As with all exterior wood restoration a coat of Oil-based primer must be used (see fig. 10) and top-coated with two coats of 100% acrylic latex. Figure 11 shows the finished restored clapboards, we had to place a box around the area for you to see the repair, which in-itself is an excellent judge of the process.
In the past few months Old Home Living in conjunction with their production company 3Nine Productions Canada have been filming a DVD on the process of restoring rotted and damaged wood elements utilizing high-tech materials and traditional Dutchman techniques.
This DVD and other helpful restoration DVD’s will be released early next year world-wide, watch our web site and future issues of Old Home Living for availability.