My fascia boards for the entire house are in good shape, but the paint is peeling. I want to get on a ladder and repaint them. My questions deal with the preparation.

Can I power wash the fascia boards or is scraping the only option?

If power washing is okay, how long do I need to let them dry before priming?

If power washing, is blowing roof shingles off unintentionally a possible pitfall? If so, how do I avoid doing so?


If your power washer is anything like mine, I wouldn't use it for fascia washing - you'll definitely be able to take the paint off, but you do run the risk of damaging roof tiles or shingles as well as forcing water into places it will not normally get to.

While it may seem a lot of effort, a ladder and a set of scrapers and sanding blocks will be your best bet. This will also leave them ready to paint straight away, rather than waterlogged.

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    Just want to echo the damage the power washer could do the the facia board itself. Its not worth it. – BrianK Mar 11 '12 at 3:14

Your best bet is a scraper and sander. I wouldn't go near fascia with a power washer for a few reasons... one being the pressure could upset your balance while standing on the ladder. Forcing water into wood is never a good idea. You can shred the fascia (it's usually pine) for one.

First, I'd wash the existing paint with TSP to get the chalk off it. Most people don't know this, but paint chalks to "self clean". This step takes the dirt and other environmental fallout off the surface. Then I'd scrape and sand it. Fill in any irregularities with exterior spackle (makes the wood look smooth and disguises the unevenness of the surface), feather sand the spackle, and then wipe all of it down with a damp cloth as the dirt will interfere with the surface adhesion. Use a good primer - either latex or oil - let dry and finish.

Another alternative is get a "painteater" and run the entire surface - and remove the paint down to raw wood.

  • Can you elaborate on the TSP cleaning? Got any links? – Evil Elf Mar 12 '12 at 13:24

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