Hot Topics: Exterior Wood Panel Repair

Lead Image

Here at we enjoy providing a place where home improvement novices and experts can come together to share ideas and advice. Inside our Forums, users can browse threads to see what exchanges are taking place on a topic of interest or start their own dialogue by posting something for the community to take part in. With over 250,000 members and counting, this resource is quite active so each week we highlight one of the conversations that may just help you with that next DIY project.

Original Post: Exterior Wood Panel Repair

jd thomas Member

The exterior wood panels of our bay window needs some work. It has some nails I want to pull out and then fill the holes. The surface also appears to be cracking (looks like crazing that happens to glazed ceramic pieces), but since I don't think the paint would crack like this, I'm assuming some sort of filler has been applied in the past and this is what is cracking, but I could be wrong. I got up and looked at it, can't really be sure...So how would I handle these nail holes and cracks? Can I just apply a coat or two of wood filler type material over the cracking, or would it just recrack? Do I need to dig/break out this previous filler and refill it from scratch? I guess the absolute best way would be to replace the boards, but I want to try to avoid that - I think the panels are in decent shape except for this.

Anyway, all opinions will be appreciated!

Highlights from the Thread

Joecaption Member

Pull the nail and use a dab of latex caulking, done.
Sand the other area until it's smooth, prime and paint two coats.
(Unless it turns out to be rotten wood causing it)

marksr Forum Topic Moderator

I wonder if someone smeared caulking over the area in an attempt at a repair and either applied it too thick or painted it while the caulk was still wet. I'd sand as Joe suggested and see how it goes. While it could be filled, that should be the last resort. Makes me wonder why it was repaired to start with.

btw - welcome to the forums jd!

jd thomas Member

First, thanks for the welcome. Frequent browser, first-time poster.

OK, yeah, I guess I'll start with sanding and see what happens. I just don't know what is going on there. I hope it's not that the wood is rotted out and somebody tried to fill it in, but I'm halfway expecting that...

Separate question - see where the boards meet the bricks? Any recommendations on type/brand of caulk for sealing there? It looks kinda sloppily done, and I might want to redo it sometime soon.

XSleeper Member

It looks to me like they used a piece of Masonite lap siding for the trim, I've seen it do the alligator cracking like that... cut end sucks up water and the paint lets go. Could also be MDO (an "overlay"... a coated form of plywood) ... hard to tell from just a picture. Since you already know replacement is the best option, I have nothing to add... just that the material used is probably the reason it's doing it in the first place and that it will probably only get worse.

Paint and putty might "help" but I bet you will be back at it again soon.

jd thomas Member

Just wanted to say thanks XSleeper for adding your opinion. Appreciate the info from everybody!

Read more at: //