How to Install Tongue and Groove Siding Part 3

What You'll Need
Protective goggles
Nails (hot-dipped galvanized, aluminum or stainless steel)
Tape measure
Circular saw
Earplugs (for saw usage)
Exterior sealant
Paint or stain
Chalk and ruler for marking lines
Caulk gun and caulk

(This is Part 3 of a 3 part series. To return to Part 2, click here.)

When you have reached the last row of your tongue and groove siding installation, it is time to apply trim and final coats of sealant and stain or paint. Below are guides to how to achieve the finishing touches of applying this type of siding.

Step 1 – Install Last Row of Siding

Install the last row of siding as usual. If the top portion needs to be cut down to size horizontally, this is not a problem—the tongue portion will not be needed to interlock with any pieces above it, so cut it straight across and allow it to flush up against the top of the wall.

Step 2 – Apply Trim

After finishing the entire wall of siding, it is time to apply trim boards as desired. Common places are surrounding window and door frames, and occasionally by ceilings and floors. Trim can be nailed in similar to the siding, and any nail holes visible can be covered with putty if desired.

Step 3 – Apply Sealant

When the installation process is over, the entire wall should be covered in a sealant. Different types of sealants are recommended for different areas, so check with a local store for advice. Apply sealant to the entire wall, and use a paintbrush to work in sealant to the joints and crevices of the wall, even if they have been secured with caulking as well. This application will protect the wall and maximize weather protection.

Step 4 – Apply Stain or Paint

The final task of the process is to apply a final stain or paint to the wall, as desired. Once the sealant has dried, you are able to apply this final coat. If you have used a natural wood siding, a simple stain may suffice for decoration – but paint is a common alternative. Color is a matter of personal choice, but make sure to use the appropriate type of paint. There are separate types of paint for indoor and outdoor use, so choose appropriately. Most paints require at least two coats, and they should be applied evenly and in the same direction for the cleanest look.

Step 5 – Maintain Your Work

Installing siding is a lot of work – it may be simple, but it is certainly time consuming and it requires a lot of attention to detail. Celebrate your work by allowing yourself and others to admire it, as well as keep up with it. Don’t let you hard work deteriorate. If any weather damage or other damage occurs, you can fix it easily. Also be sure to keep up on paint—even the hardiest outdoor paint will dull and chip over time, so brush up the finish every couple of years to keep your work looking beautiful.