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Filling Cracks in Exterior Wood Before Painting

We came across the perfect solution for painting our house exterior and dealing with severe peeling paint, cracks and holes. It’s working so well that we thought we should share the information. The idea came from my father-in-law, who has been doing his own home improvement projects for years and has a wealth of knowledge to offer. We are in awe of the results.

 At first we thought that a special primer called Zissner Bin Peel Stop would provide the coverage we needed after sanding and prepping the surface. But we were disappointed with how much uneven surface could still be seen. The surface, once painted, was still rough and you can see the edges of where the paint had peeled away, even after sanding it and adding the triple-thick primer.

No amount of sanding or primer would smooth it out. That’s when my father-in-law suggested using an exterior spackling paste or filler.  We chose to try Dap Platium Patch Advanced Exterior Filler.

The exterior filler, combined with the other steps we used, worked wonders.  In all, the steps we used to achieve a beautiful, smooth exterior surface included:
  1. Pressure washing the exterior of the house 
  2. Scraping to remove loose paint 
  3. Painting primer on the entire exterior surface 
  4. Using the exterior filler (spackle) to cover all the uneven areas
  5. Sanding the spackled areas once dry
  6. Painting another coat of primer
  7. Painting the exterior house paint 
Of coarse, each step included time to allow the primer and spackling to dry.  It sounds like a lot of steps and a significant amount of work, but the effort is paying off.

Just like applying interior spackling compounds to interior walls, the Dap Platinum Patch for exterior surfaces is easy to apply and sands easily as well. 

You can see how much smoother the exterior looks thanks to the extra effort and with the help of the spackle.

We have a lot of house to paint.  To avoid becoming overwhelmed by the job, we’ve been going about it slowly, working on one section at a time using all of the steps before moving on to another section.

We'll update you again as we get further along. It's exciting to see progress finally happening on the exterior of our vintage home!

This House with Knotty Pine

See many more photos of our house with its wood walls in our e-book, This House with Knotty PineClick to download your copy from the Amazon bookshelf (for reading on iOS, Android, Mac, and PC using the free Kindle app). 

Knotty pine walls e-book

In the book, which you can download and view now, you'll discover how we stumbled upon our unique home. The house was once part of a dairy farm but it had fallen into disrepair over the years.  Despite the sad state of the house, the solid planks of knotty pine throughout were still in great shape. Included are photos of the renovation plus the finished rooms as they are now decorated.  Eight rooms are featured. Click to see the book on Amazon.

We invite you to download your copy of the book, which follows our journey as we share what we learned while renovating and decorating a house with its vintage knotty pine walls. See photos of our rooms from start to finish and throughout the seasons.


  1. Thank you, I have appreciated with getting lot of good and reliable information with your post.Thank You for sharing wonderful Blog.

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  2. Replies
    1. So glad you found this article helpful - thanks for your feedback!

  3. Insanely comprehensive :)

    Thank you so much,
    Now I have something to read during the holidays. This will take a while but well worth it like always
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  4. I went out and bought the DAP Platinum Patch after reading your post to see if it would work for my over 100 year old house and although my technique is not the best, after I sanded the area I applied it to, I can see that it could make a difference to the horrible lumpiness on the siding from old paint that's been left after past scraping. I wonder if I'll be able to find a painter who would be willing to do this step as most of them just want to scrape and paint which usually doesn't help the problem and often makes it worse. Short of replacing the siding, this looks like good alternative. Thanks.

    1. It is indeed a lot of work to use the DAP Platinum Patch! One alternative you might consider: instead of using the platinum patch on your entire house the first year, just use it on the front of the house where you'll notice it the most, especially the area near your front door. Then, in future years, pick another side of the house to use the platinum patch on and paint that side. This of course assumes that you are painting the house the same color that you have on it now. The idea to break up the work into multiple years comes from our neighbor, who paints one side of his house each summer in order to break up the work.

    2. Thanks. That's an excellent idea.

    3. Bam, if you find that painter willing to put in the extra steps, will you be willing to pay the extensive labor rate? This looks like a lotta work.

      I have been looking for a solution like this for decades. I'm in Sweden and I've never seen an exterior spackle. I'll be looking tomorrow. I get anxious it will survive our temperature swings, -20 to +45 (surface temps). I've tried a few fixes so might as well try this one. Is there a case or pallet discount?

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