Once the surfaces have been washed, and they have had lots of time to dry out, we caulk (With high quality caulking) all cracks, joints, knots and fill all holes. Needless to say, this is critical, especially in our climate.
Power washing is also one of the most important steps in the prep work stage before painting. We do all power washing ourselves because surfaces must be clean so that the primer and paint can adhere to them. It is also important that it be done gently to avoid damage and water ingress.
The first step, and one of the most important steps in the prep work stage, is the power sanding to remove loose paint. We have developed a unique sanding system that includes mini-grinders with sanding pads attached. Mini-grinders are much more powerful than other sanders and they are able to remove all loose paint down to the bare wood, even with thicknesses of 10 to 20 coats of paint. You can see the results below.
Once the surfaces have had lots of time to dry out, it is time to prime. We like to use slow drying oil-based primers because they penetrate more deeply into bare wood. Many primers dry too quickly and they don't penetrate deeply enough into the wood. Oil primers are also better at sealing and blocking stains.