Building stewards and project managers are often in a quandary when it comes to application of a coating on historic exterior woodwork that has weathered or that has obvious coating performance issues. In 2011, the Association for Preservation Technology International received a grant from the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training to produce a manual for preservationists to facilitate the decision-making process of applying modern or traditional coatings to historic exterior woodwork. This document is intended to provide a foundation for understanding coatings and how they interact with the wood substrate and offer realistic preservation options for building stewards who must make decisions regarding exterior coatings for wood.
This manual provides information on the common components of exterior paints and stains, the historical development of those products, common types of wood substrates, mechanisms of deterioration in woodwork and coatings, and methods of identifying deterioration. This document also includes recommendations on repair options and specifications for replacement material, as well as application procedures and tools for coatings on new and weathered wood.