Excellent trim -- never rots and never needs paint!
If you want trim that will not rot and never needs to be painted, cellular PVC is the best solution!
We just finished the exterior work on a home along the shore in Massachusetts. With the coastal environment, rust and rot are constant enemies. Paint degrades and peels quickly. So we used Veranda cellular PVC for all of the trim. A photo is attached.
Here are a dozen tips for installation:
(1) Cellular PVC trim is softer than wood and can be cut, routed, drilled and sanded with standard hand
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and power tools. It is tough but thin pieces can break off -- e.g. a thin rabbeted edge. It also dents and scratches more easily than wood; treat it carefully.
(2) Always use stainless steel trim screws, e.g. PrimeSource Model # MAXS62777 Internet # 203354118 Store SKU # 232699. Stainless steel is softer than standard steel, however, and the driver bit will tend to cam out more easily. If it does, stop immediately and back the screw out. If the wood is hard, you may need to drill pilot holes.
(3) You will never need to paint it -- if you like white trim and install it carefully. Treat the trim boards gently to avoid scratches and dings. Fill screw holes with a tiny bit of DAP 230, and be careful not to create smudges with your putty knife; they will attract dust and dirt and turn gray. If you need to remove sealant smudges, Home Depot sells a number of cleaning products for sealant and caulk, e.g. Krud Kutter Model # UP086 Internet # 202820391 Store SKU # 861519
(4) You can paint it, however, if you want a different color -- and cellular PVC is a much better surface for paint than wood. Use standard latex paint.
(5) If you have corners where two pieces of trim need to meet, glue the ends together with special cellular PVC cement -- to avoid gaps. Look for: AZEK Trim Model # ARAD0004OZ Internet # 202084809 Store SKU # 740567 This works with Veranda and Azek cellular trim. We glued trim corners together around window boxes, for example, and window frame joints. The glued joints are very strong.
(6) If you cut or trim the width of a piece of cellular trim and the cut edges are exposed, the open cells will gather dust and turn a bit gray. Seal cut surfaces with acetone on a clean rag. Wear gloves.
(7) Whenever possible, assemble trim pieces on the ground -- not on the house! For example, we built trim 'frames' for all of the windows on work tables, then installed the complete 'frame' on the house. This allowed us to measure everything carefully, on a table to keep everything flat and straight, use clamps to keep things aligned, join large pieces with pocket screws, glue corners together, etc. This significantly improves the quality of the assembly.
(8) In addition to the standard trim pieces on the shelves in your Home Depot, you can order special Azek pieces from the Customer Service / Pro desk that can save significant time and effort. We needed corner boards for the corners of this house, for example -- the long vertical corners where two pieces of trim meet. Build them from scratch and glue that long seam together? Nope! We ordered all of the corner boards from Home Depot. Photos are attached showing the options.
(9) If you need to install siding next to your trim, you can create or order 'rabbeted' edges -- a deep groove along the edge of the trim that the siding boards slide into, covering the ends. We cut rabbets into our window trim with a table saw, and ordered rabbeted Azek corner boards through Home Depot. A photo is attached showing what a rabbeted edge looks like.
(10) You can mix and match Veranda and Azek trim and use the same screws and glue. Both are cellular PVC. Veranda is cheaper for standard trim boards. Azek offers more options, e.g. corner boards and bead board. (A photo is attached.)
(11) Both Veranda and Azek are available with a smooth or woodgrain / 'frontier' surface, to match your house.
(12) Store the trim flat and covered at your home or job site, to avoid distortions if they get hot in the summer sun, and stains from leaves, etc.
I hope this is helpful.