Nothing adds more curb appeal than exterior house painting, at the same time protecting the home’s exterior. If you’re considering taking on the job yourself, you may be tempted to get right to the painting, but the prep work is going to be critical if you want a professional-looking finish. It’s all about the details. Following are a few exterior house painting tips that can help you achieve the best possible results.
Have the Appropriate Tools On Hand
Some of the tools of the trade you’ll need when it comes to exterior house painting include sand paper, a paint scraper, wire brushes, a bucket, caulk, putty knife, tape, drop cloths, safety glasses, a paint sprayer, paint brushes, primer and exterior paint.
Things to Consider before You Start
Before you start painting, it’s a good idea to test the primer and paint that you plan on using on an inconspicuous spot. Wait the suggested drying time (on the product label), then look for compatibility or adhesion problems before taking on the rest of the house.
High quality primer is “step 1” toward a long-lasting finish. To end up with a great looking finishing coat and beautiful results, it’s crucial that you properly apply primer to surfaces you plan on painting. Generally speaking, the only time a primer isn’t necessary is if you are re-painting surfaces that are in good condition.
Choosing the Right Paint
The type of paint you’ll use depends on the kind of surface to be painted and the type of finish you are looking for. Exterior paint is specifically formulated to be mildew resistant and provide color and gloss retention and has the flexibility to withstand the contraction and expansion brought on by the weather says Bob Pergolotti of CT House Painters. Exterior house paint fits into two categories – latex (longest-lasting finish with the best gloss retention) and oil (good adhesion, excellent durability and stain resistance). The paint used will depend on the type of surface you’re painting. Latex paint works best for most exterior painting jobs.
Remove Surface Contamination
Before you start, you’ll need to use a power washer, wire brush or paint scraper to remove any surface contamination, including dirt, loose paint, grease, oil, mold and mildew, rust and other foreign matters. At this point you’ll also want to look for and caulk or patch imperfections and cracks.
NOTE: Removing contamination means that you’ll probably end up creating toxic dust or fumes that may contain lead. Exposure to these potential toxins, especially lead, can cause adverse health effects, including brain damage. To help avoid exposure, wet sanding can help and using protective equipment like a properly fitted respirator.
Using the Right Painting Techniques
Using good painting techniques is a major factor when it comes to achieving professional-looking exterior house painting results. It might sound obvious, but it’s important to start from the top and work your way down. Another suggestion is to be sure to use enough paint, but not slop it on. Get into the habit of returning to the paint can often. If you do, you’ll end up saving time and with the finish you want. The last step is to paint the doors if applicable, molding, shutters, fascia, and any other decorative details.
Consider the Weather
Don’t start your exterior house painting project right after it rains, or if rain is forecasted, when temperatures are below 50 degrees, or during foggy weather unless you’re using exterior paint products that have been specifically developed for these conditions.
As you can tell, exterior house painting can be a complicated job best left to the professionals. Before you get started, make sure you have the skills and a real desire to take it on.