Exterior Painting

It's amazing that a thin film of primer and paint lasts as long as it does! Exterior house paint must stand up to the most extreme conditions that man and nature can dish out. Plus all buildings, including your home, are constantly moving around and breathing. This happens as the temperatures rise (expansion) and fall (contraction). To top it off wood is constantly moving, splitting and warping. Now add the weather with wind, dust, rain, hail and snow. The best results will need a good method encompassing all aspects of exterior painting.

        If you plan on doing the painting yourself be prepared, typically exterior painting will be the most difficult and physically demanding home maintenance project you will do. Exterior painting will involve considerable time and physical effort. In order to achieve professional results you need to envision the exterior painting involving many steps or procedures. Each painting step will progress from one to another in a rational manner.

        Every exterior paint job begins with an evaluation of the condition of the homes various surfaces and what is needed to produce the best foundation for the finish paint. Wood damage caused by rot is a common problem with older houses. If the wood is badly damaged, replacement is the best solution. Even if repairs are minor, it is important that as a first step you locate the source of moisture and take steps to eliminate it. Exterior surface preparation is the most important part and can take the most time and effort. An essential part of this process is choosing the most appropriate primer to use. The primer is as important as the paint.

        From my point of view, exterior painting is the most important home maintenance project that can be done. Often the paint and caulking is all that is stopping damage from the weather and water. Damage to your siding alone can cost thousands to fix. This is just one surface that is vulnerable to the effects of the weather and an inadequate paint job. Often the difference between a good exterior paint job and a bad one comes down to saving some money on the materials. Another thousand dollars spent now can save many thousands later. To top this off, there will be an increase in the value of your home, a win – win situation.

        Exterior painting is one of the most important things you can do to protect the largest investment you probably will make during your life. For exterior painting to last, there are steps that must be taken to properly prepare your home's exterior before applying paint. In addition to the prep work, there are some important application procedures that will serve to deliver a nice looking paint job.

        The first step in preparation for exterior painting is to pressure wash your house, making sure flaking paint, dirt, mildew, green algae, wasp nest, and other obstructions are removed. Be sure and start at the top and work your way down, holding the nozzle about six inches away from the surface and at a 45 degree angle. Once washed, scrape any remainder of loose paint off with a sharp scraper and metal brush. Sand any bare wood to prepare it for primer.

         If you find mildew still exist after this process, you may need to apply bleach to a rag and scrub these areas. Mildew is attracted to the oil in oil-based paints but will grow on latex paints as well. If mildew is growing on your home, and you can't seem to eliminate it completely, you may want to add some mildew inhibitor to your paint. However, I will give you a word of caution. Good quality paints already have a safe amount of mildew inhibitors engineered into their formulas. If you add more mildewcide to your paint it can cause your paint to fade prematurely with a lot of exposure to sunlight. Allow all surfaces to dry thoroughly before caulking and priming bare wood.

         Exterior painting is significantly improved with proper caulking. When caulking trim to siding, the durability of the caulk joint can be improved by spreading the bead of caulk with your finger. This will improve adhesion. When caulking trim to brick, make sure you use a very narrow bead of caulk but do not spread with your finger, or you will make a mess of the caulk line and have to clean your brick. Just use some common sense when caulking. If you are caulking Hardie Plank, use a top quality elastomeric caulk with a high stretch capacity. Hardie plank expands and contracts more than most caulks can handle.

         Inspect all metal surfaces for peeling paint (railings, gutters, etc.). Remove loose paint with a metal brush or power brush. Effective acrylic bonding primers exist on the market today for priming bare metal. If you are painting brick, check for cracks. Caulk cracks before painting.

         If masonry is less than five years old it can leach out under a coat of paint. If less than five years old, avoid this problem by etching with a solution of muriatic acid (1 part acid to 5 parts water). Be sure and take appropriate precautions. This acid is very caustic. Wear rubber gloves and goggles for protection. Pour the water in a plastic container first, and then add the acid. This will help prevent splashing. Scrub this compound into concrete. This solution will neutralize the acid in the concrete. Wash off the solution with fresh water. Your concrete is now etched.

        Check your home for any bare wood and prime with a high quality latex primer or a top quality oil base primer. This primer coat is the only coat that bonds directly to the wood; therefore, it needs to be of top quality. A top coat of paint on your home is no better than the first coat that is applied to the wood. If the first coat (primer) fails, then the top coats and primer coat peel off together.

        Consider masking around light fixtures, motion sensors, electrical boxes, etc. This will save you a lot of time in clean up.

         It is my opinion, where siding joins trim, always cut your trim in to the outer leading edge of the board instead of following the contour of your siding. This produces greater eye appeal from a distance. Where the siding meets the trim is always rounded out with caulk, making it a very poor place to scribe a straight line with your brush.

        Avoid time consuming clean up by protecting shrubs, walk ways, roofs, patios, etc with drop cloths. Clean up will cost you much more in time than cover up. If you are planning to stain or paint your decks or patio, then do them last, since you will be working off them.

        Paints have optimum conditions in which they should be applied. It is best not to paint in extreme heat, cold or in the presence of precipitation. Check your paint can label for temperature restrictions.

       It is best to work from the top down since you will be dripping some paint. Although you need to work from top down, you also should work from side to side as much as possible. This will assist in avoiding a lot of up and down motion on ladders during your exterior painting project.

       Substandard preparation may save you a little bit of time, but you will pay for it in durability and quality of appearance. It is always best to take your time when painting. We pride ourselves in producing a paint job you will be proud to display.





Ø     Power Washing

Ø     Repair/Replace Damaged Siding and Trim

Ø     Scrape and Sand Loose and Peeling Paint

Ø     Caulk Windows/Doors/Trim

Ø     Primer

Ø     Apply Top Quality Paint Of Your Choice

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