A well-done paint job can last up to 15 years, provided you do the job well, using the best materials on the market. A good paint job has multiple plus points- starting from keeping your house in top notch condition, to protecting the investment that is your home, shielding it from the various elements of nature like sun, wind and rain showers. If this is your first time repainting your home and are looking for pointers on how to go about with the process- then we’ve got you covered. Here’s a comprehensive list on the A- Z’s on how to finish up the perfect paint job for the exterior of your house.
Step 1: Preparing your house for painting
- Start off with an exterior wash of your house: Washing the dirt and grime off your house is of prime importance. Now, you may be tempted to dive right into the painting process, but its easy to forget that painting of any kind requires a pristine canvas. If the exterior surface of your house is free of soil and grit, the primer and paint will adhere better, making the paint last longer. Most of the time, a simple wash with a hose, a pump sprayer and a scrub brush is sufficient, but if you decide that you would prefer a professional to help you, a pressure pump or power washer in the hands of a professional can provide a superior clean.
- Inspect your house: Make sure your exterior walls are free of chipping, peeling, mildew and any such imperfections. Kill off mildew by applying a chlorine bleach solution with a garden sprayer. For cleaning, most of the time, a simple wash with a hose, a pump sprayer and a scrub brush is sufficient, but if you decide that you would prefer a professional to help you, a pressure pump or power washer in the hands of a professional can provide a superior clean.
- Remove chipped and flaking paint from the exterior walls Before you paint the exterior of your house, scrape off any bubbling, flaking or blistering paint. Painting over this could cause future problems for your new house painting project. Strip these parts right back so that they no longer present a problem.
- If your paint does contain lead, you will need to take special precautions during the scraping and sanding phases to protect yourself, your family, and the environment from toxic dust. If the paint is lead-free, you need only don a dust mask and lay down tarps to catch debris before tackling the most crucial part of the project.
Step 2: Sanding, caulking and patching
- Sand the area you are painting: The goal when painting the exterior of your house is to have the cleanest and most beautiful exterior you can. Sanding will help by smoothing out any bumps or lumps that can look strange under a fresh coat of paint.
- Patch and fill holes in the house: The goal here is to repair any damage that could worsen over time, which may require a future painting of your home. Be sure that you repair any rotten wood, fix any dents and replace damaged pieces of your home that might get worse in the future.
- Caulk and seal any windows or openings to prevent air and water from leaking in: This may be the most important part of the prepping process. It’s important to have a well-maintained, beautified, non-rotting wood house, but it’s just as important to make sure that the windows, cracks and openings aren’t leaking air or letting in water, which can ruin the interior of your house.
Step 3: Priming
- Primers are formulated to penetrate, seal, and provide a good surface for the topcoats to stick to. Use them over bare wood, Spackle, and epoxy, or over paint with a chalky, deteriorated surface. If you are repainting walls that have become chalky or dusty, select a chalky wall sealer. Paint will not stick to a dusty surface.
- Acrylic primers can be used on most surfaces, but on cedar or redwood, oil-based coatings are a must because they lock in these woods’ reddish-brown “extractives,” which will leach out and leave behind rusty stains if the wood is primed with a water-based product.
- As for new construction, latex primer works well for vinyl and most wood siding. If you are working with stucco that is not fully cured, you can apply a hot stucco primer.
- Pro tip: Spray exposed nail heads with a metal primer to prevent rust from bleeding through the paint.
Step 4: Choosing the paint
- A good paint for exteriors consists of 100% latex. It has three parts: Pigments, which provide the color, binders, which hold the pigment to the wall and solvents, which make the paint spreadable. Today, most exterior paints are water-based.
- As paint dries, the solvent evaporates, leaving behind only the pigments and binders. These are known as volume solids. Higher quality paints are generally higher in volume solids. They may also have better binders, which will hold the pigments in place longer. Paints labelled premium or super premium are usually the ones to go for.
- Aesthetics is king: Be sure to consider the stylistic elements of your home — choose a color that complements your roofing material and any brick or stone accents
Step 5: The paint job
- Use a paintbrush for better control and better precision: Paint sprayers can be messy in an unpracticed hand. Alternatively, you could use a mini roller to go along your siding a little faster. Except for siding, brick and large doors, try to avoid using rollers as they don’t cover as well, and it is harder to be as precise as a paintbrush.
- Start at the top of your house and work your way down. This serves two purposes. First, it allows you go down the ladder instead of up as you work, preventing potentially life-threatening falls. Also, when prepping/scraping the paint off, you will have debris falling on the bottom areas that you just painted.
Second, painting from top to bottom prevents messy drips and missed spots. Ideally, you should also start painting from the left side and work your way right because you are more likely to see any missed spots.
- Do not start painting if it might rain. Whilst latex paint is steadfast once it’s dried, a good rain while it’s still wet can wash the paint away. It’s better to wait until the rain is no longer in the forecast than trying to paint on a rainy day and have to start all over again later.
- Follow the shade. When you are painting the exterior of your home, you would be wise to follow the shade from your house and avoid the sun. As the sun moves around your house, try to avoid the sun as much as possible because you may become overheated with the sun beating down on you, and painting in direct sunlight (depending on the heat of the day) is not good for the application process and can cause bubbling/adhesion issues. By moving with the shade, you minimize these potential problems.
Step 6: The finishing touches
- The last step is to paint the doors, fascia, molding, shutters and other decorative details. Use a smaller roller than the ones you were using for the exterior walls. The paints you use for this purpose must correspond and lift the other colors of the house.
- So, grab your overalls on a bright summers day and get a head start on that much needed paint job.