How Do Prepare The Exterior Of A House For Painting?

How Do Prepare The Exterior Of A House For Painting?

Painting the exterior of a house can be a demanding job. But you can save yourself a lot of work by preparing properly for the project.

First, decide how much of the exterior will be painted. Only the shutters or trim may need to be painted rather than the entire house. Next, determine the colours and the types of paint you want to use. Many companies now provide recommended colour combinations with their sample books to show you what colours look good together.

If you’re having a hard time making up your mind, purchase a quart of each of the colours you like, and use the paint to create larger samples for easier comparison. Keep in mind the colour you choose should fit in with the rest of the houses in your neighbourhood.

Most likely a latex paint would be better because latex is easier to clean and lasts at least as long as oil-based paints. Whether you choose latex or oil-based paint, always purchase the best paint you can afford. Otherwise, you’re likely to spend lots of time applying additional coats. Looking for Melbourne Home Painting? Look no further,

Before beginning the painting project, the surface of your house should be clean, dull and dry. Wash off any chalk, dirt and mildew. Protect landscape plants by covering them with plastic.

After cleaning the house, scrape off any peeling or cracked paint, then sand and prime the area. When you’ve finished priming, begin painting the trim. Semigloss paint works well on trim.

The brush used is almost as important as the paint itself. With latex paints, use a brush made of a nylon/polyester blend. Use a natural-bristle brush with oil-based paints. For maximum control, hold the brush so that it balances on your hand at the point where the handle meets the brush. Place your fingertips on the metal ferrule, and use your wrist to guide the brush. The paint will flow more smoothly from the brush.

Pay attention to the temperature. For best results, paint on days with low humidity, when the temperature is between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Follow the shade so that your fresh paint isn’t exposed to direct sunlight; otherwise, heat blisters may develop. 

How to Properly Paint Your Home’s Exterior

Well … not if you want to maximize efficiency, minimize frustration and stretch the longevity of the work as far as possible. 

There’s more to exterior painting than coming up with paint colour schemes. Nearly half of the house painting process is preparation. Before you open that paint can follow these steps to guarantee your exterior paint will look great and be sure to last.

applying caulk before painting

Are you eager to start applying exterior paint colours to your home? Before painting day, fill voids and cracks with caulk until it overflows. Wipe away the excess with a damp rag or towel, says Cavagnaro. (Photo by Ray Mata)

Before house painting, wash the exterior.

Before you tackle painting your home, be sure to wash your house exterior from top to bottom, all around.

Renting a pressure-washer is affordable for even the budget-minded and will save untold hours of time and effort compared to hand washing. Straight water is good enough to get the job done. Cleaning additives should only be used in cases of mould and other severe stains.

A thorough washing means a clean surface, maximizing the adhesion of the new paint to your home. Let your home dry for at least a day before moving on to Step 2.

Scrape and let dry before you think about exterior paint

After the house has thoroughly dried, scrape away any flaking paint. A standard paint scraper, a little elbow grease and a lot of patience are all it takes.

We can’t stress how important it is to give your home at least 24 hours to dry before tackling this step. Scraping the house while it’s still wet will only result in more flaking paint once it dries. 

Apply caulk before you tackle exterior home painting

Caulk any cracked seams between clapboards or along vertical junctions. Fill voids and cracks with caulk until it overflows, then wipe away the excess with a damp rag or towel. Be careful not to caulk gaps between structures that are supposed to be there for ventilation purposes — for instance, between the edge of a soffit and a gutter. 

Can of paint on a ladder

Tips for Hiring a Pro to Paint Your Home’s Exterior

Painting the outside of your home can be a difficult DIY project, so consider a professional house painter for the job.

Make repairs … then consider your exterior paint colours.

Repair any damaged or rotted areas first. In extreme instances, this may require the assistance of a carpenter or handyman. Don’t get in over your head with jobs that call for replacement of clapboard, stairs or overhangs.

Apply primer first when house painting

Prime any bare or exposed areas on your home’s exterior with an exterior-grade oil-based primer. This will seal the bare wood and create an air- and the moisture-tight barrier between the house and your new paint job. A light sanding by hand, or with a palm sander for especially rough bare spots, is highly recommended prior to priming.

Trim nearby plants and trees before applying exterior paint colours

Landscape and trim any trees, bushes or plants in close contact to your home. This will guarantee enough space for you to work around the house without having to fight branches and thorns, and also will prevent foliage and plant life from hitting the wet paint once it’s applied. 

Any home improvement is an investment, and this is especially true of exterior painting. It’s always better to invest the time to do the job right, putting in all of the necessary prep to ensure quality home painting. A well-prepped job is certain to look better and last longer than a rushed one.

How to Prep for Painting: Ladders and Scaffold Setup

Exterior paint prep projects often involve multi-story work. This means you’re going to need a ladder or even a scaffold to boost your reach while supporting you safely. Setting up a ladder or scaffold outside is trickier than an interior application. This is because you’ll need to take the stability of the ground into account. A ladder which stands steady on a concrete driveway may sink into soft dirt as soon as you put your weight onto it. Or even worse: that ladder may not move at all until you’re 10 feet or more in the air. Our exclusive range of Melbourne Home Painting will help you in many services

Exterior Paint Prep Ground Cover

In the same way that you need to be aware of pet activity, your exterior paint prep project will require you to keep shrubs and plants in mind as well. Cleaning paint debris out of bushes is no fun, so use a lightweight canvas tarp to cover up flower beds and shrubbery. But plan on removing the protective covering at the end of each day so that you won’t risk killing off the plants you’re trying to protect. As you place your ladders and drop cloths, keep an eye open for delicate plants or flowers. Avoid them if possible or if they’re fragile, consider relocating them into temporary pots. And definitely protect any water features such as koi ponds or waterfalls. A little bit of preplanning can save lots of aggravation and repairs down the road.

How to Prep for Painting: Remove or Tape Around Obstacles

Scattered over your home’s exterior are a handful of items that you’ll want to avoid painting over, painter’s tape can help. This list includes exterior outlet boxes, utility heads, and hose bibs and racks. Depending on the nature of the item, you’ll either tape around or remove these completely during the exterior paint prep project. Doing this work now will allow you to maintain your momentum when you’re actually putting paint on the home. Most of this work tends to be at ground level, but if you find yourself up on a ladder taping things off, keep in mind that safety trumps speed. Check out this article on extension ladder setup and safety for a quick refresher on how to work quickly but safely.

How to Prep for Painting: Sanding and Scraping

The real bulk of the work in exterior paint prep is surface prep. And make sure to avoid these missteps. The most difficult part of that prep is sanding and scraping. If you’re working on an unpainted surface, you can give it a quick prep and move on. But most previously painted surfaces will need to have loose and flaking paint scraped off, and the edges sanded flush. This is a tedious and tiring process, but it’s an incredibly important part of the process. Painting over flaking paint will only result in new paint that flakes off, and skipping the sanding process will leave large, unsightly “divot” areas on your home. Power sanders can help speed the work, but be sure to use proper respiration and dust control. See this article on painting preparation for more tips on the critical steps of sanding and scraping.

How to Prep for Painting: Surface Repairs and Cleaning

As you remove the loose paint from your home by sanding and scraping, you’ll likely notice individual areas that have become damaged. The damage might be from weather wear and tear, or possibly from animal or insect activity. Regardless of the cause, this is the perfect time to make repairs. This Family Handyman article on exterior paint prep reviews a number of the possible types of damage and how to address them. Once the repairs are done, you can clean off the surface. Sanding dust and debris will come off with a quick wipe down or air spray. But if part of the home is especially dirty — especially from road dirt kicked up by traffic — you may need to scrub the siding, either by hand or with a power washer. If you do opt for power washing, be careful not to spray upward. Always direct the sprayer so that the force of the washer moves in the same direction as rainfall. Your siding was designed to shed rainfall, not protect from water coming at it from below. See How to Pressure Wash a House for more details.

Weather Watch

One trick to exterior paint prep is learning to always keep one eye on the weather. Check out a map of cold weather areas and if vapour barriers are needed. Rain can shut down an exterior paint job, but there are other aspects of the climate to consider as well. For example, many caulk and paints have a limited range of working temperatures. Too hot or too cold, and they will cure slowly or not at all. Read their labels to be sure you won’t have trouble. And if you made the mistake of storing paint in your garage during a winter freeze, see Using Frozen Paint find out if your materials are still good.

Humidity is another factor that can slow down cure times. If you’re painting in especially humid conditions, be sure to check the previous coat before adding another. Similarly, when planning the course of your work, take the path of the sun into consideration. Areas of the home that get little or no direct sun will set up slower. While sections that bake in direct sun will get a hard surface, becoming dry to the touch before they are fully cured.

Plans for Spills

A simple exterior paint prep step, but one that can save you an immense amount of aggravation. Before you reach for your paint, always make sure you have something close at hand to clean up spills. If you’re using latex paint, that will be water and clean rags. If you’re using oil or enamel-based paint, you’ll need mineral spirits or the thinner recommended by the paint manufacturer. (Check the paint can’s label, usually under the Directions for Clean Up.)

One pro tip: the term mineral spirits and paint thinner are sometimes used interchangeably. They are actually very similar. But mineral spirits are more often used indoors because they have lower fumes. Paint thinner is less expensive but has a high VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds). See Mineral Spirits vs. Paint Thinner for a complete rundown on the differences between these two products. Check out home painting Melbourne specialists in providing solutions to your problem.

Final Test Swatch

Before diving into full exterior paint prep mode, put a test swatch of paint on the surface. And check our tips on selecting the best outdoor paint. Check to make sure that it matches the colour you picked out. There’s nothing worse than getting halfway across a house before realizing you have the wrong shade of green or that you’ve been painting the wall in a flat instead of a semigloss. At this point, all the hardest work is done, and you’ll soon be able to relax and enjoy the finished product. Check out these hacks for your next painting project.

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