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. At Hitch Property Constructions, we offer Melbourne home painting services.
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.
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 within the 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.
Preparing a House for Exterior Painting
Surface prep of a house’s exterior is vital both for health and safety reasons. It can also make the new paint job look good and last. Here are the basic exterior painting preparation steps to follow to provide the best finish for your prized clients.
Although lead paint has been outlawed since 1978, many homes still have lead paint on their walls. If you suspect lead, don’t try to scrape or sand it off, and don’t do any washing. A contractor who’s certified to handle lead abatement must handle the removal of the paint before you get started. Test the paint before you proceed with any further exterior painting prep.
A common contaminant, especially in humid areas, is mould or mildew. Look for black, green or brown stains that may have a fuzzy appearance. If you’re not sure whether a given stain is mould or mildew or just dirt, apply common bleach to it. If it bleaches away, you’ve just killed some mould or mildew.
Use bleach or another EPA-registered micro biocide or fungicide to remove mould and mildew. While bleach alone can work in a 3:1 solution mixed with water, there are more effective, highly concentrated products available. Look for cleaners and degreasers that do double duty, removing not only mould and mildew but also grime, grease and oil.
If you’re painting a house in a region where mould and mildew are likely to be continuing problems, add a mildewcide to the paint to prevent your paint job from developing future contaminant problems. Looking for the best home painting company? Look no further! Hitch Property Constructions has you covered.
Wash the Home
Help the new paint adhere by getting the exterior surfaces of the house as clean as possible before you paint. If the house has existing paint, you can speed up this part of the process by power washing the entire house. Pressure washing is also an option for walls that are stained, although you may want to use gentler options depending on the condition of the wood.
If the house has softwood siding, avoid power washing as it can damage the wood. Softwoods such as redwood or cedar, especially if they’re older and weathered, need to be cleaned by hand scrubbing with detergent and water.
It’s easy to spray down a home’s exterior and think that it’s clean enough, but if you choose this route, you are likely to regret it later, as the paint may not stick to the older surface. Every minute you spend cleaning the house properly is an investment in a great paint job and a satisfied client at the end of the day.
Make Any Needed Repairs and Remove Peeling Paint
Look over the house closely for damage and peeling paint. You may have to fill holes, caulk surfaces and get rid of loose paint. Be meticulous about removing poorly adhering paint, scraping it away by hand. Another option is to use a stiff metal wire brush to scrape it away or use a power sander with a paint-stripping attachment. Work with the grain of the wood as you scrape. When you’re working on wood shakes, be aware that bits of the steel wire can become lodged in the softwood. Remove all these pieces by hand. If you don’t, they can damage your paint job and cause later discolouration in the wood. Be sure to wear a dust mask or even a respirator as well as work gloves and eye protection while working with peeling paint.
Sand the Exterior Walls
Sanding the exterior walls is necessary to provide a real mechanical bond between the coats of paint. If you don’t rough up the surfaces sufficiently, your paint job may look good when you walk away from it, but in just a few years, the paint starts to show all sorts of errors. Especially if you’re working with oil-based paint, you may be tempted to just start painting, since oil paint wets the previous coat so well that it sticks well initially and looks great. However, for a finish that will ensure happily, repeat customers, do the sanding work to create a paint job that lasts.
Refresh the surfaces of weathered wood with medium-grit paper. For areas where you’re going to use glossy or semigloss paint, such as door and window trim, opt for another pass of sanding with fine-grit paper. Sanding is a crucial step for any paint job, so be sure to pass over all the existing paint thoroughly to create a rough surface that’s ready to receive the new paint.
Prime the Walls
Priming also helps new paint stick to previously painted surfaces. You need to prime any areas where old paint has already been peeled off, but to create a cohesive paint job that looks good all over, prime the entire house. Priming is especially crucial if you’re using latex paint to paint over a surface that already contains an oil-based paint. Use either an exterior latex primer or an oil-based primer recommended for exterior repainted surfaces, choosing your primer depending on the paint choice.
Choose a light-coloured primer or one that supports the paint colour you’re going to be using. If you’re changing the colour of the house significantly, priming becomes even more important. Once you’ve primed, don’t leave any primed surface unpainted.
Once you’re finished priming, you’re ready to begin painting. Get your equipment ready, and start the paint job when you have an assurance of good weather. Remember that every hour you spend on prep pays off later with an excellent paint job that pleases your clients and lasts for many years.
10 Steps to a Perfect Exterior Paint Job
Old wood siding, fast becoming a dinosaur in new construction, regularly needs the protection of a new coat of paint. Check out Hitch Property Constructions for a huge range of melbourne home painter services.
A professional will charge you between $4,000 and $6,000 to paint a 2,000-square foot, two-story house. But you can do it yourself in a few weekends for the cost of paint and supplies.
A good paint job can last ten years. The key is proper preparation. Here are ten steps to take to make sure your exterior paint job looks great, adds value to your home, and lasts a long time.
Step 1: Get the Lead Out
Do-it-yourselfers are not obligated to follow EPA regulations for lead-safe practices, as professional paint contractors must. But if your home was built before 1978, when lead paint was banned for residential use, you should protect yourself and your neighbours from airborne lead particles.
The first step is to test for lead paint: Kits are available for $10 to $35 online, and at paint and hardware stores. If tests prove positive for lead, keep paint dust to a minimum by taking the following precautions.
- Lay plastic drop cloths and collect scrapings.
- Clean area with a HEPA vacuum.
- Wear masks and Tyvek suits.
- Dispose of all materials at an approved hazardous materials site.
Step 2: Wash the Exterior
Mildew thrives under fresh paint, which won’t adhere well to dirty, grimy, spore-sporting exterior walls. So wash your home’s exterior before painting.
Use a mix of water and a phosphate-free cleanser such as Jomax House Cleaner ($15 per gallon) and Mildew Killer Concentrate ($8.50 for 32 ounces).
You can hand-apply the solution with a sponge, which will take forever and many trips up and down the ladder. Or, hire a pro to pressure wash siding–not a task for an amateur, who can damage siding by pushing water under boards. (Cost varies by location: $150 to $750 for a professional to pressure wash the exterior of a 2,100-square-foot house.)
Step 3: Scrape off Loose Paint
Once clapboards are dry, remove loose, flaking paint.
A handheld scraper is usually the best tool for the job, though you can also use a hot-air gun or infrared paint stripper. Never use an open-flame torch, which can easily start a fire and is illegal in most states unless you have a permit.
To work lead-safe, wear a mask and Tyvek suit, spray water on the paint as you scrape, and collect the debris.
Step 4: Sand Rough Spots
A pad sander or random-orbit fitted with 80-grit sandpaper will smooth out any remaining rough spots. Take care not to push so hard that you leave sander marks in the wood.
To be lead safe, use sanders fitted with HEPA filters.
Step 5: Fill and Repair
After washing, scraping, and sanding your wood siding, step back and inspect what you’ve uncovered–holes, dings, and chips.
Fill minor holes or dings in the siding with a patching putty or compound such as Zinsser’s Ready Patch ($20 per gallon).
If you’ve got a major rot problem, summon a carpenter to replace the bad wood. Also, fix drainage problems that cause water to pool and promote rot.
Step 6: Apply Primer
Apply primer immediately after preparing wood siding.
White, grey, or tinted primer provides an even base for topcoats to adhere to, and a uniform canvas from which to survey your work. Small gaps in joints and around doors, windows, and other spots where horizontals meet verticals will all stand out in high relief, showing where you need to fill in with caulk.
If you’re painting over bare wood or existing latex paint, then latex primer is fine. But if you’re painting over multiple coats of oil-based paint, it’s best to stick with a new coat of oil-based primer.
Step 7: Caulk All Joints
Siliconized or top-of-the line polyurethane acrylic caulks give paint jobs a smooth, pleasing look. But the benefits aren’t purely aesthetic. Tight joints also prevent air leaks and block water penetration.
Spring for the $7-a-tube polyurethane caulks with 55-year warranties, which will stand up to weather better than 35-year caulks that cost less than $3. The average house requires about seven tubes of caulk.
Step 8: Choose the Right Paint
Painting with water-based acrylic latex is so much easier than dealing with oil-based paints. Latex paint:
- Applies easily
- Dries quickly
- Cleans up with soap and water
- If your house already sports an oil-based paint, which is more durable than latex, you’ll have to stick with it.
Choose finishes carefully. As a rule, the higher the sheen, the better the paint is at blocking the sun’s damaging rays. Satin is fine for shingles or clapboards, but you’ll want gloss paint to protect high-traffic parts of a house, such as window casings, porches, and doorframes. A gallon of premium exterior latex costs $35 to $45.
Step 9: Apply Top Coat(s)
Less is more when it comes to applying topcoats. More layers can result in paint flaking off through the years; fewer paint bonds better to layers beneath.
If you’re going from a white house to yellow or cream, you might be able to get by with one coat. Going from a light to a dark house, and vice versa usually requires two coats.
Step 10: Practice Good Maintenance
You can extend the life of a good paint job by:
- Inspecting the caulk every year and replacing any that’s cracked or missing.
- Removing mould or mildew.
- Washing stains from nesting birds and pollen.
- Touching up blisters and peels before they spread.