Exterior Painting FAQ | Frequently Asked Questions
When it comes to projects involving our home, we often find we have a lot of questions. That’s not really a surprise. People have had questions about how to do things around their house probably for just about as long as they’ve had them. There are many different subjects we have questions about, and exterior painting is definitely one of those topics. Usually when people take on home painting projects, it’s more likely to be inside for aesthetic appeal; or for other reasons, but still inside the home.
Exterior painting is a completely different thing. There’s much more to account for outside, like the temperature you can’t personally control and the effects of the sun on your paint. It can be much more challenging than interior painting. Difficulties, as always, lead to questions, which takes us back to the main point that there are a lot of questions homeowners have about painting the exterior of their homes.
Luckily we live in a time where most information is easily and readily available. All of your questions can be answered with just a few taps of your fingers or words spoken in to your phone. So that’s why we’re here, to gather a few of the more frequently asked questions all in one place, and to give you an answer that’s simple and easy to understand. If we don’t cover something you want to know, feel free to contact us and we will do what we can to help you figure it out.
The questions are bolded, so you could ideally skip the rest and go right to the specific question you have in mind. But it also might be beneficial (if you’ve never done this before or are just curious) for you to read the whole piece. It could give you a firmer sense of what you’re doing or reinforce something that you already knew. Either way, hopefully you’ll find some information here that can help you.
Should I DIY or hire a professional?
Exterior house painting is something that you can do yourself for sure, but be sure to think about it before you commit. It’s a big job to paint an entire house, it requires ladder usage for heights and it can be a lot of work. Another thing to consider is the time commitment. So when you decide to hire professionals it means your exterior painting will be done quickly and to high standards of quality. It means someone who is insured for it is climbing up on the ladder and that they have the experience and knowledge to know that they’re providing the best available job.
If you decide to do it yourself, it’s doable. It’s definitely a project that you can take pride in when it’s finished; you can do it on your own time and to your own specifications. However, if you go this route, you might want to do some research before you get started.
What questions should I ask when hiring someone to paint my exterior?
Finding professionals to trust with the exterior of your home can be a process that makes any homeowner nervous, especially if you’ve never done it before. Look to friends and family, and online for reviews and suggestions. Find a company that is reputable and has been around for a while. If they’re established you know they aren’t going to disappear with your money and you can also pretty easily find pictures of their work and whether or not they have satisfied customers. Get bids from three companies to compare and talk to the companies. Ask them what their work entails, how many people they’ll have working and any other questions you have.
Be sure to ask if they are licensed and if they have insurance. Be sure to get everything in writing and to find out if they offer any sort of guarantees.
If I’m going DIY, what do I need to know?
If you’re going to do your exterior painting project yourself, take a deep breathe before you get started. Remove everything you can and label it so you know where it goes back to. Clean the house and fix anything that needs to be repaired before you paint. Properly prep your area, it makes a big difference.
After all of that you can finally paint. Paint you exterior in this order: the gables, main siding, and windows. Then siding trim and the doors last. Paint from the top to the bottom, from left to right. Then you can put everything back and do any necessary touch ups. After you clean up, you’re done. It’s a lot shorter of a process in writing. Also make sure you’re careful on your ladder.
How do I properly prepare my exterior for painting?
The preparation process for exterior painting is the same as it is for interior painting. And it’s just as important as any other painting job that you do. No matter how well the paint is applied, if you have a bad prep job done beforehand, that paint isn’t going to last very long. The preparation process must be attentively done. If you hire professionals they should know what they’re doing, but don’t be afraid to ask. If you’re doing it yourself, make sure you’re doing it right.
Wash all areas of the home that will be painted. Remove dirt, loose flakey paint and everything else that will come off. Any damages need to be fixed, that means filling chips and scratches, and caulking. This includes window and door frames. Make sure you’ve got a smooth surface; scrape off old paint and sand all over. Apply a good primer to seal and protect, and then you’re golden and prepared to start painting!
What’s the best temperature to paint outside in?
The best temperature to paint outside in really depends on where you live. But there is always one constant and that is that you paint the shady sides first and avoid painting in direct sunlight. You should sort of just follow behind it around the house, avoiding heated areas. In addition, paint is best applied when there has been little rain and low humidity. Never paint a surface if it’s not dry. Painting can be done with levels of humidity at 70%, but it is recommended that the range of humidity be between 40% to 50%.
If the temperature is too high or too low, the paint won’t properly adhere to the siding but most painting labels will show a minimum and maximum temperature for exterior painting. If you live in Florida the best time to paint your exterior is in the summer.
What do I do if I have more questions?
This question is just to underscores something we said earlier. If you have more questions that weren’t answered here or that you can’t find the answer to elsewhere – contact us. Any professional exterior painters should be able to honestly answer any questions that you might have on the subject. Additionally, ask every question that you have and don’t be nervous to do so. It’s what we do for a living and chances are we’ve answered the question a million other times before. And if we haven’t, you’ll certainly give us something to think about.