How To Prepare Your House For Exterior Painting
After making the decision to have the exterior of your home painted, the next step is to make sure that your home is properly prepared for exterior painting. Professional painting companies will of course help homeowners make sure that their home is completely ready for painting before getting the work started in order to ensure that the paint will look great for years to come. The preparation for a paint job is extremely important and is a major reason why amateurs can fail at completing their own exterior paint job. Below are the key steps to preparing a home for exterior painting along with the reasons for why each step is important. Professionals are always available to complete these steps for you should they feel too time-consuming for an amateur painter or if the homeowner wants to be absolutely sure that the preparation has been carried out perfectly.
Check the Surface to be Painted
Many homeowners get very excited about painting their home and completely skip this first and very important step towards successfully painting their home. A complete inspection of the siding, shutters, wood or any material on the outside of the home that will be painted needs to be carried out. This inspection will ensure that the materials to be painted are in good shape, since painting rotten wood is certainly a waste of time and money. Some homeowners are aware of problem areas on the exterior of their home and choose to ignore them because they think that paint will hide the imperfections. This is not true! Paint will only temporarily cover mould, rot or damaged surfaces. After a short period of time, the paint will usually bubble or peel and the home may even look worse than it did before the paint job. Thankfully, it is easy enough to spot these issues with a careful inspection of the home’s exterior. A professional will compete this step for you and let you know which sections of your home need to be replaced before paint in order to provide a high quality paint job. Once this inspection is complete, rotted wood or damaged surfaces can be replaced or repaired and primed right away so that no moisture has time to soak in and potentially cause problems later on.
Sanding and Scraping
The next step is removing all the old paint from the exterior of the home. This is completed by sanding and scraping all the old paint off the siding and other surfaces to be painted. This step is very important because old paints can react badly with newer products and make cause bubbling or peeling later on. Also, it is not possible to paint over cracked or damaged paint and have the final paint job look smooth and crisp. Sometimes, this step can also reveal damaged wood that has been hidden with aging putty or other repair materials so that it can be dealt with before it becomes an issue. This step can be quite exhausting for a lone amateur painter, but it is necessary for completing a quality job. Professionals often have a team to complete this step and make use power tools to speed up the job.
Clean the Home
Once everything is sanded down and free of old, cracked paint, the exterior of the home needs to be professionally cleaned in order to remove any traces of mold, mildew or dirt that might damage the paint job over time. Trapping invisible mold spores under the paint is a recipe for disaster, especially in damp, rainy climates where mold spores are nearly guaranteed to be present even if they are not visible to the naked eye.
After a professional cleaning, small imperfections can be dealt with by using putty or caulking since there isn’t a risk of trapping mold or dirt underneath these materials. This will make sure that the final paint job is extremely neat and professional looking. It also prevents water damage since the small cracks and gaps will be filled and made to keep water out, instead of allowing tiny amounts of water to creep in and ruin all the hard work put into the paint job. If metal surfaces are involved, this is also the time to make sure that all rust has been removed and that the surface is properly primed so that the paint will firmly adhere the the metal. The primer will also protect the metal from rusting in the future. Nothing looks worse than rust marks showing through a new paint job!
Preparation of the exterior of a home prior to painting is no small task, but it truly makes the final paint job so much better. Not only will the lifespan of the paintjob be drastically improved, but it will also look so much neater and more professional right from the first day. It is usually faster and safer to have a professional complete the above steps since they are so familiar with the steps that need to be carried out and can work around the weather in the event that rainy conditions make it difficult to follow all of the above steps. At the very least, a professional should be hired for the cleaning stage since they are equipped with the proper tools to ensure a thorough clean.