Saturday, July 30, 2011

How to Prepare the Outside of Your House for Painting

This article will help you in learning how to properly prepare the outside of your house for painting. Preparation is extremely important for getting the best results from the paint as well as the longevity of the paint holding up through the extreme elements of hot summers and icy cold winters.

The paint used for exteriors differs from that of interior paint for it must hold up against the outdoor elements as well as ultraviolet rays (UV) rays from the sun. There are usually parts of the house that seem to deteriorate more than others because the exposure to the sun is more than other sides. For better results as well the house should be painted every 5 years or less depending on exposure. It is possible that the one area that gets the most exposure should be painted every 3 years and the rest of the house every 5 years ( and the area with the most exposure might as well be painted at that time as well) The idea is to catch it before the peeling and splitting of caulk happens, because once the wood has been exposed and caulk has split damage begins to happen in the form of rotting wood. Once rotting has occurred the structure inside is at risk of being damaged and may result in extremely expensive repairs.

So you have decided to paint the outside of your house or your hiring a contractor and you want to know how to prepare the outside or exterior of your house for painting. Maybe you just want to know so you make sure the contractor is doing things correctly or maybe you are going to do the work. First we must understand there are a few different ways to prepare the outside of your house for painting. There are some that are exclusively to yourself and not a contractor. Let me explain: There are heat plates that can remove all the paint to bare wood which obviously would be the very best thing for the final finish would be like brand spanking new and looking very even, smooth and beautiful. However, that is time consuming and you cannot expect a professional painter to do that unless you have an awful lot of money to spend on painting your home. So if that is the finish you are looking for then you must do the job yourself or fork up some serious cash.

This is the method of preparation I do on all homes:

First the home must be power washed to remove any dirt of paint powder that forms over time. These will interfere with the bonding of the new layer of paint. When power washing you can buy a power washer for around 500 dollars or rent one for 75 dollars a day. Power washing should take 1 to 2 days. Buying the machine is a great investment. They are great investment for cleaning your walk ways, driveways, garage floors, vinyl and aluminum siding, your vehicles and much more. There is a way to add cleaning solutions and bleach to the wash which aids in cleaning and getting rid of molds.

There are numerous tips to use which you will need to get familiar with. Getting too close with a smaller tip can cut your wood. You must be careful. They make a soaking tip which you can use to soak the house while you have cleaning solutions going through the machine. Once an area has been soaked with the cleaning solution you can remove the cleaning solution and put the proper tip on to remove dirt, looses paint chips, and the powdery film from older paint. Sometimes the peeling and cracked paint does not come off easy and if you get to close with the stripping tip you run the risk of damaging your wood siding by cutting it. Loose paint must come off however, or when you paint it will come right off which defeats the purpose of you painting your home. There are two options you may take, one is scraping it after power washing or they make a special tip for the power washer that spins and does an awesome quick job of stripping those troublesome spots that normally will not come off with a regular power washer tip. This tip can be easily manipulated to not damage your wood by cutting it, yet still stip paint very good. Even scraping can sometimes not get these troubled spots. The reason why is the paint is in place and just has a crack but behind it is air and it is not really adhered to the wood.

Once the house has been power washed it must dry completely before scraping and sanding can occur. When paint peels, blown or scraped off there is usually an indentation where the paint chip was. If you paint directly over it it will be easily seen and your house can be very pocketed with these and not be very appealing to the eye. So once you have made sure all peeling or loose paint has been removed you can get an orbital sander to feather the edges to be a bit smother. There is an even better tool called a paint eater which is more like a grinder. This tool is great and with ease you can smooth out these areas. Just have to use light pressure when finishing so you do not see circular marks on the wood.

once you have power washed and then removed all loose paint and feathered all your edges it is time to spot prime any bare areas where wood is showing. You can use a brush or even a roller - Brushes provide a nicer finish unless it is a flat surface such as the ceiling under porch roofs. Using a slow dry oil based primer is best. This is a pretty straight forward process.

Once you have finished spot priming and 24 hours have passed you are now ready for painting which can be rolled, brushed or sprayed. Brushing and spraying produce the nicest finishes. Spraying can get into areas a brush does not get into well and can speed the job up.

I want to mention one other product you can use to fill in those paint spots that have peeled. They make an exterior Spackle that can be sanded down after filling in the area. Again a contractor will most likely never use this product. Now you know how to prepare the outside of your house for painting. It is hard work and it must be done right which is why there are painting professionals. However this is not rocket science and for the ambitious home owner wanting to save lots of money this is a fairly easy project to undertake.

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