How to prep your house for exterior painting

Written by Lillian Connors
22
Jan

After picking the right color for your exterior, what comes next is painting it, but you can’t just rush into the painting phase just like that, there are some “groundwork preparations” you have to make before the actual painting. The purpose of this is to make the paint last longer, look good on your exterior and all together give you that perfect exterior of your imaginations.  We will be going through all of the steps for proper prep exterior home painting.

Remove Contaminants

Before you start the painting, look out for contaminants like lead that the previous owners might have used. If you suspect the presence of lead on your walls, don’t try to scrape it or wash it as that would make things worse. You would have to enlist the services of a contractor who can handle lead abatement before proceeding. Another contaminant is mold or mildew; you can combat this by applying bleach or a fungicide to that area.

Clean and wash the exterior walls

The surface of the exterior walls you will be painting should be clean, dull and dry. This would help the new paint adhere to the surfaces better. If the exteriors are made of wood, you should be careful while washing so as not to damage it. If the walls have loose paint on it, you can scrape it away. Consider the washing an investment process to get the exterior you desire.

Sand the exterior walls

Sanding the wall is more or less preparing it for paint application. The roughness that comes with sanding is necessary to provide a strong bond between the coats of paint thereby making it long lasting. Don’t forget areas such as window or door trims while sanding also.

Prime the walls

This is very important as it helps the new paint to stick to the previously painted surfaces. You can prime the whole house to create a cohesive paint job that would look good all over. Use either an exterior latex primer or an oil-based primer; those are recommended for exterior repainted surfaces. Also, the primer used should go with the color of the exterior paint you have chosen. Once you’ve primed, it is advisable not to leave any primed surface unpainted.

Finishing touches

Once you’re done with the priming, you’re ready to start actual painting on the exterior wall. Get your equipment ready; your brushes, paints, and start the paint job. You should also pay attention to the temperature on the day you want to paint. To get the best results, paint on days with low humidity. Temperatures between 75 and 85 degrees fahrenheit is advisable. You should follow the shade so that your fresh paint isn’t exposed to direct sunlight; otherwise, heat blisters may develop. Also, you should be careful to keep a “wet edge” by overlapping painting areas over the areas you finished most recently. Don’t paint into a drying paint film as the film could buckle.

Bio: Derek Worchel as a general contractor in Bellingham Washington.  He specializes in home improvements including exterior house painting.  His company, All Services Property Maintenance, has been in business since 2003.