Every eight to ten years, the exterior of a home needs to be painted. A house requires paint for a variety of reasons. One reason can be aesthetics. The old paint job is simply looking shabby, making the home look old, rundown and as if it is not being properly cared for.
But there is also another reason for painting: paint protects a home. Wood and other materials need a coat of paint to protect them from the damaging aspects of the elements. With regular and proper painting, a home can last for hundreds of years.
Painting a home is a big job that most homeowners would rather give to qualified professionals, but knowing how the process works can aid in the decision-making process. The following outdoor painting tips are intended to make the homeowner’s job easier, smoother, and more long-lasting.
- Start by investing in top-quality equipment. This means spending the extra few cents for top-of-the-line rollers and paint brushes. Use high grade paint as well. Using high grade supplies and tools will result in a faster and better job. Remember, a workman is only as good as his tools. A homeowner cannot expect to get superior results using inferior tools or supplies.
- Spring or fall are usually the best times of the year for outdoor painting. Do not paint if temperatures are below 40 degrees Fahrenheit or above 80 degrees. Try not to paint in high wind or in direct sunlight if possible. Too much direct sun can cause paint to dry too quickly, which can cause wrinkling and even cracking and flaking. If possible, plan paint jobs to “follow the shade.”
- Don’t skimp on time. Painting even a medium-size house is a huge undertaking – perhaps several weeks or even months. And keep in mind that the painting itself is actually less than half the job. Most of the homeowner’s time will be spent preparing the house to be painted. Preparation is the key.
- Wash the house. Use a power washer if possible, but the homeowner needs to take his or her time and clean the house of all dirt, oil, grease, grime and mildew. This should include a detergent and hand scrubbing (using a nylon brush) of any stubborn areas. Plants should be protected from detergents and soaps by plastic drop-cloths.
- Repair areas that have become damaged in any way. If possible, discern the reason for the damage and solve the underlying problem, or the damage may simply repeat itself in a short time. Scrape and/or use a wire brush on any spots where old paint is flaking, blistering or peeling. A wire brush attachment for an electric drill can speed this process considerably. Sand areas that are peeling or flaking, getting down to raw wood whenever possible. As much old paint as possible, particularly lose old paint, must be removed before applying new paint.
- Lay in a supply of blue painter’s tape. This is the tape the homeowner applies to both certain parts of the woodwork as well as to the edges of windows and other areas on which the homeowner does not want the primary color of paint applied. When the blue tape is removed, following the final coat of the primary color, the area under the tape is paint-free and the special blue painter’s tape does not leave adhesive behind on the unpainted surfaces.While a homeowner may wish to choose an oil-based paint under some circumstances, most homeowners opt instead for a good grade latex paint. Latex protects as well as oil-based paints but latex paints go on smoother and easier and clean up with soap and water.
- Homeowners should always use the best quality paint that is consistent with their budget. The reason is simple. Lower-quality paints almost always take more coats to provide the same level of protection. The last thing a homeowner wants is for an undercoat to bleed through the final coat of a new color.
- Bleed through can be averted by painting a primer coat before apply the final color. A primer is a light-colored (often white) lesser-quality paint designed to cover the old color, at least primarily. It is acceptable for the old color to show through the primer to some extent, since the final paint will be applied over the primer coat. Applying a primer coat requires the home to be prepped first and entails a large amount of work, time and expense.
However, applying a primer coat can be worth the time and the expense, especially when radically changing the color of a house and there is the possibility that the old paint will show through the new paint. It is less expensive to apply a coat of primer and then a coat of the more expensive paint, and it is also cost effective to put on one primer coat and two additional coats of more expensive paint as opposed to three coats of the more expensive paint.
As alluded to earlier, quality tools make all the difference. When painting a home’s exterior the homeowner should purchases the following, at a minimum:
- Nylon/polyester brushes if using latex paint – natural bristle brushes if using oil-based paint. At a minimum, a homeowner should purchase a 4-inch brush and a 2-and-a-half-inch brush. Never dip a brush all the way into paint. Load a brush only half way with paint and then scrape the brush on the side of the paint can to remove excess paint before applying paint in a long, slow stroke. Practice will allow the homeowner to apply an even coat of paint without visible brush strokes.
- Two different-sized rollers, one 7-inch roller and one 4-in roller should allow for the fast application of paint in any area. The smaller roller is often useful in applying paint to siding.
- “Cutting in” refers to using a paint brush to paint an area about 4-inches wide around corners and anywhere a roller cannot paint. Only cut in a relatively small area before covering the rest of an area with a roller as it is best to roller over cut-in paint that is still wet.
These basic tips help to give a sense of all that is required to repaint the exterior of a home. Homeowners who decide that painting a home is beyond their skill level, or for homeowners who simply wish to have a professional do the job, the qualified staff at United Home Experts have years of experience. They can paint a home quickly and they clean up after themselves completely, do everything quickly and also provide a written guarantee.
Repainting a home not only enhances the home’s appearance and increases its value, a new-looking home also gives a homeowner a sense of pride of ownership which few other things in this world can match.
First-time homeowners should not attempt to paint the exterior of their homes by themselves. For more detailed information and free estimates, contact the United Home Experts. For our main painting page,click here!