As a Professional Painting company, we understand that when it comes to home makeovers, applying a fresh, revitalizing coat of paint can be transformational to a renovation project. After completing several exterior and interior paint jobs for satisfied homeowners, we always get asked to provide “Best Practices” on painting.
For a successful DIY exterior home painting project, a homeowner needs proper preparations, tools and know-how, to beautify a home and protect it for years to come. This blog post provides a few helpful tips for the DIY homeowner interested in Exterior Painting of their home. Remember, if you are not willing to take the time, adequately prepare, use the proper techniques and purchase the proper products, you should consider hiring a professional painter to do the exterior paint job.
The first step in the process of a success paint job is proper preparations. Exterior prep work can be labor-intensive, but if you start painting without taking the proper steps, you’re likely to get unsatisfactory results.
Washing – Paint will best adhere to your home after purging the walls of grime, mildew and excess residues. Pressure washers are one option, but in the wrong hands may do more harm than good. Instead, use this effective trio: a pump sprayer, hose and scrub brush.
Scraping – The tedious process of scraping peeled or blistered paint by hand is more effective than convenient—yet more damaging—sanders and power grinders. A heating gun will expedite the process. Should your exterior paint contain lead, you’ll need to take further precautions than simply wearing goggles and a respirator mask.
Sanding – Sand all surfaces with 60- to 100-grit coarse sandpaper to smooth the wood and paint remnants. Use a random-orbit sander for most of the surface and a sanding block for tights nooks and crannies. The entirety of to-be-painted areas should now be smooth as a baby’s bottom for optimal paint adhesion.
Patching – Over the years, your home has likely succumbed to the elements causing cracks, shallow holes and perhaps rot. Replace any pieces beyond repair and use epoxy or putty for quick repairs. Caulk any minor cracks and joints in the siding and trim post-primer.
The Paint Job
Before you begin painting, drape a drop cloth over any surfaces that are susceptible to unwanted paint such as shrubs and driveways. Start the paint job on a day above 50 degrees Fahrenheit and preferably cloudy (but not rainy). The sun’s ultraviolet rays may botch the paint and make it dry unevenly, so paint when the wall is in the shade.
If your home has multiple levels or you’re concerned about using a ladder to get to hard to reach areas, you may want to consider alternatives as scissor lifts or scaffolding that you can rent by day from outlets such as SunBeltRentals.com. Make sure that you take the time to price out additional safety equipment so that you don’t end up spending more than you should on this DIY exterior painting job.
The prelude to any paint job involves applying a coat of primer. Acrylic primers are used on most homes, but depending on the type of wood, a solvent-based oil primer may be in order. Thoroughly inspect your home for any exposed nailheads, and spray them down with a metal primer for rust prevention.
Acrylic latex paint is commonly used for exterior painting due to its superiority—it doesn’t harden or blister as it ages. However, oil paint still has its uses. Wooden stairs and porches are great locations to apply oil paint because it resists wearing down from heavy foot traffic.
Begin at the top of your house and move downward. A paint brush grants you with the most control, though you may use a small roller for clapboards and shingles. Apply paint in horizontal swaths, covering every square inch. Painting trim is the final step. Cover the windows with masking tape, and take your time in carefully painting the sash, sills and door paneling.
Now, prepare yourself for repeating the entire painting process. Two coats will increase the paint’s durability tenfold. Once you’re done, pat yourself on the back, step away and admire your colorfully transformed house.