7 Things to Know About Exterior House Painting
Whether you’ve just moved into a new home or are planning to sell your old one, you could consider painting the exterior. Not only is it a great way to freshen things up, but it can also help you make your home your own. However, to get it right, it takes a bit of expertise. Otherwise, you run the risk of making mistakes that can cost a lot to fix. With that in mind, here are some important things to know.
DIY or Go Pro?
Consider the scope of the project. With prep, cleaning, and the actual painting, it’s a fairly time-consuming undertaking. It’s also easy to make mistakes, which can soon lead to faded colors, air bubbles, and flaking.
Old houses with damaged surfaces can take even longer. It takes hours of scraping and sanding to create a smooth, workable surface. If this all sounds like too much, it’s best to hire a professional. If not, read on for some top tips.
Know the local restrictions
Before you get too excited about painting your home a sapphire blue with light green trimmings, it’s important to check out any local restrictions. This is especially true in areas with homeowners’ associations, many of which have strict rules for decorating homes.
Choosing the right color
Your first important decision is what type of paint you want to use. It’s always tempting to go for the cheapest option, but you get what you pay for. It’s worth spending a little more on a quality paint that will last longer and offer better protection.
- Water-based paint – also known as latex paint – is the most common type and is more environmentally friendly than oil-based paint. Latex paints are also quick drying and don’t have a very strong odor.
- Oil paints – more durable than latex paints, offer a longer lasting finish, but take longer to dry and usually have a harsher odor. They work best for embellishments and moldings.
Make a plan
When it comes to painting your home, the most important considerations are weather. Ideally, avoid rain, strong winds, and extremely hot temperatures, which can cause the paint to dry too quickly. Temperatures between 40 ° C and 90 ° C are ideal for oil paints, while latex paint is best applied at temperatures between 50 ° C and 85 ° C. Plan the project around the sun and avoid painting if the sun’s glare is on the surface you are painting as it can dry out too quickly.
You also need to plan how much paint you will need. Since paint is expensive it is important to take the time to figure this out. Take into account the square footage, the materials you plan to paint, the type of paint, and the number of layers. When in doubt, you can usually ask for help at the store.
Prepare for Success
Preparation is essential for proper painting. So start cleaning your walls. Blow off dust and dirt with a pressure washer. If the previous paint is peeling in areas, scrape it off and sand it smooth. Watch out for the wooden boards and look out for rotting wood. This should be removed and replaced as just painting over it will cause problems later.
Use caulk to fill in any gaps or dents in the siding, and replace any cracked caulk to ensure your home stays protected. Sand off rough spots and blast off the dust with a high-pressure cleaner. After drying, you can apply the primer. Protect anything you don’t want to paint by covering windows, doors, and other things like lights with tape and dust covers.
Use the right tools for the job
Most professionals use a paint sprayer to apply paint quickly and evenly. However, in inexperienced hands, this tool can cause streaks, drips, and uneven layers. For DIY projects, rollers and brushes are usually the safer options.
Paint like a pro
Apply a primer first as this will extend the life of your fresh paint and improve its protective properties. Always start from the top and work your way down, starting with the main part of the walls, followed by the decorations.
You can avoid leaving marks by making sure you always paint from one wet surface to the next. So work in sections. If this is not possible, apply a thicker coat if you need to paint from a dry surface. Finally, make sure to apply two coats. This creates a more durable protective layer that keeps its color longer and is easier to wash at the same time.