Are you planning to renovate your house and give it a fresh coat of exterior paint? This can be a rather ambitious project since painting your home's exterior is not as easy as it seems. A lot of prep work goes into the exterior house painting project. A lousy paint job can be difficult to reverse and scraping paint is a hassle, so you want to make sure the exterior house painting is done correctly and professionally.
While seeking a professional house painter is highly recommended, some homeowners may enjoy doing the work by themselves. If you're ready to take on an exterior house painting project, below are six tips and tricks from our team at Absolute Home Services to help you perform the best renovation:
1. Pick High-Quality Paint
Don't be tempted to skimp on the paint to save some cash upfront. Doing so means you're more likely to experience problems sooner, which ironically leads to paying more in the long term. Using high-quality paint from a reputable paint store is recommended. These paints usually look better, last longer, and give you better coverage.
You'll have plenty of choices when it comes to picking exterior paint colors, but always make sure you choose a color that looks flattering on your house. Also, deciding on how much paint to buy is an important consideration. Start by estimating the amount of paint needed to ensure a good paint job.
When in doubt, always estimate on the higher side since leftover paint can still be poured back into their original cans. It's easier than constantly going to the store to buy new paint.
2. Wait for Dry Weather Before the Exterior House Paint Job
Always plan and schedule accordingly before you do any exterior house painting. Make sure you understand the local weather patterns, especially on the days when you are working on the paint job. Naturally, you'll want to avoid painting your house on rainy days to ensure a uniform appearance.
Humidity is not as friendly when it comes to exterior house painting and it can result in a slow drying process and unsightly drips. If the atmosphere is humid, make sure you take your time with the painting. Use slow-drying paint to make it easy to correct errors before moving on to apply the next coat of paint. Don't be in a rush to finish as this will show when the job is done.
3. Clean & Repair the Surfaces
Paint doesn't adhere well to dirty surfaces, so as proper prep, you should clean the trim and siding thoroughly before allowing it to dry. If the surface is rough, sand it. You should also pressure-wash the walls to remove any dust and dirt buildup. In a controlled and smooth manner (you can use a pressure washer, just make sure it's all dry before painting!), clean the surfaces from top to bottom, making sure to overlap each stroke by eight inches.
Painting over rough or broken surfaces isn't recommended. Before you start painting, take a stroll around the perimeter of your house and check for damaged surfaces such as metal, masonry, bare wood, stucco, or siding. Apply epoxy filler to holes or cracks using a spackle knife. When it dries, lightly sand the surface with a medium-grit sanding block.
4. Prep the Landscape
Painting can be messy. Always cover the bushes, ground, and any other vegetation surrounding the area to be painted. Also, cover or move outdoor furniture such as grills, hoses, and chairs before you paint your house. If you use covers, secure them at the corners by weighing them down, or by wrapping the covers around the objects you are protecting.
5. Use Primer Before the Exterior Paint Job on bare wood.
As a rule of thumb, always apply a coat of primer to bare wood. Before you prime, scrape and the surface before starting to paint. Applying the primer ensures the paint durably adheres to the surface.
As a possible alternative, some items combine paint and primer into one consolidated product, which could be quite convenient to use. The benefit of using such paints is that they minimize the number of coats to be applied. They're a bit pricey, although the actual price compares favorably to purchasing both a primer and the paint individually.
6. Follow These Painting Tricks
Now that you've prepared everything else, it's finally time for you to begin the exterior house painting process. Painting is a skill that takes some time to master, so be patient and don't feel frustrated if you make a few rookie mistakes along the way. Here are basic some painting tips and tricks to help you get started:
- Paint from the top: This is house painting 101! Always start at the top and work your way downwards. You'll avoid streak marks by observing this basic rule. This applies to both outdoor and indoor painting.
- Add grit: Painted porches (especially steps), or any other painted floor, can be a bit too slick if you only apply one coat of paint. This can be a hazard, especially on rainy days. To add traction, mix the paint with a bit of sand. You can use play sand or a manufacturer's additives to give the paint an extra texture.
- Avoid runs: When your brush is loaded, it's quite easy to create runs by using too much paint along corners. It can also be difficult to trim the paint. To prevent this, slowly drag the bristles of the paintbrush along the surface, allowing the paint to push against the space where the exterior walls meet. It takes a few applications, but this will prevent unsightly extra paint from getting along corners and woodwork.
7. Use the Right Tools
Choosing the right tools and top-quality materials for the job can make a big difference in the outcome of your exterior house painting project. A quality brush, roller, and sprayer can help you achieve a smooth and even finish. Make sure you select the appropriate tools for the surface you're painting.
8. Work in Small Sections
It's important to work in small sections, especially when using a brush or roller. Start at one end of the house and work your way across, completing one section at a time. This approach will help you maintain a consistent look and avoid visible seams.
9. Don't Paint in Direct Sunlight
Painting in direct sunlight can cause the paint to dry too quickly, which can lead to visible brush marks and an uneven finish. It's best to paint in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun is not directly overhead, so the fresh paint job can dry out evenly.
10. Use the Right Painting Technique
There are a few painting techniques that can help you achieve a professional-looking finish. When using a brush, start by cutting in around windows, doors, and other edges before filling in the larger areas. Use a roller for large surfaces and apply the paint in a "W" or "M" pattern for an even finish.
11. Apply Two Thin Coats of Paint
Applying two coats of paint is recommended for a durable and long-lasting finish. Allow the first coat to dry completely before applying the second coat. This will help the paint adhere properly and save you from flaking or peeling paint.
Painting the exterior of your home is a large undertaking that requires proper planning, preparation, and execution. By following these tips and tricks, you can achieve a beautiful and long-lasting finish. If you're looking for professional Burlington painters to handle your exterior house painting project, call Absolute Home Services today. With our expertise and attention to detail, we can ensure your home looks its best. Contact us now to schedule your consultation!
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