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Exterior Painting – Preparing Your Home For Painting

Exterior Painting – Preparing Your Home For Painting
Exterior painting of residential homes is a large undertaking and should be completed by a professional painter. However, should you decide to tackle this as a do-it-yourself project there are a few things you should do to make the job look professional. The key to success is in the preparation.
There are two very important things to keep in mind while you plan your painting project. First, track the weather and do not try to paint when the temperature goes below fifty degrees. It is also important to remember that rain will make a real mess out of your paint project. Also, beware of direct sunlight. Direct sunlight will cause the new paint to blister and it may leave marks where the paint has dried too fast. To prevent these problems, try to paint on the side of the house that is in the shade where possible. Take your time, do your preparation steps carefully and remember that the neighbors are watching.
The second thing to consider when painting your exterior is the exterior surface. Different preparation work, paint, etc needs to be used for stucco, metal, masonry or wood. The paint store that you purchase your paint and supplies from should have good advice about the correct products for your project. Any quality paint supply store will have knowledgeable staff that are eager to answer your questions.
Any surface that you are preparing for paint needs to be returned to prime condition before new paint is applied. All surfaces need to be cleaned with a high-pressure sprayer and then left to dry completely. Old loose paint or any paint that has blistered, cracked or is chipping must be removed down to the bare surface. Using drop cloths as you go along will make it much easier to catch all the paint chips and debris as you scrape it from the project. If you are not satisfied with your surface it may be time for a licensed professional to come in and sandblast the area.
Once the surface of your project has been cleared, you will need to look for any cracks, gouges and holes from screws or nails and patch them. Places like corners, seams and where siding and trim meet will need to be caulked. Please note, that where the shingles and siding overlap each other no caulk is needed. High quality caulks for exterior jobs will bond like glue and will be long lasting. Automotive epoxy filler can be used in extreme problem areas even if it is a woodwork project.
Any spots that are a high gloss or really rough will need to be sanded lightly. Paint needs to have something to grab onto as you apply it, so the surface needs to be roughed up slightly.
Prior to painting, make sure the surface is free of dust and dirt and completely dry. Remove any electrical covers, light fixtures, plumbing outlets, house numbers and especially the screens before you begin painting. It is very helpful to use drop cloths; they catch paint splatter and accidental spills.
In your final stage of preparing an exterior painting project, remember that wood will end up with dark stains from old paint. Wood stain or wood knots will need to be covered with a primer that is meant for stain-blocking. Also, should you have a mildew problem, it will need to be primed. There are specialty products made for this purpose.
Good luck with your project.