Paint Professional’s Guide to Exterior Painting

Ensuring a Professional Exterior Paint Job when Painting Your House

By Mark J. Donovan

Early summer and late summer/early fall are great times for exterior painting. Paint professionals prefer these times of the year for exterior painting, because the weather is warm and typically drier. Rain and high moisture levels wreak havoc with painting as not only do they delay or interrupt exterior painting projects they also prevent the paint from adhering well to the house siding.

Exterior house painting can involve three levels of effort (1) painting just the trim, (2) painting just the house siding, or (3) painting both the house siding and trim.

Summarized below is a paint professional’s guide to exterior painting. By following these tips you can ensure a quality paint job that will last for years.

The first step in any exterior house painting project is to repair any damaged house siding or trim work. Either replace the damaged areas outright or repair them by using epoxies or wood fillers. Also if the home has shutters remove them from the home and paint them on the ground separately.

Also if any of the old paint is chipping use a wire brush to remove it. Make sure to use safety glasses during this process. Also, if the home is old first test the old paint for lead content before doing any scraping. If there is lead in it and it is flaking off you should contact a lead abatement professional first before painting the home.

The next critical step in the professional guide to exterior painting is to thoroughly clean the house siding. A pressure washer works best for cleaning house siding, but always use it on its lowest pressure setting, hold the nozzle downwards at all times, and start from the bottom of the house and work your way upwards.

After making all the necessary structural repairs to the house siding and trim, it’s important to prepare the house and the surrounding area for painting. Remove any items around the perimeter of the home that you could trip over or interfere with you during your painting such as barbecue grills, hoses, and children toys.

Also remove any exterior house light fixtures or tape over their edges. Place drop cloths over the shrubs, patios, sidewalks and decks.

If the home has never been exterior painted or you’re painting old aluminum siding then prime the siding first before painting it. A primer helps to ensure that the paint will adhere well to the house.

Once the house has been cleaned and primed you’re ready for painting. Even though the paint cans may have been shaken at the paint store always stir the paint prior to applying it. Also, when using multiple cans of paint, even of the same paint color, it is wise to mix a few gallons of them together into a larger paint bucket to ensure an even and consistent color on the house.

Exterior House Painting Instructions

Any exterior painting project should start at the top of the house. Start your painting at the roof eaves and work your way downward. By doing this you will prevent any inadvertent drips over freshly painted wall surfaces. Also try to paint on the shady side of the house at all times so that the paint has time to dry more slowly.

Window and door trim, along with rake and fascia boards, should be done after the house siding has been completed.

Once you’ve completed the exterior painting step back and look for any necessary touch up spots. Also reattach the painted shutters if necessary. Once the touch ups are complete you can begin the clean up process of removing the drop clothes and attaching any light fixtures.

See the Installing Interior Window Ebook from The Installing Interior Window Trim Ebook provides easy to understand, step-by-step instructions, on how to install interior window trim around a window. Pictures are included for every key step in the process.

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