Top Tips for Getting the Exterior of Your Home Ready for a Painting Project

Color Schemes

Painting the exterior of your home is a complete process that begins long before you start putting on the paint color that you’ve chosen. As one wise fellow said about any project or task: you start at the beginning and keep going until you get all the way to the end. When you’re painting your home, the “beginning” of the job is surface preparation. If you choose to put paint on a surface that’s not properly prepared, you’re creating more work, not doing less work.

Why? In the most basic terms, the finish paint won’t last nearly as long when you just start slapping it on over the current paint. To begin the job of getting the exterior of your home ready for painting, you should leave the paint brush and paint in the garage or shed for now. First, you’ll need to use a scraper or a wire brush or both.

Smooth and Clean

Tip #1. The surface is not ready for paint until it is smooth and clean. Use the above-mentioned tools to eliminate old flaking paint as well as ridges and cracks in the paint. Pass your hand over the surface after you brush and scrape. It should feel smooth to the touch. This is also the time to make minor repairs and fill damaged areas if necessary. When you’re satisfied that the surface is as smooth as you can make it, you’re still not ready to paint.

Tip #2. You should take the time to clean the exterior of the home. Make sure that it’s free of dust and debris. If you use moisture for this cleaning process, be sure to allow plenty of time for drying. In fact, it may be a good idea to go over the surface with a dry rag to be absolutely sure that the moisture and dust are removed.

At this point, you’ve probably invested a few hours of time in preparation. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that this has been time wasted. A professional painter will take this much time or more before he or she ever puts a brush into the paint.

Tip #3. Now you may be ready to paint. But, unless you have the newest and latest “one coat” paint, your first coat might be a high-quality primer. Sometimes it’s necessary to use a good primer so that the finish paint will adhere properly.

You should certainly use a prime coat on the areas that you’ve repaired and filled. Think of primer this way: it’s important to put this coat on bare wood or metal. It’s probably a good idea when repainting large areas. You may even want to sand, clean, and prime the whole surface.

Tip #4. You’ve invested a lot of time preparing your exterior surface for painting. It’s important to think of this work as an investment. Before you start on the finish coats (two, if necessary), let the primer coat dry thoroughly. Weather conditions will have a lot to do with drying time. It’s also important to avoid painting when it’s too hot or too cold. All paints will have a recommended temperature range. Follow those directions.

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