Perhaps you’re looking to update the exterior of your home. You find its current color a little outdated. Or you’re currently building a new house and want to save a little money by painting the exterior yourself. Whatever your reason, painting the exterior of your home is a tremendous undertaking. But it can be done! It’s important that you know what you’re doing so that you can paint correctly the first time, instead of having to redo your first try. At Workman’s Friend we encourage you to get out there and put paint to walls. But before you do, we have a few tips that will make the process go smoothly so that the first time will be the only time you paint the house.
1. Consider Mother Nature
Before you even choose your exterior color or buy that first can of paint, ask yourself if it’s the right time to be painting the house? If you live in an extremely warm climate, you want to avoid painting at the height of summer. The heat and humidity could make your job a lot harder and longer. The same can be said if you live in a part of the country where the winters are long and bitterly cold. The consistency and application of the paint can be affected by the frigid temperatures. Not to mention, you don’t want to be painting with thick winter gloves on or have your fingers freeze. It’s important that you plan ahead. Usually, spring or autumn are the best times to paint the exterior of your home.
2. Pressure Wash
Similarly to the preparation required before painting your home’s interior walls the exterior ones must be clean. Using a pressure washer carefully remove dust, dirt and any debris. It’s important the walls are clean to ensure the paint goes on smoothly and adheres. Work your way from the top to the bottom of the wall in a smooth and controlled manner. Remember to overlap each stroke with the washer by about 10 inches so as not to miss any surface space.
3. Repair Damage and Smooth Surfaces
Inspect the perimeter of your house to note any damage. That could include rotting wood, broken or lose metal siding, stucco that is chipped. In terms of wood, it will need to be replaced by a new piece. It’s not enough to simply scrape away the rotting wood without replacing it with something. Metal siding can be repaired by finding a piece that is the same size. Cracks or holes in the exterior of your house can be repaired using epoxy filler and a spackle knife. Once the damage has been repaired it’s time to lightly sand the surface. If there is peeling paint, using a scraper remove it and then go over the same area with a sanding block. Remember paint does not adhere to a rough surface.
4. Caulk Trim
If you’ve felt a breeze coming through the tiny crack around your living room window, now’s the time to fill it from the outside. Seal any gaps between the trim and your home. The most common places for these types of holes are around windows and doors. If your house has siding of different materials, for example one part is brick and another half is siding, then caulk along the areas where both materials meet.
The old rule of thumb was to prime your walls, sand and then apply the paint. However, with advances in the quality and consistency of paint, many products now combine primer and paint in one, or primer that is tinted a similar color. Yes, these products may be more expensive. But, they reduce the number of coats you have to apply. They also usually last longer and hold-up better against the weather than less expensive brands. That means you don’t have to paint as often either Remember, what you pay for in paint, you save in time required to complete the job.
6. Protect exterior fixtures and greenery
Painting can get messy. Whether it’s splatter on the grass, or on the outdoor light fixtures, it’s worth the time to protect these areas before you begin. Cover your doors, windows, lighting fixtures and any other features on the exterior of your house with plastic sheeting and painter’s tape. Don’t forget to put plastic sheeting over your bushes, plants or flower pots, if you can’t move them out of your way. It might seem like more work than it’s worth. However, if you spill your paint, imagine the cost of replacing the items you’ve damaged.
7. One last coat
Now you’re ready to paint! Load up your sprayer with your color and be sure to work your way from the top of the exterior to the bottom. Take your time and focus on the task at hand and above all have fun. Enjoy the gratification that comes with painting the outside of your home.
Workman’s Friend Barrier Skin Cream is a light-weight and odorless hand cream perfect for all painters. A simple application of our non-toxic, non-greasy formula will keep your hands moisturized while you get them dirty. Then when it’s time to clean-up a simple wipe and you’re done. Check out our website at www.workmansfriendbrand.com