Painting your home’s exterior is great way to give it new life. If you are planning to refresh the outside of your house, it might seem like a simple and straightforward project. However, it is important to keep some vital steps in mind before starting the job. There are many aspects of exterior painting projects that are easy to overlook. Here are the top 6 exterior painting mistakes we see homeowners make and what to do instead.
If your home was built before 1978, it is very likely that there will be some lead paint on your exterior. Before applying any new paint, it is important to know if lead is present in the existing paint. You’ll need to have any paint with lead removed before repainting the exterior. It is highly recommended any lead removal is done by a professional for your safety.
Solution #1: Call a professional to take a look at your home if it was built before 1978.
Before applying the paint on your home’s exterior, make sure that the surface has been thoroughly cleaned! If the surface is not cleaned, the paint won’t properly adhere to the surface. You can use a pressure washer for a thorough cleaning, but if you don’t have one, a standard cleaning brush and detergent can also do the trick. Make sure the exterior is fully dried as the slightest trace of moisture can cause trouble for your paint job. This is often something missed that is a crucial part of the preparation process.
Solution #2: Thoroughly clean your exterior, preferably with a quality pressure washer.
In addition to cleaning, you’ll want to make sure the exterior surface is properly prepped. After making sure old paint is removed if necessary, such as any flakes or excess loose paint, you’ll need to thoroughly sand the surface. Otherwise, the paint can crack and peel after only a year or two once exposed to the weather. After sanding, the new paint will adhere more effectively and ensure a smooth new coat on the exterior.
Solution #3: Remove old paint, flaking or loose paint, and sand the surface.
You might consider skipping applying primer if you’re trying to save money. However, primer is a very important part of the painting process, especially if the surface hasn’t had a coat of paint applied before. Primer, along with many of these other steps, will ensure the new paint will adhere properly and effectively. This is definitely a step you do not want to miss.
Solution #4: Invest in a primer for your exterior.
Not repairing damage is one significant but widespread exterior painting mistake regularly made during a home’s repainting process. Some houses will go a decade or more without being repainted. After all that time, it is very likely that there are areas of the siding that have been at least minorly damaged. Those issues could be from impacts, accidents, or nature taking its toll on the siding. It is tempting to think that you can paint over minor dents, cracks, or areas of rot as a possible fix for this damage. That will end up being very counter-productive, and will only cause issues with the new coats of paint.
Painting over these areas can lead to more significant problems as time goes on. Siding and paint do more than give your home its appearance and character. The house’s siding and the paint that goes over it protect the inner structure of your home’s construction. If areas of damage are left unattended, your new coat of paint will not protect your home as long as you might like it to. Additionally, rot on the siding will continue to spread and become a much larger issue, leaving you needing a potentially big repair.
Solution #5: Look over your exterior carefully to identify places that need to be repaired. Make the repairs to save yourself money and heartache in the future.
A very simple mistake many homeowners make when repainting an exterior, is choosing a low-quality paint for the job. While there might be some money savings with a cheaper paint in the short term, in the long run, a bad paint choice will create the need for another paint job down the road. It is a better idea to invest more money up front in the project and in the quality of the paint to ensure that the new coat applied lasts and protects your home for the long haul.
Solution #6: Choose a high-quality paint and consult a professional painting contractor or your local paint store for help.
It is always a good idea to consult with a professional before taking on an exterior painting project yourself. Professional painters like Flying Colors Painting have years of experience with these preparation steps and can ensure that nothing is missed. If you have further questions about exterior painting, or if you need assistance with repairs, maintenance, or painting, contact us today.