You could buy the most superior exterior paint on the market and apply as many coats as you like, but if you don’t do the surface preparation first and properly, it’s all for nothing. In fact, how much prep work you do is what determines the longevity of your exterior paint work.
Too many people are quick to neglect preparations because it’s time-consuming and sometimes difficult. Others just don’t understand how important it is.
Here’s a look at what needs be done to make sure your exterior prep helps your paint job last for years to come.
- Clean the surface
Houses get dirty. If you leave dust and environmental contaminants on the surface when you paint, the paint sticks to the dirt instead of the surface. The lack of pre-paint cleaning is often the cause of paint failure on exterior walls.
It’s always a good idea to do a thorough pre-paint cleaning as it will ensure you get more life out of your pain. You can either hand scrub or pressure wash for best results.
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- Let the surface dry
Your primer, paint and caulking will all stick better to dry surfaces than to wet walls. Cleaning before you start painting will make the siding wet, and when you use a pressure washer it might well stay wet for several days.
So, allow several days for surfaces to dry completely before you start painting.
- Scrape off peeling paint
Many people set out to paint their exteriors because they’ve noticed peeling paint. If that’s the case for you, be sure to thoroughly scrape off the loose coatings first to leave a bare surface for fresh paint to adhere to.
- Repair any damage
If you have any damaged or rotten sections of trim or siding, repair them before painting. Also, set protruding nail heads just below the surface with the help of a hammer.
- Sand the surfaces
Next, sand all the surfaces until they are smooth. This includes sanding any exposed wood and also feather-sanding the edges of old paint. This can help make sure your new coat of paint goes on smoothly and stays on. Once you’re done, don’t forget to remove the dust to ensure your primer and paint will stick properly. Use an air compressor to blow off the dust or give the walls a quick rinse with your hose.
If you have any peeling paint, do a little spot-priming in the newly bare areas. Use a quality primer that is suitable for the surfaces you’re going to be painting.
Finally, it’s time to caulk. This makes your paint job look neat and keeps water from getting into the building and causing costly damage. Don’t forget to cover the siding butt joints and gaps where trim and siding meet to prevent water seeping into your home.
Once you’ve gone through all the above steps, you’re finally ready to paint. It really is worth putting the time and effort into your prep work to ensure you get the most out of your fresh coats of exterior paint and ensure your property looks fresh and new for years to come.
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