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How to properly prep for exterior painting?

How to properly prep for exterior painting?solid stain painted brown exterior

Proper prep is the key to any paint project, particularly an exterior painting project. Without proper prep, even the best exterior paints may fail. Prep is time-consuming and detailed work, but it is the foundation of your exterior painting project. The following key steps will make sure your exterior painting project starts on the right note.

  1. Start with a good cleaning

While you cannot always see it, your home’s exterior likely has a layer of dirty from dust, pollen, and other particles in the environment. Without thoroughly cleaning your home’s exterior, your paint will end up sticking to that dust and not the home’s siding or trim. This is likely to cause the paint to fail in the future. Additionally, be sure to let the surface dry before you start painting. Depending on where you are located, this make take a half a day to several days.

  1. Repair damaged surfaces and hammer in loose nails

Rotten or damaged wood needs to be replaced to prevent larger problems within your home (ie water intrusion). Paint on rotten or damaged wood is likely to fail. Additionally, you’ll want to be sure all loose nail heads are hammered back in to create a smooth surface.

  1. Scrape loose or peeling paint

As you can imagine, if you paint over loose or peeling paint, you will end up with finished product that doesn’t look very good and the new paint is likely to start peeling again quickly. You want your home to have only well adhered paint or bare surfaces to ensure the paint will hold up properly.

  1. Sand scraped surfaces and rough areas

Any areas needing scraping or with rough exposed wood will need to be sanded. Sanding the surface helps to create a smooth finished look. Be sure to wipe down areas that were sanded to ensure any resulting dust is removed.

  1. Caulk

Caulking a home helps to avoid water intrusion. You want to be careful to apply the right amount of caulking to be sure seams are filled while not applying too much caulk and impeding natural expansion or creating a bumping finished look. Before applying new caulking be sure to dig out any existing caulking from the joints that has either cracked or pulled away from the joint.

  1. Prime

Any replaced boards or bare wood needs to be primed to allow for proper paint adhesion. Additionally, for those people living in climates where snow can build up on the home, we often recommend an extra level of prep including priming the bottom three boards of the house and along the roof line where snow accumulates. Primer is inexpensive relative to the cost of paint and a good quality primer will help keep extend the life of your home’s paint job.

Your now ready to apply your paint. There are many great paints on the market for exterior painting. We love both Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore paints. Talk to your painting company or local paint store to figure out what paint is best for your project and budget.

If you are looking for a professional painting company, Helix Painting is happy to come out and give you a free estimate. We offer a variety of exterior paint packages with extended warranties. You can book your estimate on our website or give us at call at 720-445-9856.