Painting the exterior of your home and keeping it in good repair is one of the best ways to stop problems before they start. If you allow the paint to chip, peel and crack, you are leaving your home exposed to the elements, and it will not be long before the damage begins to show. Before you know it, you are looking at thousands of dollars in repair costs and possibly even putting the structural integrity of your property at risk.
No matter what kind of home you own or where you live, it is important to keep a close eye on your home and its exterior. When you go outside to garden or work in the yard, take a few minutes to look at your paint. Is it still in good shape or has it started to crack and peel away? Does the color look good or has it started to fade and show its age?
If you do decide that your home could use a good repainting, it is important to prepare your property the right way. Taking the right steps before you pick up your brushes and rollers will help the paint adhere to the exterior of the property and allow it to last longer. Whether you hire a professional to paint your home or do it all yourself, painting the home is a big job, and you do not want to do it more often than you have to. Here are some important steps you need to take before painting your home.
Thoroughly Clean the Exterior
Paint will not stick to a dirty surface, so your first step should be a thorough cleaning. A pressure washer outfitted with quality detergent is the best tool for the job, so you might want to rent one before you start the painting process.
You may want to hire a professional to pressure wash your home, since it is easy to damage delicate exterior parts of your home. If you decide to do the job yourself, read and follow the instructions carefully and take your time to do the job right.
Remove Any Loose Paint
Once the home has been thoroughly cleaned, the next step is to remove the remaining loose paint. Start by scraping away the loose paint with a wire brush, focusing on the paint that is flaking or located in spots where the pressure washer was unable to reach.
You do not have to scrape down to the bare wood if the old paint is still in good shape otherwise. You can paint over the intact old paint after the sanding is done.
Sand the Surface
Once the old paint has been removed and scraped away, it is time to sand the surface smooth. Start by looking for and repairing any surface flaws you find. Be sure to use a surface repair compound that is rated for exterior use. Once the surface repair compound has been applied, allow it to dry and harden. Sand the surface once the exterior is dry and get ready for the next step.
Pay Attention to Your Windows and Doors
Before you can paint your home, you will need to prepare your windows and doors. Start by removing any old cracked caulking around the door trim and windowsills, then reapply new caulk to those areas. Continue by repairing and applying new putty to the windows. Remove the old putty first, then apply new glazing. Be sure everything is dry before continuing.
Protect Your Landscaping
Once the rest of the home has been properly prepared for painting, it is time to protect your flowerbeds, shrubs and other landscaping elements. Use drop cloths to cover the flowerbeds and parts of the lawn that could be affected by the paint. Gently cover and tie up your shrubs to protect them.
Once the landscaping elements have been covered and protected, it is time to prime the bare wood and get ready for painting. Use a quality primer that is rated for exterior use and made to last.
Painting the house is a big job, and it is not one to be taken lightly. If you have lots of time on your hand and are comfortable around ladders, it may make sense to tackle the project yourself. If not, it is probably best to hire a qualified painting contractor. Then you can sit back, relax and watch as your home undergoes an amazing transformation.