Even though exterior home painting can look like a fairly simple job to a naïve eye, there are some preparation techniques that are more than worth knowing. Preparing the façade, setting up the place, protection against splash damage and other work that has to be done prior to painting is incredibly exhausting unless you know exactly what to expect.
The problem with this scenario lies in the fact that the exterior painting gets done once every 10-15 years. This means that this is either your first exterior painting or that you’ve already forgotten about most of the details regarding the last paint job. With that in mind and without further ado, here are several tips that will help you get prepared for an exterior home painting.
1. Preparing the surface
The first thing you have to do is prepare the surface accordingly. This mostly depends on the type of materials that cover it, seeing as how aluminum siding, stucco and wood siding all have different properties, as well as different longevity. Wood siding should be replaced after 4 years (if stained), while stucco lasts longer than six years. If, for the reason of pragmatism, you wanted to wait until you could handle all of these issues at the same time, you’re in for a bit more work. As for the rest, mildew can be bleached, while the rest can be rinsed off with a hose or a power washer. The latter can be rented, if you have a hard time justifying a purchase for a device you’ll use once per decade.
2. One- or two-story building
This particular angle changes virtually everything. Sure, at the moment you might think you can do it all from the ladders, yet, ladders do have their limitations. First of all, painting is a lot of work and it requires freedom of motion, one that you won’t have standing on the ladder. This leads you in one of two directions. First, you can set up a scaffold with is frugal but complex and dangerous. The simplest way to go about this is to find an elevated work platform for hire, which you can move at your own behest. In this way, you get a reliable and mobile work surface and your painting efforts become much more efficient.
3. Watch out for potential hazards
Another thing worth considering is potential hazards, other than falling, seeing as how this is something you should worry about when choosing your work platform. This last part we’ve already discussed in the previous section. Some other things you need to watch out when painting, is the issue of electrical and telephone wires which, although isolated, still might pose a substantial risk. Moreover, some areas of your home are in a direct contact with trees and branches, which might cause you to bump into them, thus increasing the hazard of tripping and falling. So, if pruning is not an option, you should at least exercise increased awareness.
4. Evaluating old paint
Another thing you need to learn is how to evaluate old paint and treat it accordingly. For starters, you need to learn how to treat cracks, as well as how to estimate if it was caused by an excessive buildup. A 1/16-inch-thick means that the last time around, there was too much paint on that single spot. Now, you should peel it off and be extra careful when reapplying. On the other hand, if weathered wood appears you’ll have a different problem altogether. Peeling might reappear, while the paint might stick to a previous surface. Preparing the layer thoroughly might, therefore, be the best option you’ve got.
5. Consider painting all the rest
Once you paint the exterior of your home, your old windows and doors will look even shabbier than before. Sure, improving the façade is a great idea on its own, yet, if you’re aiming to improve the impression that your entire exterior makes, you won’t be able to stop there. Front door makeovers, window replacement and even landscaping all require you to invest time, effort and resources, which is something to consider when planning your exterior home painting budget. While seemingly different, all of these projects need to be paid from the same wallet.
At the end of the day, if you’re doing the project yourself, you have to look past the ROI. The risks, the competence, the cost of the additional equipment might be too much for you to handle, while, on the other hand, you might have similar previous experience or already possess a part of the necessary equipment for the job. In the case of the latter, you’ll find the project much less complex and expensive than you’ve initially expected. Either way, like wars, these projects are won or lost in the preparation stage.