Tips for Starting Your Exterior Painting Project

Tips for Starting Your Exterior Painting Project

One of the best ways to refresh the exterior of your home is to paint it. This lower cost option will make it possible for you to save money while enhancing your property’s curb appeal. However, before you make the leap and begin painting, you need to make some preparations first.

One of the main things to keep in mind when preparing an exterior for painting is that it needs to be cleaned. If a surface is not clean, the paint you apply will not adhere smoothly or attractively. In order to make sure your efforts toward painting are not wasted, you need to pressure wash the surface. Always wear eye protection when you are using this washing technique as pressure washing is rather intense.

Do Not Use Concentrate Steam When Pressure-Washing an Exterior

You also need to make sure you use the right nozzle. Do not use a concentrated steam as this type of moisture can seep under siding that is lapped or damage wood. Windows have also been broken when pressurized steam was used while cleaning an exterior.

If an area does not display an excessive amount of flaking or peeling, a traditional garden hose and scrub brush should suffice. Choose a cleaning agent, such as trisodium phosphate (TSP), for general cleaning purposes. If mildew is present, you want to employ a detergent that contains an ingredient that will get rid of the mildew. Otherwise, you can also combine three quarts of water with bleach. When you have finished cleaning the surface, rinse off the residue.

Getting Rid of Peeling or Flaking Paint

In order to scrape away flaking or peeling paint, use a wire brush. Use the brush in the spots you cannot reach with your hose or pressure washer. Only scrape away the loose paint. If some of the paint is intact, you can paint over it after you sand down the surface.

After you have completed scraping away any loose paint, you will need to repair any surface defects. Use a compound designed for this purpose. You can follow up by sanding after the compound dries. Before painting the exterior, you also want to get rid of the old caulk. After removing caulk, you will need to re-caulk the window sills and trims.

Place Drop Cloths around the House

The windows need to be repaired and re-puttied as well. After the new putty is applied, it will be ready to paint. However, before you grab a brush or paint roller, you need to place drop cloths around the house. Use such coverings to safeguard your lawn and flowerbeds. You also need to cover your shrubs and make sure the coverings are secure.

As a final preparation, prime the surface anywhere that repairs have been facilitated. Before you begin painting, make sure you have enough paint. Typically, two coats of an exterior paint are suggested for extra protection and durability. You can also wash the surface easier if two coats are applied. Never use a high-gloss paint on an exterior wall surface. Instead, select a semi-gloss or satin finish. It’s better to use a satin or flat paint on wood siding. Semi-gloss paints work well on exterior gutters, trims, or doors.

When Is the Best Time to Repaint My Wooden Deck?

When Is the Best Time to Repaint My Wooden Deck?

A person skilled at sarcasm might answer “When it needs it!”

But the truth is that there are probably some “right” times to refinish a wooden deck and some “wrong” times. In general, late spring is probably the best time. This gets you between the hard winter that might have caused some damage to the finish and the hot summer when you don’t want to work in the direct sunlight. In addition, you’ll have the work completed before you begin to use the deck for family and neighborhood gatherings.

Timing Is Essential

Once you’ve chosen the right product for your deck, such as a good-quality stain or a durable exterior paint, you’ll need to allow time for surface preparation. In fact, this is one of the major mistakes that the do-it-yourself homeowner makes when painting any surface of his or her home. Make necessary repairs and be sure that the entire deck is completely clean and dry. Some property owners use a power washer to get rid of all grime, grease, and dirt.

Allow plenty of time for drying before applying the first coat. You should be sure to fix those loose boards, drive in nails, and so on before you open the paint can. If you don’t want to power wash the deck, use a strong thick-bristled brush with a mixture of three parts water and one part bleach. Remove mildew and stains and allow to dry thoroughly.

When you’re satisfied that the wooden surface is ready for stain or paint, plan to do the work when the deck is not in direct sunlight or the temperature too high. That’s why spring is generally the best time since most paint products work best from about 60° F to the mid-80° F range. Of course, you can also get good results by doing any exterior painting or staining in the fall. The key is to do the work when the temperatures are moderate.

Too Hot, Too Cold

Other painting veterans and paint companies recommend painting between 50° to 85° F for latex paints, as one example. If you paint when the temperature is too hot, the paint will dry too quickly, which may result in brush marks and “clumping” of paint. If the temperature is too cold, your paint will not spread smoothly over the surface nor will it adhere properly. If you try to paint when it’s too cold, you’ll experience peeling and cracking soon after the job is done.

To bring this information together in one place, do all that you can to avoid the four most common mistakes that an inexperienced painter makes. Many people try to put too much paint or stain on the wood surface because they think that “more is better.” Good stains and paints are designed to penetrate to some extent, which gives the protection that you need for exterior projects. Follow the product recommendations carefully.

You’ve read about the problems moisture can cause when painting or staining. Be sure to allow plenty of time for the wood to dry. The last two mistakes often made are painting in hot weather and direct sunlight or not waiting for new pressure-treated wood to “cure” before putting paint or stain on. Consult with your paint professional before starting any project.

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