Exterior House Painting Preparation
Painting the exterior of your home is a very demanding task and one that you don’t want to do often. To make sure that your paint job last for years to come, proper surface preparation is essential. If you decide to tackle this project yourself, be ready to devote as much time on the prep work as you do on actually painting your home.
The first step in preparing your home for painting is to make sure that you have a clean surface. Without properly cleaning away all the dirt, grime or mildew your paint will not properly bond to the surface and will cause paint failure in a short time. The best ways to properly clean your home is to use a pressure washer that has a chemical injector. Using a mixture of common bleach along with a cleaning detergent such as TSP (tri sodium phosphate), apply the cleaning agent through the chemical injector on your pressure washer and allow it to set on the surface for about 10 minutes. After allowing the detergent time to work, spray the surface off with clean water using your pressure washer, keeping the nozzle of the pressure washer moving at a steady pace so that you will not damage your siding. Make sure that you wash all of your siding, eaves and guttering but be careful around your windows because the direct stream from the pressure washer can easily break the glass.
Next, if you have any loose or flaking paint then you will need to remove the paint using a paint scraper or a stiff putty knife. Before you begin to scrape, you will need to cover all shrubs, driveways, sidewalks or any other areas beneath where you will be scraping with drop cloths or a tarp to help catch the paint chips as you scrape. Scrape away all peeling or loose paint keeping a steady pressure on the paint scraper so that you do not damage or gouge the surface. Be sure to always wear a dust mask and eye protection when you are scraping. After thoroughly scraping away all loose paint, you will then need to prime any bare wood. Using a good oil based exterior primer, prime all ares where the bare wood is exposed to create the proper bond between the surface and your paint.
You should then caulk all open joints, cracks and around all windows and doors using a good exterior grade caulk. Caulking is a very important step in properly preparing your home to paint and should never be overlooked. The lack of proper caulking can lead to rotten wood, peeling paint and even insect infestations. If you have any minor damage or blemish on your surface, you can use an exterior wood filler to make them look more smooth and also protect it from further damage. Of course if you have any wood rot or more extensive damage then this wood should be replaced before painting.
Finally, before you begin to paint, you will need to tape off any areas that is not supposed to be painted, such as windows and exterior fixtures using painters tape and lightweight plastic.
No matter how good the paint that you are using is, it will not last very long without good surface preparation, so follow these suggestions outlined in this article and you will have a properly prepared surface on which to paint.