What to Know on Exterior Painting

December 1, 2016 at 1:46 pm

Few home maintenance projects are as important as exterior painting because caulking and painting form the first line of defense against ice, rain, and snow. And a beautiful paint job will enhance the appeal and resale value of your home too.

You want to repair and repaint as soon as you notice that the paint begins to crack, blister and peel. Ignoring these problems will lead to a much bigger and costly work. Here are five exterior painting tips, recommended by a St. Peters exterior painter, which every homeowner should know, whether you’re planning to hire a professional or to paint the house yourself.

Paint Options

There are two main types of exterior paint: oil based alkyd and water based latex. Latex paint cleans up with soap and water, dries quickly, has a faint odor and stays flexible longer so it is less likely to crack. The best latex paints contain 100% acrylic resins.

Alkyd paints require mineral spirits (paint thinner) for cleaning instead of just water and soap. But many professional painters prefer alkyd paint because it is resistant, flows well and dries with less brush marks. But alkyds have a strong solvent odor and dry very slowly.

Prepare the surface

For the new paint to adhere to the surface, you must clean the outside of the house of any dirt, dust, mildew, and chalky residue. A power sprayer provides the best way to do it but scrubbing with a hard bristle brush is also effective and doesn’t take a lot of time because it doesn’t require much preparation and setup time.

Use a hammer and a nail set to hit all nail heads below the surface, then fill the holes with putty on the outside. Once the putty is completely healed, sand it flush. If you are applying new caulking around windows, doors and fittings, make sure to use a caulk that can be painted.

Brush or a Roller

The fastest and most effective way to apply exterior paint is with both a brush and a roller. Brush the paint over narrow surfaces, edges and smaller areas, and use a short, small diameter roller to paint large, long surfaces such as siding and trim.

Take it from the top

Start painting from the top of the house and work your way down. Apply the paint at the end or bottom edge of the siding first, then paint the large surfaces. To avoid overlapping marks, always try to brush a wet surface on another damp surface. When this is impossible and you have to paint on an already painted and dry surface, overlap on the dried paint surface by several inches.

And since you work up, do not forget the basic safety of the ladder: Do not go too far or you might fall. Try to keep your hips in the horizontal rails of the ladder.