Preparation for Exterior Painting

Nearly 90% of painting failures occur from inadequate preparation. The time and effort your painter puts into preparing a surface for painting will pay off in the long run, ending in a superb finish, fewer callbacks, and permanent homeowner happiness. Although the preparation will differ depending on the shape of the substrate and the sort of paint that is going to be applied, a few essential rules apply to practically every job.

Perfect Solutions Painting® team understands how important preparation is to ensure the final paint job is the highest quality possible, and we follow essential steps to prepare all surfaces before a single paintbrush touches them, including:

  • Washing of all surfaces to remove any mildew or mold
  • Scraping off any loose paint and preparing any glossy areas by scuffing and sanding them
  • Filling gaps with caulk to ensure there are no future water intrusions

All steps in the preparation stage of your exterior house painting services are comprehensive and completed with great attention to detail and care for your home. We stay in constant communication during your project, so you feel comfortable with the work your painting team is doing for you.

What is Proper Preparation?

Painters will place outside drop cloths to help prevent spattering on to surrounding shrubs, grass, or hardscapes. Fundamental to any paint job is guaranteeing that the surface will be clean, sound, dull, and dry. Painters will Repair any cracks or holes or for any previously painted surfaces, remove alligator and peeling paint.

Cleaning is necessary outside where surface dirt is inevitable. Pressure washing is the best way to achieve a clean surface, but be careful to aim your hose away from windows. They can break from the pressure. Always allow the surface to dry completely before painting. The paint will fail to stick to a wet surface.

Speaking of moisture, if you're painting a new concrete or masonry surface, it's essential to allow the concrete to cure completely before painting. Otherwise, moisture trapped below the surface can cause the paint film to blister. Refer to the paint's label or product data sheet for specific information on the cure time.

 Surfaces that are glossy, such as metal railings or surfaces previously painted with high gloss enamel, will inhibit excellent adhesion. Clean the surface first, then scuff sand. It may be needed to increase the profile of the substrate for better adhesion of the topcoat.

When done, wipe off dust or loose particles before continuing. The next step is to remove any light fixtures or wall plates. It saves cutting in and results in a more professional finished appearance. Some contractors also find it helpful to use masking tape to make cutting in easier.

Use a high-quality painter's tape that can be peeled off later without damaging the underlying surface or leaving a sticky residue. This tape will also deliver cleaner sharper edges when separating one painted area from another. Although certain premium coatings perform well over previously coated substrates, new drywall typically requires more than a single coat to achieve good coverage. The right primer has many advantages; it ensures the best adhesion.

 It optimizes the performance of the topcoat, but it can also minimize the surface prep by binding drywall fibers and creating a smooth surface for the coat. It also promotes a consistent sheen across the entire wall. New untreated wood also requires a primer to prevent tannin bleed and achieve a uniform finish. Uncoated masonry services are porous, harsh weather, wind-driven rain, or unrelenting sun can undermine their integrity.

A quality masonry primer will provide the foundation for a coating system that will help withstand extreme conditions for years to come. Some primers are even formulated to promote excellent adhesion when conditions make it challenging to achieve thorough surface prep.

So What's the Bottom Line?

The right primer can make all the difference between a job that stands the test of time and one that fails prematurely. Always consult your paint manufacturer's representative for the best results. Proper preparation also involves caulking to seal joints and cracks. It may be required to seal gaps around trim work or window frames where tubs or countertops meet drywall or between vertical seams and siding. First, make sure you remove the old caulk, and the area is dry and clear of debris. If you prime the surrounding surface, it's best to caulk after priming because the caulk will adhere better to a painted surface. Squeeze a smooth bead along the joint using enough material to fill the gap but avoiding excess that can look messy or pull away over time. Typically, a paintable silicone or acrylic caulk is better for caulking around windows and doors.

In addition to being paintable, these products are easy to clean and long-lasting. If you're caulking a joint between different types of surface materials, make sure the caulk is suitable for both materials. Outdoors you'll need one that has the flexibility to withstand temperature fluctuations. Remember, never caulk the horizontal seams of exterior siding because moisture can get trapped and cause problems in the future. It's no surprise that a good paint job depends on proper preparation. Understanding the unique requirements of your situation and properly preparing the surface will not only save time in the long run, but it'll also result in work you will be proud of.



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