What are the key steps to painting a house?

New paint on the exterior of your house not only improves its appearance, it also protects it from the elements. To ensure best results, you’ll want to be sure to cover the essential steps of cleaning, stripping, repairing, priming and caulking before you paint. This will give you a smooth, long-lasting finish your neighbors will envy.

Cover anything surrounding the house that needs protection with drop cloths. Clean your home’s exterior using a pressure washer or a scrub brush and cleaning solution, removing any dirt, dust or debris that has accumulated over time. Rinse and allow several days for drying.

Remove any old paint that is peeling or blistering. Have a sample of your old paint tested for lead to determine if you require specialized removal equipment. Even if your paint is lead-free, use a respirator while you remove it. Hand scraping is arduous but causes less damage than a power sander. Leave paint that is still smooth and adhering properly and sand at the edges to create smooth transitions to the areas that have been scraped clean.

Once you’ve finished sanding, examine the exterior of your house to see if any of the wood needs to be filled or replaced. Use a two-step epoxy for deep cracks or areas left after removal of rot.

When choosing the right primer for your home, you’ll need to determine your home’s wood type. Use an oil-based primer for cedar or redwood. An acrylic primer is suitable for other types of surfaces. Use metal primer to seal exposed nail heads so that they won’t rust through your new paint.

Once the primer is dry, caulk any area where two different materials meet for optimal insulation. Choose a product designed for exterior paint to ensure that it sticks to the caulking material. Do not caulk the bottom of window trims so that moisture and condensation can escape.

Consult a Paintzen expert for a recommendation on the type of paint that is most suited to your project. You’ll also want to consider the pros and cons of different application methods. Spraying is easier and faster than brush application, but is likely to result in paint landing where it shouldn’t- especially if this is your first time using a sprayer. Watch the weather forecast to avoid rain as well as sudden drops in temperature, which can interfere with curing and adhesion. Plan for two coats of paint for a high quality, long-lasting finish.

New exterior paint has multiple benefits, including weather and termite protection, increased curb appeal, and mold and mildew defense. With the right equipment and materials as well as a little planning, your home’s exterior painting will be the talk of the neighborhood.

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