Painting the Outside of A Home

Now that the warmer, dry weather is finally upon us, many people will want to take the opportunity to update the exterior of a home with a fresh coat of paint...

painting outside of a house

 

Depending upon the size of the structure and how it is constructed, such a project can be a bit of a challenge for the non-professional and therefore becomes a job for a tradesman.

There are still a few methods which can enable even the largest of tasks to be completed quickly and easily by professionals. Let's take a look at the tools that are used, some of the main types of paints and how to address different exterior features of the home.

Tools

Of course, the correct brushes are essential. It is wise to purchase models specifically designed to be used with exterior/masonry paints (check out our Prestige Masonry Swivel Head Brush). The bristles tend to hold more material and they will not lose shape over time. Some other basics will include (but may not be limited to):

  • A roller assembly with naps of differing thickness (such as our Perfection Extra Long Pile Roller).
  • Ergonomic extension poles for rollers.
  • Sturdy A-frame and extension ladders (preferably constructed from aluminium).
  • Scraping tools such as a putty knife (you can find these in our tools section).
  • Wood filler and caulk.
  • Drop clothes.


Specific projects could require other tools such as circular sanders, pump sprayers or power washers for preparatory jobs.

Preparation

Scrape away any loose or peeling paint. Examine the exterior of all windows and door frames. Remove and replace any missing caulk if necessary. If you will be painting wooden surfaces such as decks or cedar shakes, utilise a power washer to rough up these surfaces. Any additional loose paint will be removed and the porosity of the wood will be increased; ideal for proper absorption. Once all surfaces are clean and dry, utilise exterior primer to address any spots which no longer contain any paint. This will obviously not be a concern if you plan on staining the home.

Choosing Paints

Different exterior surfaces naturally require specially formulated paints. Any metal areas should ONLY be painted with direct-to-metal finishes. Semi-gloss paints can be used for areas such as soffits, fascias, window trim and exterior door jambs. Flat or satin variants may be used for main surfaces including siding or lap boards. A semi-transparent stain is also a very popular choice that will add a bit of colour while bringing out the grain of the underlying wood. Finally, high-grade masonry paints should be employed on any stone surfaces (both natural and synthetic).

Order of Job Completion

It is most common to use a top-down approach when painting the exterior of a home. So, the order of completion should look something like this:

  • Peaks, soffits and fascia.
  • Trims such as windows and doors.
  • The walls themselves.

This method serves two purposes. First, moving from the top towards the bottom will help to prevent any scuffs or ladder marks along the way. Secondly, it is much easier to "cut in" areas such as fascias and trim to the wall than it is to develop a smooth cut line from the wall to the trim (check out our guide on cutting-in). The final step should be to check for drips and touch up any areas which may have been overlooked.

Clean-Up

The entire site should be thoroughly cleaned before the project is considered to be completed. Roll up all drop cloths and take the materials with you as opposed to shaking them out on the property. Check window sills and other flat areas for any paint chips or debris. If you or your employees had been walking along the roof, make certain that no drips are present upon the shingles. Brush away any additional particles from patios and pathways. If necessary, use a pressure washer to make certain that the area is absolutely clean.

These are some of the major preparations to take into account when tackling any painting project. Such steps will help to guarantee professional results while decreasing the total time spent on the site itself.

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