A fresh coat of exterior paint is a great way to make your home stand out from others on the block. But before you crack that first can of paint, there are a few important things to know. If you are planning to repaint the exterior of your home, read on. This article will present three tips to ensure that your paint job continues to look good for years to come.
1. Clean the exterior thoroughly.
When it comes down to it, house paint is little more than colored glue. And, just like glue, paint won't stick as well to surfaces that are not completely clean. In other words, to get the most from your paint you first have to wash your house--and wash it well! That means don't just wet it down with a hose. Use a sponge and a bucket of soapy water, being sure to rinse thoroughly when you're through.
2. Spackle and caulk before you paint.
Nothing could be more frustrating than a new paint job that begins to blister and peel before so much as a year has gone by. While most people chalk this up to bad luck, the fact is it can often be avoided entirely. You see, the cause of most blistering and peeling is water that has penetrated below the surface of the paint. This, in turn, is often caused by nail holes, divots, or cracks in the surface of the wood.
The good news is that such voids are relatively easy to fill. For small or shallow punctures such as nail holes, an exterior spackling compound should suffice. Look for a "no shrinking" variety, as this means you will only have to fill the holes once.
For longer, more serious cracks, acrylic caulk is the best repair option. Ensure proper application by cutting the tip of the tube to the same size as the width of the crack. Carefully apply a single line of caulk, smooth it down with your finger tip, and then wipe away any excess with a damp sponge.
3. Pick the right weather.
The ultimate quality of your exterior painting job has a lot to do with the conditions you paint under. Obviously, you don't want to paint if there is rain in the forecast. But what you may not know is that this isn't the only condition to avoid. Be equally wary of:
- high heat
- strong winds
- painting in direct sun
All three of these are bad for the same reason: they promote uneven drying of the paint, which can lead to networks of fine cracks. Worse still, they can cause blisters to form in the surface of the paint. This happens when water is trapped under the surface of paint that has dried too quickly. Painting during moderate temperatures and low winds is your best bet for achieving a consistent, lasting result.
For more tips, or to have a professional do the work for you, contact a local contractor, like Braendel Painting.