House Painting Preparation
Painting the exterior of your house is a very demanding job and one that you don’t want to do very often. To make sure that your paint job last for years to come, proper surface preparation is very important. If you decide to tackle this project, be prepared to devote as much time on the preparation work as you do on actually applying paint to your home.
The first step in preparing your home for painting is to make sure that you have a clean surface. Without properly cleaning away all of the dirt, grime or mildew your paint will not properly bond to the surface and will cause paint failure in a short period of time. The best way to properly clean your house is to use a pressure washer which has a chemical injector. Using a mixture of bleach along with a cleaning detergent such as TSP (tri sodium phosphate), apply the cleaning solution through the chemical injector on your pressure washer and permit it to set on the surface for about 10 minutes. After you allow the detergent time to work, spray off the surface with clean water using your pressure washer while keeping the nozzle of the pressure washer moving at a constant pace so that you will not cause damage to your siding. Make sure that you wash all of your siding, eaves and guttering but be careful around your windows because the direct stream from the pressure washer can easily break the glass.
Next, if you have any loose or flaking paint then you will need to remove the paint using a paint scraper or a stiff putty knife. Before you begin to scrape, you will need to cover all shrubs, driveways, sidewalks or any other areas beneath where you will be scraping with drop cloths or a tarp to help catch the paint chips as you scrape. Scrape away all peeling or loose paint keeping a steady pressure on the paint scraper so that you do not damage or gouge the surface. Be sure to always wear a dust mask and eye protection whenever you are scraping. After you have thoroughly scraped away all loose paint, you will then need to prime any bare wood. Using a quality oil based exterior primer, prime all of the ares where the bare wood is exposed in to create a good bond between the surface and your paint.
You should then caulk all open joints, cracks and around all windows and doors using a good exterior grade caulk. Caulking is a very important step in properly preparing your home to paint and should never be overlooked. The lack of proper caulking can lead to rotten wood, peeling paint and even insect infestations. If you have any minor damage or blemish on your surface, you can use an exterior wood filler to make them appear more smooth and also protect it from further damage. Of course if you have any wood rot or more extensive damage then this wood should be replaced before painting.
Last, before you begin to apply the paint, you will need to tape off any areas that is not supposed to be painted, such as windows and exterior fixtures using painters tape and lightweight plastic.
No matter how good the paint that you decide to use is, it will not last very long without good surface preparation, so follow these guidelines outlined in this article and you will have a well prepared surface on which to paint.