In order to give your house painter the best base for exterior paint, you’ll want to do some prep before they arrive. Doing so will ensure your paint job lasts longer and looks better. It’s well worth your while to get outside for some preparation before the painters arrive!
Your first step is cleaning. A clean surface will ensure a smooth, even paint job that stays where it’s supposed to. The best way to wash off a season’s worth of dirt and buildup, as well as reach hard-to-reach places, is with a pressure washer. If you don’t own one, you may be able to borrow one from a neighbor or rent one nearby for a reasonable fee. You should always be careful using one — the highly pressurized water is excellent for removing built up dirt, but can actually damage wood or break windows if the pressure’s too high. Or hurt anyone who gets in the way of the water! Make sure you follow the instructions carefully and use appropriate cleaning solutions if you choose to.
Give yourself plenty of time to watch the house and let it dry — at least 24 hours, or more in cool weather. Once your “canvas” is nice and clean, do a quick visual inspection to note any areas where there’s loose paint. Using a wiry brush or palette knife, brush or scrape of flaking paint. You don’t have to get it all off, the main goal is to create a nice even surface for the new paint so it’s not lumpy. Once you’ve removed the flakey paint, you can use a sand block or plain sandpaper to sand the surface smooth if it’s still uneven. Old caulk can also cause issues for a new coat of paint, so be sure to keep an eye out for it and remove it. Just remember that whatever you remove, you should replace! Failing to replace removed caulk could result in water damage, especially around doors and windows.
If there are any damaged areas of the home, particularly windows, you should repair or tape them before paint is applied. Any caulk, putty, or glaze that’s applied anywhere should be given ample time to dry, or cure if necessary.
Discuss with your painters whether they’ll be bringing their own primer or if they expect you to prime. Most professionals will be happy to do the priming work and bring drop cloths to protect the area surrounding your home and any flowers or vegetation you have. For any particular spots where you don’t want people walking due to sensitive plants, be sure to communicate clearly with your contractors beforehand. It’s also helpful to tie back tree branches, bushes, or shrubs that usually brush up against the house so that the painters don’t have to move them out of the way and possibly break them.
Your house is now clean and ready for a fresh new coat of paint! To keep your home looking its best, it’s a good idea to have it repainted every 4-6 years, but for some areas you can go as long as 10 or 15 before the house starts showing true signs of wear. Regular exterior cleaning and repair will also help with water damage, pest problems, mildew, and wood rot. It’s definitely worth it to keep your house painted and maintained.
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