Saturday, 28 January 2012

Painting A House Exterior

Properly Preparing and Painting the Exterior of a House

Painted exteriors of homes can take a beating by inclimate weather, especially wind driven percipitation like we get on
Cape Cod
. In order for your painted trim or siding to last longer follow these simple steps.

Prepping the Exterior
(This is the most important step!)

The first place to start is to inspect the areas you intend to paint. Observe whether there is chipping, peeling or loose paint.
If there are, these areas will require scraping.
Place drop cloths on ground, wear protective clothing, glasses, gloves and mask
Scrape loose paint being careful not to damage wood

For clapboards only scrape with a horizontal motion

For shingles only scrape with a vertical motion

Take 150 grit sandpaper and sand down rough spots use orbital or hand held sheets (Clapboards only)

Sweep/brush loose paint, dust, and wood fibers from siding (Clean up)

Prime everything, not just the bare areas

Notes and Tips
:Make sure the wood is dry and do not paint in direct sunlight as it causes the paint to dry to quickly and prevents it from bonding to the surface. Using a good quality primer will make the job faster, easier, and make finished coats last longer. Remember you always get what you pay for.

Now is the time to caulk any cracks and filling any nail holes, etc preventing water intrusion. Use only caulk and filler that is specifically meant for exterior use.

If no scrapping or priming is needed...

Thoroughly clean the surface to be painted

-Can be done with mild soap and water (wash as you would a car but use less soap)

-Commercial cleaners follow manufacturers’ recommendations (Found at local paint store)


You will be spending some time on this. One way to make it easier is to buy good quality paint and brushes. Some of the popular brands of paint are
Sherwin Williams
Benjamin Moore

Notes and Tips
: If you are painting more than 200-300 square feet of surface area you probably need more than one gallon of paint, thus you need to “batch” your paint to insure paint color consistency. You will need 2 clean 5 gallon pails to do this. Open each can of paint to be used and pour them into one of the 5 gallon pails; then pour from one pail to the other and back again. Do this a few times to insure the paint is fully mixed. Then poor back into single gallons. Wipe the rims of the cans now before you place the lids back on so they don’t stick. (Clean the pails now because the paint will be harder to get out later)
Cover walkways, shrubs, etc with drop cloths (Old sheets work too)
If hand painting shingles start at the top of the wall and work down

-Start by painting the underside of the shingle, paint 3-4 feet then paint the next row down 3-4 feet then move over and start again. (You can “Pull” more of the row if the temperature is not to hot and you’re not on the sunny side of the house nor will be)
Continue to the end of the wall and repeat until the wall is done (Repeat on other walls)

If hand painting clapboards start at the top and work down
-Start with the underside of the board then the face on 3-4 rows, paint each row 5-6 feet
Again you call paint more at a time if there is no sun on the wood

Yes! you need two finished coats.

Give the house time to dry completely (4-6 hours at least and depending on outside temperatures) or just wait till tomorrow.

Cleaning up right when you’re done will save you time later. If you don't have time to clean your brush, wrap it in plastic wrap and place in the freezer.

Paint the “body” of the house prior to painting the trim.

*Always take care when using ladders to reach higher areas.*

Houses on Cape Cod get worn by weather; from wind driven rain, salt in the air and baking sun. It is important to paint a house correctly if homeowners expect the job to last. We hope these directions were helpful!