Exterior Painting Services

Exterior Painting: Why Prepping Will Save Your Home (And Wallet)

Have you consider exterior painting for your home? Contrary to popular belief, the actual painting of a home

Have you consider exterior painting for your home? Contrary to popular belief, the actual painting of a home only consists of about 25% of a total paint job. The most important part of painting your home is the preparation work. A good “prep job” can be (and usually is) the difference between painting your home every four years or every nine years.

One thing to be sure and ask any painter that comes to give you an estimate is how they prepare a house before painting. It is an easy thing to cut corners on prep and you want to be able to trust that what is underneath your paint is going to hold up well for years to come.

Each home is different in many ways and will require more or less preparation of certain areas, but there are five main methods we use at Foothills Painting to ensure a paint job lasts as long as possible.

The first is pressure washing. This removes dirt and debris from siding and trim before the paint is applied. Also, this will remove the old, fading paint that is no longer adhered to the wood/siding so that the new paint has a nice, clean surface to latch on to.

After a thorough wash, our painters then scrape areas that have begun to crack and peel. It is important to remove the old peeling paint so that the new paint can latch onto the wood (and primer) rather than failing, bondless paint. Plus, when the wood is exposed to the sun, rain and snow, it is much more susceptible to rotting and thus needing replacement.

Once the old peeling paint has been scraped off, it is important to sand the exposed wood for two main reasons (the wood on houses older than 15 years can be quite dry and damaged). Most importantly, this will create more surface area and a good “bite” for the primer to really latch on and sink in to. It also reduces the ridge created by the existing paint that was not scraped off and the bare wood next to it.

Finally, a thick coat of primer is applied to the exposed wood/siding. Peel Bond Primer from Sherwin Williams is a thick, durable primer we love using. This is where the magic happens! Primer is made almost exclusively to protect the wood/siding from further weather damage. However, it also is filled with resin and other bonding agents that “grab” the wood while also grabbing the other bonding agents found in paint. Paint adheres much better to this prime coat than it does if it was applied directly to the wood. Many painters use a very limited amount of primer and some don’t use it at all, so make sure to ask them what their preparation process consists of!

Caulking is another important step before the painting is actually done. Caulk is used to seal joints around windows, doors, etc. to prevent water, dirt and debris from damaging the wood. It also keeps your home better insulated, keeping your heating and air conditioning bills low! Caulk should also be used in the sunken nail holes so that water does not have a chance to sit on the ledges these holes create and swell the boards up.

There are other preparation tactics such as wood putty, chemical sprays, and mildew removers among others, that are needed in certain cases.

For further inquiries about prep work, other parts of the painting process, or to schedule an in-home estimate, don’t hesitate to call Foothills Painting at (970) 286-0060.

Thanks for reading!

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