10 House-Painting Rules You Should Never Break

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Exterior painting is the best home improvement project that can revive, beautify, and protect a house. It’s quick, affordable, and effective. A fresh coat of paint can transform your home’s appearance. Painting a house is a huge job that can take several weeks.

A 1,500-square-foot home can be painted by a professional painter for around $3,073, while a larger home might cost up to $13,000 according to HomeAdvisor. Do-it-yourself projects can help you save money on labor. Typically, this accounts for over half the cost. It is important to remember that painting your home can be a laborious task.

No matter if you hire a professional to do the job or you do it yourself, you want it done correctly so that you don’t have a repeat project in a few years. Here are 10 rules for exterior house painting that you shouldn’t break.

Do not skimp on the materials
Make sure you do all the preparations.
Lead paint is dangerous.
Use more than one coat.
Make sure you have the right tools.
Be realistic.
Do not wait for the weather to cool down.
All other aspects should be covered.
Paint using proven techniques.
Get bids and references from professionals if you are looking to hire them.

1. Do not skimp on materials
Top-quality primer, paint and caulking compound are worth the investment. Paint of high quality lasts longer, flows better and covers more than paint of low quality. Paint that comes with a lifetime warranty against any defects in the finish is recommended.

Most house paint is expensive and you only get what you pay. Exterior paint of high quality can be purchased for as low as $35 per gallon and as high up to $80 per gal. Make sure you choose acrylic paint.

Behr Premium Plus exterior paint or Ultra exterior paint are the best-performing brands. They cost between $40-60 per gallon and Clark + Kensington exterior painting. Sherwin Williams Duration exterior paint is more expensive than Benjamin Moore Aura exterior and Benjamin Moore Aura exterior paints are higher at $75 per gallon.

Flat finishes are best for siding. They hide imperfections and irregularities well. For trim, semi-gloss and satin enamels are more durable and can be washed easily.

2. Make the necessary preparations
Paint must adhere well to surfaces that are clean, dry, and free from flaking or peeling in order to be effective. This can vary depending on the state of your trim and siding. You may need to do a lot of scraping and sanding before painting.

Start by cleaning the surfaces. A hose, a scrub brush and water with detergent or a pressure washer are all options. Use a pressure washer to clean the siding joints.

A scraper is needed to remove flaking or loose paint. A 5-inch disc power sander, or random-orbit, will be sufficient to remove tougher paints and smoothen the surface. Begin with 60-grit sandpaper, and then move on to 100-grit.

It’s not necessary to take off all the paint. The goal is to just remove any paint that remains and to smoothen the surface. Fill cracks and holes with a putty knife or wood filler. Allow the filler to dry and then sand again. Before applying primer, brush off any dust.

3. Lead paint is dangerous
While modern house paints are free of lead, older paints may contain it. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency warns homeowners that home improvements involving lead paint could lead to lead dust and chips, which can pose a danger to children’s and adults’ health.

The EPA recommends that you contact a local, lead-safe certified contractor for lead testing and removal. This information can be found on the EPA’s site.

4. Use more than one coat of paint
If you are painting over metal or wood, use a high-quality primer. This will prevent paint from leaking. To reduce the number of coats required to finish the job, someĀ house painters in AucklandĀ prefer to tint the primer towards the final paint color. Some prefer to tint the primer in a contrasting color, which highlights any areas that haven’t been covered by the final coats.

Apply the primer. Apply the second coat after it has become tacky.

5. Make sure you have the right tools
You will need a quality brush, roller, and for certain houses, an airless sprayer. These can be rented from most tool rental shops or home improvement centers. Spray primer and paint on textured surfaces with an airless sprayer. Then, roll it back with a roller to ensure adhesion.

You should read the instructions carefully and practice painting on a smaller area of your house first if you are new to using an airless sprayer. Use a 5-gallon bucket of paint and a strainer to ensure that paint doesn’t clog your sprayer.

6. Be realistic
If you don’t have the tools and time to paint your house, it is best to hire someone who can. It can be difficult and tedious to prepare and paint a house by yourself, depending on its size and condition.

7. Do not wait for temperate weather
Avoid painting in hot weather, rain, or windy conditions. The ideal temperatures for painting are between 50-90 degrees Fahrenheit. Paint that is too hot will dry too fast, just like paint that has been exposed to direct sunlight. If possible, wait until the shade. Below 50 degrees can cause paint to not adhere properly to the surface. Surfaces can be bubbled by water or dew.

8. All Other Items Covered
Drop cloths or plastic sheets can be used to protect walkways, decks, and shrubs from paint splatters. You will avoid costly cleanup later. Masking and covering are essential when using an airless sprayer. Overspray can cause damage to neighbor’s cars.

9. Paint Using Proven Techniques
If you’re a painting novice, do your homework. There are many free resources online that provide information, including videos from experts who break down techniques into steps.

Start at the top, working your way down. Don’t forget to include overhangs. This will prevent fresh paint from dripping onto newly painted surfaces. After the siding is painted, tape around the windows and doors and paint the trim. Once you have finished painting the trim remove any masking or painter’s tape to ensure that there is no residue. Once the paint is dry, you can touch up any areas that aren’t completely covered by the paint.

10. Refer to the References and Bids for Pros You Have Hired
Ask at least three painting contractors for detailed bids and get the numbers and names of their satisfied customers. You can call two to three customers and, if possible visit their homes to inspect the work. You can find local professionals through networks like Fixr, HomeAdvisor and Fixr, as well as read reviews left by previous customers.

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