Exterior Residential Painting: How We Ensure Proper Surface Prep for Any Material

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Painting a home can give it a new look and new life. Whether you’re updating to sell or just to make your Madison house a place you look forward to coming home to, you want it to look good. While you may want to focus on the color and design of the new paint job, one of the most important aspects of exterior residential painting is prepping the surface.

Why You Need to Prep the Surface

The main goal behind surface prep is to ensure the paint adheres and that it looks good. If you fail to follow through with this step, you may discover your paint is peeling within a year or two, or even just a few months. Failing to prep the surface correctly could also mean your paint looks grainy, flaky, or just isn’t smooth. You need to remove all the stuff that will prevent a professional-looking application. While this process takes some time, it’s one step you don’t want to skip.

Start with a Clean Surface

You need a clean surface for the paint, so your first step should be to wash the exterior of your house. Power washing is the fastest and most effective way to remove all the mold and mildew, dust and grime that has accumulated.Washing the exterior of your house also exposes needed repairs. Sometimes, dirt can be hiding holes, cracks, and other signs of damage. Once you have a clean surface, you can work on fixing any other issues.

Remove Loose Paint

When you power wash, it will remove a lot of chipped and peeling paint. After you’ve finished power washing, your next step is to use a wire brush or paint scraper to remove any loose paint that the washer couldn’t reach. Don’t worry about removing all paint, only the areas where the paint is peeling or flaking. You need a solid surface for the new paint to adhere.

Make Repairs

If you find any dents or scratches on the exterior, your next step is to make the necessary repairs. Superficial issues can easily be fixed with a repair compound. You’ll just need to sand once it has dried. Remove and replace any damaged trim or siding before painting the exterior. You’ll also need to remove old caulk from windows and doors and recaulk. You want everything to look clean and new when the project is finished.

Sand the Exterior

The next step, if you are painting wood, is to get a sander and sand the wood before painting. This gives it a rough surface which will ensure the paint attaches for longer wear. You want to sand in the direction of the wood grain if you have wood siding. You may need more than one size of sander if you need to sand intricate trim. If the old paint is in good condition and you’re just looking to change colors, you may be able to skip this step and go straight to priming.

Prime the Surface

Regardless of whether you are painting brick or wood, you’ll need to prime the surface. Use a primer made specifically for the type of surface you’re working with. This is an important step you don’t want to skip for long-lasting results. Once you’ve completed all the work of prepping a surface for paint, you’ll be ready for the fun task of adding color. The results will make your home stand out in any neighborhood. If this sounds like more work than what you have time for, hire a Wisconsin painting company to take care of the prep and exterior painting for you.

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