FCI's Painting Blog

Exterior House Painting Tips Part 1

FCI Painting’s Preparation Tips for Ensuring the Best Paint Job for Your Home’s Exterior

Nothing renews the look of your home’s exterior like a new paint job. Exterior house painting is one of the easiest and least costly major renovations a homeowner can do. It also helps ensure that the materials making up your home are protected from the elements, with a new paint job typically providing such protection for 10 to 15 years.

If you have the free time and inclination, you can save significant money by painting your own home’s exterior. However, success of do-it-yourself jobs lies in rigorously following numerous pre-painting preparation details to ensure proper paint adhesion, longevity of the job, and a like-new aesthetic outcome. In fact, the more effort you put into the preparation grunt work, the better the resulting new paint will look, and the longer it will last.

With more than 25 years of exterior house painting experience, Naples-based FCI painting is glad to share its knowledge base with southwest Florida-area do-it-yourselfers, and offers you the preparation tips below. Of course, if it all seems like too much, we’d be pleased to do your exterior home painting for you, from pre-painting prep work to job site cleanup.

Pre-Painting Preparation is Crucial for Ensuring a Quality Finish

Exterior house painting would be relatively easy if you could just start by covering the existing paint job with a new coat of paint. However, to ensure proper adhesion of the new paint, make sure you address all of these pre-painting preparation tasks:

Check for Lead—while this prep work does not affect the paint job outcome, it is crucial for protecting human health. Fortunately, it is only necessary if your home was built before 1978, when lead-based paints were banned. If your home was built before then, you can get a lead paint testing kit from your local hardware store or paint supplier. If the test comes up positive for lead, then you will want to take a number of precautions—such as wearing masks and protective suits, properly disposing of scrapings and residue, and cleaning with a HEPA vacuum—during the prep work.

Clean the Surfaces—new paint resists adhering to dirt, grime, mold, mildew, and other contaminants, making it imperative to wash the outside surfaces slated for painting. Professional pressure cleaning represents the easiest means for handling this task, but it can also be done by hand with any numbers of specialized cleaners designed with exterior paint preparation in mind.

Scrape the Old Paint—while perhaps the most tedious pre-paint prep tasks, if you do not remove any loose, flaking paint, it will inevitably come off soon after applying new paint and expose the surfaces underneath. Hand held paint scrapers are effective, especially when you scrape the old paint from all different directions. You can also use a heat gun to soften old paint for easier scraper, or an infrared paint stripper.

Sanding for Smooth Flow—sanding not only smooths out bumps and rough surfaces that can impede the smooth application of new paint, but also smooths out the borders between the surfaces exposed by scraping and the remaining old paint. For best new paint adhesion, you need to create a smooth transition from exposed surfaces and the old paint.

Repair and/or Replace Rotten Surfaces—Rotten wood, or deterioration in other elements of your home’s exterior, should not be painted over. If the new paint does manage to adhere to such surfaces, it will just temporarily cover the imperfections while the rot and deterioration continue to eat away and destroy the materials. You might be able to repair some compromised materials with a filler, but larger sections with rot or deterioration should be completely replaced. During this process, you should also fill any holes and chips with filler, cover exposed nails with rust inhibiting primer, and apply new caulking where needed.

Now You’re Ready to Get Painting!

With all of the pre-painting preparation work out of the way, you can now turn your attention to priming and painting your home’s exterior. Make sure you lay down drop clothes or otherwise cover surfaces that you don’t want to be exposed by accidental drops or spillage. FCI Painting will detail tips on how to successfully apply the paint to the exterior of your home in a future blog.

Or Ask How FCI Painting Can Meet All of Your Exterior Painting Needs

If you just do not have the time (or inclination) to carry out all of the detailed prep work—along with the subsequent actual painting—needed for a successful exterior paint job, consider letting Naples, Florida-based FCI Painting take care of it for you. With more than 25 years of experience in helping thousands of southwest Florida homeowners paint their exterior spaces, we provide expert service in all elements of every painting job. To learn more about how FCI Painting can help you with your painting project, contact us online or give us a call at (239) 435-1001.

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