My Steps .....
The first step in painting the exterior of a house is to make sure that any dirt and debris is removed to ensure the paints ability to adhere to the surface. The simplest and best way to start this process is to pressure wash. This is rather straightforward on a painted house; however, stained siding takes an experienced and cautious hand.
The next step in the preparation process is to caulk any gaps where the siding meets other surfaces, including doors, windows and eves. This prevents water from getting behind the siding and pushing the paint off the surface. It is vital to caulk those spaces using an exterior elastomeric caulking rated to last longer than 40 years. The rating does not necessarily reflect the number of years a caulking will last. A 40 year plus rating ensures that it will be doing its job long enough to last as long as the 10-15 year paint job.
Any loose paint that has not been removed by the pressure washing needs to be scraped off. This is done using a putty knife to scrape any bubbled or blistering paint from the surface. It’s important to ensure that the entire section of loose paint is removed. Frequently the edges of this area are sanded down to remove the edge. On rough hewn timber a wire bristle brush is used for this application.
Often, stucco can be damaged in the course of regular lawn care and through weathering and aging. This results in shallow areas and large cracks. It’s important to debris these areas and patch them with fresh stucco material. We like to use QuickSet. It allows us to patch the break in the wall quickly but with a material that will last for many years. Again, it costs us more, but saves time in both the initial process and in potential return calls that are frustrating to the customer and to us.
T-111 is a type of plywood with vertical lines used as siding. Because of its composition it is vulnerable to weathering. In many cases T-111 will check and begin to delaminate. Severely checked T-111 can be salvaged by using oil based primer to penetrate the surface and bond the layers of the plywood back together. It also can fill the checks, which prevents further damage. If the checks are not filled with the primer, we use filler to replace the missing material.
Lap siding can be repaired in much the same way as T-111 repaired. The difference with lap siding is its smooth solid structure. So, scraping and sanding is the precursor to any repair work. Planing down the surface with a sander is the simple way to remove damage and create a smooth surface again. Of course the final action is priming which creates a surface ready to paint. Shingles Siding made up of shingles is easier to deal with by replacing the individually damaged shingle. It is a simple repair due to the nature of the material. A single shingle, or portion of a shingle is easy to remove and replace without disrupting the entire surface.
All the windows need to be covered in order to prevent them from being painted. At Taylor Painting, we like to use 3M masking plastic. It covers the windows quickly and still allows light into the home. It’s a little more expensive, but we think it’s worthwhile. In a similar manner, walkways, roof tiles, plants and patio furniture are covered and moved when possible.
Finally we get to paint! In truth, the preparation can take equally as long as actually painting but makes all the difference in the final outcome in the look of the paint. Most of the time at Taylor Painting we like to use Kelly Moore paints; however, we will use whatever product our customers’ request after consulting with them to determine the best product to meet their need. Kelly Moore’s KM 1240 (premium exterior flat) is one of the finest exterior products on the market. For most houses we use this product by bringing it to the surface of the house using a large airless paint sprayer. We spray the surface with 3 mills of paint and then roll the surface to ensure the smooth application of the paint over the siding. We use this process around the entire house and then coat the siding again using the sprayer alone.
Trim boards and fascia should be hand painted. We like using KM1245 (premium exterior low sheen). Bringing the sheen up a level helps the more vulnerable wood to shed water and resist the oxidizing effects of sunshine and weathering. Almost always, we paint the gutters at the same time and in the same way as the trim boards.
Finally, we paint the doors using KM 1250 (premium exterior semi-gloss). In most cases we paint these by hand as well. In this way we can easily put a quality coat on a surface that is frequently scrutinized by people standing inches away from it. Some doors have smooth surfaces. On these, we use KM 1265 Durapoxy (Premium interior/exterior high resign semi-gloss) using a small airless sprayer with a fine finish tip. This makes for a very hard smooth finish.
The next step is to remove all masking materials and replace any fixture removed prior to painting. With this done, we bring out the pressure washer again and make sure that any drips or overspray marks are removed from the walkways or driveway.
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