The price of the paint does not determine the quality of the paint job! You can buy the most expensive paint on the market, but if you do not prep the surface correctly you will not get the longevity you want out of your paint job. This is not to say that there are not different qualities of paint and some are better than others, but regardless you still need to prep!
1). Pressure Washing
There are many environmental factors that leave contaminants on your siding. You don’t want that underneath your paint. It impacts the adherence of the new material to the siding. If there is a paint failure, when it is investigated, often times the representative doing the investigation will just look at the back of a paint chip and see dirt or some other sort of contamination that caused the failure and refuse to honor the warranty. The most common method of ‘pre-paint cleaning’ is to pressure wash. Most house painters are skilled in this and most have their own ‘better than homeowner’ equipment. The contractor grade equipment is adjustable and a skilled contractor will get your home clean without damaging the siding.
Home Painting- Before
2). Allow Sufficient Dry Time
People always ask me what this means on our bids. In most places, people wait to the warm weather season to perform exterior painting. They look at their home and think that just because it looks dry, that it is dry. This is not always the case. Paint, primer and caulking do not stick well to damp surfaces. If you have cleaned under ‘pressure’ the siding can stay wet for days. Always allow several days for the surface to complete dry.
“Some companies skimp on prep work for various reasons. Often the customer is looking for ways to ‘cut corners.’ Prep is hard, time-consuming work; but it is important”
3). Scrape (if necessary)
People tend to not notice that their home needs to be painted until they begin to see peeling paint. All the loose paint needs to be removed from the home prior to new paint being applied. Much of this will come off with a good pressure washing job, but there is sometimes patches left that need to be scraped or wire-brushed off. Edges need to be feathered to create a surface that the new product can bond to.
4). Damage Repair
Now is the time to repair any damages that your home may have sustained either from length of time between painting or portions of the siding being ‘in the weather.’ Most of the time the South and West sides of homes need more work due to sun exposure. If you have rotten wood or damaged sections, now is the time to repair them. If any of the nail heads have ‘popped’ out, re-set them.
This step is not always necessary. If:
- You are not changing colors and your paint is not very old, often the current paint can act as the primer coat. Your contractor can advise you on this.
- Or, you may only need to spot prime in areas where the pressure washing, scraping or sanding took the wood back to bare.
However, if you are changing colors in the extreme, you will often have to prime to prevent the old color from showing through. Although advertised, there is no product that is a primer and paint in-one. At C & C we spray on our primer and back roll it for maximum penetration.
Caulking makes your paint job look ‘complete’ and more finished. If you do not caulk, gaps such as the butt joints will stand out and look glaringly obvious. It also prevents water from getting into the structure and causing damage. This is another area that some contractors will cut corners to save money. We rarely bid to do less than a full caulking, unless the customer specifically requests it and if we do, we always address it in our contract. Remember that the old caulking needs to be removed. Do not just caulk on top of old caulking. It will fail.
Do your research. Every painter has his preferred brand and a good painter will even have brands that he refuses to use for one reason or another. Paint is not cheap and we suggest sticking to the ‘better’ and ‘best’ categories. We have our favorite brands, so contact us for a quote to paint your home this summer!