Exterior Painting Basics

Spring is almost upon us, and there’s no better time to refresh your home’s exterior! You and your family will spend more time outside, so why not improve your home’s curb appeal?

With more than 30 years in this business, you would think we’ve seen everything that can happen on a paint job . . . but I am still surprised myself!  We know that our clients don’t like surprises – but we also know that they don’t want ten page contracts and/or a whole hour session on what could happen on their job.

Keep in mind if something comes up on your job, we will “live the golden rule” and work out something that seems fair to both parties.

For clients that want to be better prepared and want to think through different scenarios, this list of exterior painting basics is for you!


EXTRA PAINTING:  It is fairly common to find more painting to be done while we are there (and want us to get it done before we leave).  That is highly encouraged – our Crew leaders are more than happy to put together a change form and give you prices for anything you want to add to the job we are doing… and we should be able to complete it before we leave!

BUSHES: Please take time to check bushes and shrubs surrounding your house to see if they may inhibit the painters. Prune or trim any landscaping before our painters arrive.

PREPARATION: Please be sure you have chosen the level of preparation you will be happy with when the job is completed.  Review the exterior preparation info if you haven’t already.  We have found that this is the area where expectations are the most important – if you expect more preparation than the level you have chosen, you will probably be disappointed in the final job.

WINDOWS AND DOORS: Important – although windows will dry to the touch in several hours, they will not completely cure for 30 days or so. Please open and close all windows every several days or else THEY WILL STICK ! Also, to prevent doors from sticking apply a small amount of Vaseline or liquid dove soap to the stripping before closing.

COLORS:  By this stage you should be fairly certain of the final color selections. Have your foreman apply a sample patch the first day if you’re not 100% certain of the colors you’ve chosen. If colors are changed mid-stream, we do need to charge for any lost time and product purchased.

CARPENTRY:  If you are interested in any carpentry work, please let us know.  If we find any rotten wood during the washing or preparation stages we will point it out to you, and offer to give you a bid to replace.

WINDOW WASHING:  We recommend having your windows professionally washed after the painting is completed. If you are interested in a proposal, let us know and I will arrange to have Jeremy Fanucci from I Do Windows, Inc. to stop by and quote your job.

CLEAN-UP:  Your crew leader will be performing a daily clean-up so your property is presentable, and a full clean-up upon completion.  Although our final clean-up is thorough, there are often many very small chips that give a “salt and pepper” look to your mulch until the first rain comes.

Whenever possible we recommend replacing rotten wood with new wood.  While it is often more economical to patch rotted areas, this work is NOT under warranty. Eventually it will fail (could be years, but sometimes months).

VARNISHED SURFACES: We do not warranty varnished surfaces. Keep in mind that if varnished surfaces get any direct sunlight, they often start deteriorating in six months to two years. It is recommended that you get a “refresh” including a very light sand and re-varnish before the varnish fails, as that is much less expensive then waiting for the varnish to fail – at that point we need to completely remove ALL varnish, restain and revarnish. Some of our clients ask us to put a fresh coat on their door yearly to keep up on it.

CLOSE HOMES: If your neighbor is very close to you ( property line within 15 feet of your house), please make arrangements for us to be able to place the feet of our ladders on their property. If you prefer we use a lift or scaffolding, the additional cost would be on you.

Horizontal surfaces take a beating from foot traffic, rain, ice, and snow and will show wear before anything else. Many people choose to maintain them biannually or annually.

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