Preparing for an Exterior Paint Job – Common Questions

Exterior house paint contractorYou’ve hired your exterior painters and you’re good to go, right? Wrong! There is work for you to do to get ready for your house painting job. Exterior paint jobs are really complicated and take quite a bit of coordination to get a great result. Here is the guide to preparing for an exterior paint job common questions.

Q: What is involved in exterior surface preparations?

A: An exterior should always be cleaned prior to painting. A good power washing and review for damage is recommended before any work starts. This ensures everything is fixed and clean prior to the job. Dirt or grime on the outside of the house can keep the paint from properly adhering and cause a paint failure fairly quickly.

Priming sometimes is recommended, especially if your home has any areas that have not previously been painted or raw wood. It’s up to the discretion of the estimator to determine if the primer is a benefit to your job.

Repairs like caulking cracks give you a professional looking finished product. Areas that tend to need repairs like this include wooden elements, joints and frames of doors and windows. There are specialty elastomeric patch compounds for use on an stucco cracks. It will seal the crack and hold up to the elements.

Areas not being painted should be covered with drop cloths, trim and frames should be taped off.

Q: What kind of paint should I use?

A: Material costs can be shocking at first to a novice painter. Professional painters will tell you that purchasing budget paint and supplies will only shorten the life of the paint job. Going with a good moderately priced paint and supplies will ensure you get through the job with no fuzz or bristles in your paint and that it will last for a decent amount of time. The middle to high end paints typically carry warranties that will last from 10 years to a lifetime, so it’s a small price to pay for these guarantees.
While most exterior paint jobs are acrylic latex paint, there are some times oil based paints are more appropriate. Typically, oil-based paints are reserved for wooden homes or homes that previously had oil paints on them. Once either latex or oil paint is used, future updates must remain in the same format.

Q: How many gallons will it take to paint my house?

A: Paint need is determined by square footage of the area to be painted. A gallon of paint can cover up to 350 square feet. That being said, if you are working on a rougher area or in a cooler climate, you may need to plan for extra gallons. Textures soak up more paint and require you to use more to get good coverage. Low temperatures affect the viscosity of the paint and make it roll on thicker, also resulting in more paint need. Experts say an average 1,700 square foot home that is a single story will take about 25-30 gallons of paint and 3-4 gallons for trim.