What preparation should go into an exterior paint job?
Before you begin painting, it is wise to cover and protect all surrounding surfaces to keep them safe from paint splatter. Tarps, plastic, paper and Visqueen all make great covers. Then:
- Inspect your siding and trim for damage and wear. Fill any cracks and holes you find in the stucco, and replace rotted, warped or cracked wood siding and trim.
- Cover or remove light fixtures, address numbers and window screens. It's nearly impossible to remove paint from screens.
- Sand off flecks of old paint, and clean the surface you will paint to remove dirt and other loose material. Use water, solvents or TSP (trisodium phosphate), depending how much grime and staining you see. Use bleach to remove mildew.
- Sand raw wood surfaces and scuff up previously painted wood to help the new paint stick to the surface. Sand any glossy surfaces.
- Apply a primer. Primer can help seal the wood and help the paint adhere. Choose a wood primers with enough elasticity to expand and contract with the wood as the temperature and humidity rise and fall. (Vinyl primers are used for interior walls and acrylic primers are used for exterior surfaces.)
- If the surface is highly pitted or porous, a stopper or filler (a thick, heavy-bodied coating) may be needed to seal and smooth the surface.
- Finally, apply your paint.
For more information, contact the professionals at Pittsburgh Paints