Now that spring is finally here, you may be thinking about painting the outside of your house. After all, nothing says a fresh start like a new coat of paint. While hiring a professional painting company is always the best choice when painting the exterior of your home, you can save some cost by performing the exterior prep prior to painting yourself.However, as with anything else, there are several steps involved to perform exterior prep like a pro:
- Start by moving objects (such as patio furniture) away from the side of the home.
- Turn off any exterior appliances, such as the air conditioner or the gas supply to the grill.
- Place canvas (not plastic) dropcloths over anything next to the side of the house that won’t move, such as plants or the air conditioner.
- Carefully unscrew and remove any exterior hardware like lights, house numbers or the mailbox. If you have shutters, remove those as well. Set everything away from the house but remember to ask the painters to paint the shutters as well so that they get a fresh coat of paint. Dirty, faded shutters do not look good on a newly painted home.
- Rent or borrow a pressure washer. Set the pressure washer at a low setting to avoid potentially damaging the home and stand a few feet away from the house. Wash the house starting at the top and working down to remove dirt and debris.
- Let the house dry thoroughly and then use a putty knife or paint scraping too to remove any remaining patches of loosened paint not removed by the pressure washer.
- Look for any exposed holes or cracks on the house exterior and fill with an epoxy wood filler designed for exterior use and then let the epoxy dry. Once dry, look for areas where paint was removed during power washing or by hand and use 80-grit sandpaper on a power sanding tool for large areas. If necessary, use a fine-grit hand sandpaper for smaller areas.
- Wash the house exterior again using the pressure washer and an exterior house cleaning cleaner, then follow by rinsing with clean water. Start from the top of the house and work down.
- Check for any areas of mold or mildew and clean with a mixture of household bleach and water.
- Let the house dry completely (usually a few days) and then let the pros start painting.
With a little extra work on your part, your exterior painting job can be made less expensive if you do the exterior prep yourself. In addition, doing some prep work ahead of time will help the paint look even better and last even longer.
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