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Painting Your Home Exterior

Painting Your Home Exterior

Most people wait too long to paint their home because it’s an expensive endeavor, and even more, a pain in the butt if you’re doing it yourself. I fully understand that painting your home is a major undertaking and a big decision that requires a good deal of consideration.

Guidelines To Get You Started

If you’re thinking about doing it yourself, you will need to consider the work involved, the time it’s going to take, and have all the tools and sundries to complete the job.

  • Some of the items you’ll need, though this is not an all-inclusive list are: Extension ladders, step ladders, brushes, roller frames, roller covers, roller trays, extension poles, sprayer (if you are spraying), pressure washer, caulking gun, caulk, screwdrivers, pliers, stir sticks, sanders, grinders, putty knife, drop cloths, plastic sheeting, tape, plastic film or paper film, masker, dust masks, extension cords, etc. Not to frighten you, but it costs over $10,000 to stock one of my trailers to handle the average paint job.
  • Then you need to plan for enough time to do the job. For us the average exterior painting job can be 80-120 hours, and that's for a 2-coat job. So, for yourself; I would allow for 50-100% more time. Certainly, this can take many weekends or most of your vacation time if you are still working full-time. There is nothing wrong with doing one side at a time and spreading the job out.
  • And there is nothing wrong with just painting the sides or areas that need painting. Some homes don’t need to be painted on the north sides or east sides if they are protected.
  • Next you need to choose your colors and pick up the paint. I would not order as much paint as the paint store recommends. They arrive at their numbers by a general spread rate. None of this paint will be returnable unless your home is pure white. I would figure 15-20% less than the store calls for.
  • The most important aspect of the job is the preparation. Everyone has heard this over and over. For us on a 2-coat job, we typically just apply paint for 25-35 hours of the project. That’s right. The rest of those hours are invested in preparation.
  • If you spend enough time scraping and feather sanding the peeling edges; your job will last longer.
  • Before you start painting, make sure everything is covered and protected. This for me, is the most boring part of the job. But if you don’t do this job great, you will be doing my least favorite part of the job: cleaning up mistakes. It is always quicker to do the job right the first time. Correcting mistakes can easily take 3-4 times longer than what was originally intended.
  • The second most important thing for longevity of your paint jobs is the proper primer. You only need a primer-specific product for raw wood, severely dried out wood or if you are painting over semi-transparent stains. The old oil-based primers are still best, but no one really carries them here. Also, the EPA has forced changes of these products so I would not recommend them. Water-based primers and quick-dry primers like Kilz don’t work very well either. They dry too quickly to penetrate the wood, especially in our climate.
  • We use a primer that I have been using for over two decades. We also use an oil additive to help fortify the primer and slow down the drying time. You are welcome to call the office and we will give you the details on how to make a great primer.

When To Paint

First, I always recommend painting your home before it peels if possible. To that end, the first clue for when it is time to paint your home is when it is faded. Faded paint is porous and allows water and moisture vapor to infiltrate the substrate. Ninety-nine percent of all paint failure is caused by water. So, watch for faded paint as the first indicator.

Of course, you can always paint your home just because you want to change the color too.

When choosing your paint, I would recommend you buy from Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore or Dunn Edwards. That way if you do have an issue with the paint, you can speak to someone locally. Home Depot or Lowes will probably pass you off to a regional representative if you have a paint problem, and this may take weeks or longer for them to get up in our area.

I would also only look at lifetime rated paints. Of course, they won’t actually last a lifetime. That designation simply means it is a much more durable, longer lasting product than others on the market. AND, the paint store is just expecting you to move away before testing that claim, which by the way is based on the national average - currently 5.2 years.

Good luck on your home project!

Pinon Painting is at 1032 E. Fair St. in Prescott. For more information or a free estimate, call 928-778-2902.