Exterior Painting Tips

Although vinyl siding is a very popular material for the exterior of your home, there are still plenty of homes that still have wooden shakes, stucco, aluminum siding, and cement fiberboard and all of these can benefit from the occasional paint touchup. The newest paints for this purpose, the 100% acrylic paints, work on all of these surfaces.

But before you rush out and buy that paint, stop and give your home a good power-washing.  You need a clean surface for applying the paint. After you power-wash, leave your home to dry for at least a couple of days. If you've got water soaked into the stucco or wood, you won't get good paint coverage.

DIY Project?

Next it's time to think about whether you're going to hire a professional or make it a DIY project. If you decide to give it a try on your own, the main thing to keep in mind is safety, and that involves learning the right way to use your ladder. The ladder should be well-braced. Some ladders come with feet to help make them level where the ground is uneven. It's also possible to obtain a ladder stabilizer. Experts recommend you buy a ladder of a length that is higher than you need. If the ladder is shorter than the highest exterior part you need to paint, you'll be overextending your reach.

Paint siding with a brush or pad, but when painting bricks use a roller to get good coverage on the porous surface. Stucco should be painted with either a roller or a sprayer. You want to be very careful with a sprayer so you don't end up getting the paint mist onto cars parked in the vicinity or on garden shrubs.

Power Wash

If you're painting aluminum siding, you want to start by washing away any oxidation with a TSP (trisodium phosphate) solution. Then you can power-wash as usual, followed by an acrylic primer and two coats of low-luster exterior paint. A sprayer or roller is best for this purpose.

If you decide to opt out of exterior painting as a DYI project and wish to hire a professional painter, keep in mind that a new EPA law states that painting contractors you hire must have certification in lead-safe work methods. Any work that is done on a home painted with lead-based paint can end up releasing hazardous chips and dust. The contractors must know how to contain this contamination.