December 15, 2010
If you are lucky, the only thing your house may need before giving it a fresh coat of paint is a good wash down. Spray it off with a garden hose and remove stubborn dirt with a warm, soapy water and a scrub brush. If luck is not on your side, then you may be looking at spending a bit more time and effort in prepping your home for a fresh coat of paint.
Begin by inspecting the exterior of your house including the walls, under the eaves-troughs, around the doors and windows and near the ground. Look for peeling paint, blisters, stains and mildew. Once you have found the areas that need attention, take the time to make the repairs.
Use a scraper and a wire brush to remove the peeling or blistered paint. Be sure to hold the scraper so that the blade is perpendicular to the wood and drag it along the surface. Sand the rough, scraped areas with sandpaper to smooth them out. If there are large areas that need scraping, you can use an electric paint remover which uses heat to remove paint.
Now that the loose paint has been removed and the areas smoothed out, it is time to prime the house. If you are going to be painting your home with latex paint, then use a latex primer and use a solvent-based primer for solvent-thinned paint. The primer will provide a good foundation for the top coat of paint as well as added protection against sun and rain.
You also should take the time to repair leaks in gutters and replace loose caulking found around windows with fresh. If there are cracks in the siding, be sure to fill, sand and prime them. When putting a fresh coat of paint on metal surfaces such as window frames, eaves and downspouts, be sure to remove any rust and then prime the metal with a metal primer.
In order to make the painting chore easier, take down storm windows, screens, shutters and removable light fixtures. If you find it difficult to paint behind downspouts it is often easiest just to remove them and then reattach them once the paint has dried. Take the time to prune back any shrubbery branches that are touching the surface of your house and then cover the shrubs with drop clothes to protect them from dropping paint and spills.
Allow one full day for prepping your home for a fresh coat of paint. Although there may be quite a few things to do before painting, these tasks are all very much worth the effort as the painting job itself will be much easier and less time consuming in the long run.