Avoiding Common Exterior Painting Mistakes
No one said that exterior home painting was easy. Not only is there a lot of area to cover, you also have to factor in environmental conditions before getting started, not to mention all the other issues that may crop up from old paint jobs, worn down surfaces, etc. Even experienced painters make mistakes from time to time. Of course, the best way to avoid common exterior painting mistakes is to know what they are in the first place. Let’s outline the most prevalent problems people run into when painting outside surfaces.
Painting at the Wrong Time
When it comes to exterior painting, you’re at the mercy of the weather. Excessive sunlight, extreme temperatures, high winds, humidity, precipitation -- all these factors and more are at play when painting outside, and they can all stand in the way of a quality paint job. Waiting until the time is right to paint isn’t easy when you’re eager to revamp your property, but your patience will pay off. Ideally, you’ll want to look for a string of 3-5 days that boast temperatures between 45 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (with minimal fluctuation), low winds, no rain, average sunlight, and relative humidity levels no higher than 85% (preferably at or below 70%). Otherwise, your paint might not properly adhere, dry too fast or too slow, fail to go on evenly, and more.
Neglecting Proper Surface Preparation
Thorough prep work is crucial to achieving the best results, whether you’re painting inside or outside. Simply put, you want your paint to strongly stick to the surface, which means any loose material that stands between the surface and your new coat of paint must go, including dirt, dust, grime, mold, mildew, and paint from a previous job that’s peeling or chipping away. Generally speaking, the best way to blast away these unwanted materials is with a pressure washer. More stubborn materials should be scraped away and sanded down, and any broken features should be repaired prior to painting as well.
Forgetting the Primer
While it’s not always necessary to start with a coat of primer, it never hurts to do so anyway. Priming your exterior surfaces, especially those that are bare or recently repaired, helps protect them from damage by sealing their pores and facilitates the adhesion of subsequent coats of paint by offering a smooth, sealed layer as the canvas.
Using the Wrong Paint
It’s hard enough picking colors for your exterior house paint -- more importantly, though, you want to make sure you’re using the right kind of paint for your purposes. Go with a trustworthy, high-quality product that’s meant for exterior painting, such as Sherwin-Williams 100% acrylic latex paint. Better paints will cost more in the short-term, but they’ll look better and last much longer than cheaper options.
Lacking the Required Amount of Paint
After you’ve found a reliable paint for your project, make sure you buy enough of it. Professional exterior house painters make careful, extensive measurements when creating an estimate so they know exactly how much paint they’ll need for the job, taking into account multiple coats. It’s better to overshoot than undershoot. If you don’t get enough, it’s not the end of the world, but it will throw a wrench in your momentum -- and if you buy too much, you can always return unopened cans or store some of them for future touch-ups.
Applying with Poor Technique
Technique tends to separate the amateurs from professional home painting services. While anyone can dip a brush, fill a roller tray, or spray a sprayer, not everyone can do it the right way. It’s easy to overdo it or underdo it, to leave streaks, miss spots, apply a second coat too early, etc. The pros make sure to apply coats with the proper spread rates to avoid cracking, bubbles, drips, streaks, and other common application mistakes. If you’d rather do it yourself, though, you can look up online tutorials and practice your technique on smaller areas before tackling a larger exterior painting project.
We all make mistakes. But if you want your property’s external features to look their best for as long as possible, the fewer mistakes you make, the better. The professional painters at Nash Painting have plenty of experience with interior and exterior paint jobs, and we’re happy to pass on what we’ve learned and/or do the job for you. To learn more about us, our services, and our values, call us at 615-829-6858 today!