Steps to Remove Old Paint from Your Home's Exterior

calander Apr 18 , 2022 user-icon Nash Painting

In a perfect world, paint would cling to surfaces forever, rendering repairs and repainting projects obsolete. Unfortunately, even the best paint products lose their adhesive properties over time, along with their color and finish. As such, experts recommend repainting your home every 5-10 years and performing touch-ups as needed. Before you tackle your next exterior painting project, however, you must make sure your surfaces are ready to receive new coatings. If your previous paint job is chipping, flaking, or peeling away, it’s imperative that you remove it prior to painting. Let’s outline the proper steps for removing old paint from your house exterior so it’s ready for fresh coatings.

Steps for Removing Old Paint

Inspect the Old Paint

First, you should determine whether or not your old paint needs to be removed at all. Your previous paint job may have faded, but if it’s still strongly sticking to your siding and trim, you can simply clean the surface and paint over it – this will save you a lot of time, energy, and money. If, on the other hand, significant portions of your exterior house paint are falling apart, painting over it will yield poor results, and you’ll be faced with additional paint problems in the near future.

Prepare the Space and Your Person

Before getting started on paint removal, you’ll want to make sure the nearby area is well-prepared for the mess that’s bound to follow. You also want to stay safe on the job. Fortunately, this preparation is identical to the steps you’d take to prepare for exterior painting, anyway. Cover your shrubs and other green spaces with plastic bags or tarps to protect them from falling debris. Also, gear up with gloves, eye protection, and a mask to protect yourself from chemicals released from paint chips. If you have concerns regarding lead paint, you’ll need to hire a certified lead remediation specialist to safely remove or enclose it.

Pressure Wash Your Siding

Pressure washing is an important step to take before exterior painting, as paint adheres better to clean surfaces. A pressure washer can also aid in the initial paint removal process. The heat and velocity delivered via pressure washing helps soften and loosen degrading paint. In some instances, pressure washing is enough to remove sections of old paint. Otherwise, this task will make it easier for you or your contractors to scrape away the remaining, more stubborn pieces.

Sand and Scrape Surfaces

Any paint that can’t be removed via pressure washing can usually be removed after the fact via sanding and scraping. Contractors will often use a coarse sandpaper in tandem with a large, sharp scraper at this stage for maximum efficiency. When using these tools, great care must be taken to not damage the underlying surfaces.

Consider Stronger Paint Removal Methods

As effective as pressure washing, sanding, and scraping often are, these methods aren’t always enough to remove every inch of old paint lingering on your exterior surfaces. For a more drastic approach, you might consider using chemical stripping solutions, heat guns, grinders, or abrasive blasting equipment to loosen up old paint. Each of these methods comes with a set of health and safety risks, so it’s important to use the right techniques and safety gear when deploying them. When in doubt, hire professional contractors to administer these more abrasive paint removal methods.

Removal Before Residential Exterior Painting

Though not always necessary, paint removal is an important preparatory step in many exterior painting projects. There’s no one way to go about this process, either. At Nash Painting, we bring several years of experience to our Nashville, Brentwood, and Franklin, TN customer base. Let us prepare your home for a fresh coat of paint with our comprehensive pressure washing and surface preparation services. To learn more about us, our services, and our values, call us at 615-829-6858 today!