You look outside, the sky is blue and the sun is finally shining. You look at your home’s exterior and suddenly realize the winter weather has taken one hell of a toll. The solution is a relatively simple one – it’s time to paint your home’s exteriors.
The only problem being that as you’ve never attempted it before, you don’t really know where to start. Or if nothing else, you’re prime for falling foul of the kinds of rookie errors most DIY types make.
Is it impossible to produce an outstanding finish without outside help? Of course not!
It’s simply a case of approaching things like the pros, which means avoiding the following errors at all costs:
1. Overlooking Lead
First and foremost, if your house was built or painted before 1979, it’s highly likely there’s at least one coat of lead paint on its exteriors. If this is the case, sanding it away and breathing in the dust really is the very worst thing you can do. Testing for lead paint is easy – you can pick up a testing kit from your local hardware store, or have the experts do it on your behalf. Where lead paint is present, we strongly recommend having it removed by the professionals, for the sake of your own health and the surrounding environment in general.
2. Not Choosing the Proper Paint
Realistically, there is no reason why anyone should ever make the mistake of painting their exteriors with the wrong paint. The reason being that just as long as you choose paint from a reputable manufacturer, they make it pretty darn obvious as to which paints are for which purposes. You’ll of course need paints designed to be used outside, rather than inside, along with paints suitable for the surfaces you intend to paint. Wood, brick, stone, plastic, metal etc. – all prime for painting, if you choose the proper paint!
3. Painting Dirty Surfaces
Even the slightest amount of residual dirt on the surfaces you intend to paint will compromise the quality of the result. There are no shortcuts when it comes to cleaning – you need to get the job done properly. The fastest and most effective way is to use a pressure washer. If you don’t own a pressure washer, rent one or borrow one. The manual approach is an option, but takes far too much time and effort for potentially lackluster results.
4. Not Taking Time to Prep
Ask the experts (like us!) and they’ll always tell you that pro painting is 80% prep, 20% painting. The preparation process involves comprehensive cleaning, sanding and general surface preparation, applying quality primer and taking your time with the whole thing. Any corners you cut during the preparation process will be painfully apparent upon completion of the job.
5. Forgetting to Caulk the Cracks
Or if not forgetting, simply not bothering to do it! One of the most common yet costly mistakes is that of attempting to paint over cracks and imperfections, rather than taking the opportunity to caulk them. Let’s face it – you’ve already got your hands dirty, so why not go the extra mile and repair your surfaces where necessary? If not, you simply open the door to significantly more serious problems, further down the line.
6. Using Poor-Quality Tools
You know the whole thing about an artist blaming his brushes? Well, it’s true – gospel, in fact! You cannot and will not produce a quality result if you attempt to smother paint on your home using low-quality brushes, rollers and so on. Take it from us when we say the higher the quality of the tools you use, the quicker and easier the process will be. Not to mention, the more impressive the final result. It simply isn’t worth cutting corners for the sake of saving pennies.
7. Going It Alone
Last but not least, it’s important to acknowledge the fact that painting the exterior of a home represents a major undertaking. The kind of undertaking that should never be attempted alone. Along with safeguarding your own health and wellbeing, it’s also good to have someone else around to hand things to you while up the ladder, grab things you can’t reach and generally halve the workload. Going it alone isn’t impossible, but it’s definitely not the recommended approach!
For more information on any aspect of exterior home painting or to discuss your requirements in more detail get in touch with Melbourne Quick Painting & Decorating.