When it comes time to paint the exterior of your home, there are some key things to know and require of the painter you choose to hire for the job. Believe it or not there is a huge disparity in the quality level of painters even in the same price range. The worst mistake you can make is to assume anything when it comes to the execution of a high quality paint job. If you do enough research and talk with enough folks who have hired bad painters you can educate yourself on what your expectations should be for a legitimate “pro” . I am going to share 30 years of experience in the residential construction industry with you regarding exterior painting.

The absolute most important part of an exterior paint job is the prep work. For our purposes here we will consider that to be all work required before the first drop of paint is applied.

The first and most necessary step is to pressure wash the entire exterior. Paint won’t stick to a dirty surface. Any pro will have a pressure washer who knows what they are doing and knows that it has to be done very thoroughly. Many lowball painters will skimp badly in this department and caulking/priming. It is also important to use outdoor safe bleach which will not damage plants. Next in the prep category is scraping, sanding, removing all loose paint. Once this is accomplished very thoroughly a high quality bare wood bonding primer should be applied to all areas where paint was removed. When priming is done then comes caulking all cracks and holes. I like to use Sherwin Williams Shermax, which is a urethanized lifetime caulk that remains flexible. Once ALL cracks, holes, etc. are caulked we are ready for paint to be applied.

Using a quality paint sprayer will ensure thorough even coverage of paint and allows the painter to apply thicker layers of paint. It is not necessary to spray twice as the sprayer puts enough paint on the surface to equate to two coats. A true pro will use the sprayer for siding, windows and trim. Usually doors are brush painted two coats. Windows are scraped clean once the paint has dried enough.

Paint selection is also very important in this process. I usually offer Sherwin Williams Superpaint as the standard with Sherwin Williams Duration being an upgrade. I strongly recommend Duration for the proven benefits. It is self priming and only requires one coat because it goes on 7 mils thick. Most paints go on only 4 mils thick. It can be applied directly to wood, stucco, masonry/cement, aluminum, vinyl and galvanized metal. It comes optional in a vinyl safe formula. This prevents darker colors from getting too hot when applied to PVC and causing it to curl or move. This is important as most repairs and new windows feature PVC components on the exterior. It also has a lifetime warranty as long as you own the home.

If your painter executes the work to these standards your paint job should last 8-10 years as long as you pressure wash every couple years.

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