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Exterior House Painting Tips

Hire a Painting Contractor or DIY, Use Elastomeric, Oil-Based, or Latex Paint

© 2008 by all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without author’s written permission. Author’s Google profile

Paint in a roller pan

Exterior house painting has a lot in common with interior painting. The main differences are the types of paint used, environmental conditions, and the relative danger of the project.

Painting during new home construction differs from when you’re working on a remodel. Your biggest choice is whether you will DIY or hire a painting contractor.

Types of Exterior Paint

In the first place, let’s look at the difference between paint and wood stain. Stain is a product that soaks into wood to alter it’s color. It’s used when the natural wood look is desired on wood siding.

Paint, on the other hand, does not soak in; it dries on the surface and acts as a barrier and a decorative finish. Let’s look at the different types.

  • Primer. Primer is designed to go on the bare wood before the finish paint. Not using a high-quality wood latex primer will result in premature paint chipping.

  • Elastomeric. This is a flexible coating designed for use on brick, stucco, and masonry (including cider block).

  • Solvent Based (Alkyd or Oil). This type takes longer to dry than latex and has a stronger odor. It cleans up with paint thinner or turpentine.

  • Water-Based (latex). Much more commonly used than solvent-based. It dries quicker (less time for bugs to get stuck in it), and cleans up with soap and water.

  • RhinoShield. This product is newer on the market but superior to all those listed above. It gives you many years of no maintenance plus an insulating value!

Surface Preparation

During surface prep, the main thing you’ll be doing on a re-paint is chipping the paint that has lost it’s adhesion, and spot priming the wood there. During new construction, you'll be priming everything, except for James Hardie products, such as siding and soffit vent boards.

Hardie is a cement fiber family of building materials that comes pre-primed, saving you a step.

Environmental Conditions

Painting outside versus painting inside means exposure to the sun and the wind. Be sure to wear a ball cap, long sleeves, long pants, and a respirator if you're spraying.

If the sun is bright and hot, I prefer to work the shady side of the house and plan my day accordingly. Always listen to the weather report before starting and don't work if rain is coming.

Painting Safety

Working outside involves the use of regular and extension ladders, possibly in windy conditions. If the house you are working on is two stories or more and you are working on the extended ladder (such as painting fascia boards), always tie off the top of the ladder.

Never work past your reach. Climb down and move the ladder instead. Always wear protective eyewear, with tinted and polarized lenses preferably. This will help you avoid eye strain.

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© 2008 all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without author’s written permission.