Regardless of how well you care for the exterior of your home, if you own it for long enough, the chances are good that you’ll need to repaint it. Exterior paint performs several useful functions for a home, such as allowing it to reflect or absorb heat—not to mention increasing its overall appearance. But painting a home’s exterior can be a very involved process, and you could be left at a loss if you only have experience with indoor painting. For this reason, it’s crucial that you’re thinking about all parts of the project and what you can do to make it easier along the way. These are a few key things to consider when painting your home’s exterior to ensure the results are everything you’re hoping for.
The Weather During the Project
One of the main differences between interior and exterior paint jobs is how much of an effect the weather can have on the process. Paint products need certain conditions to properly cure to the surface of the siding, so if you’re working with too much heat or humidity, you can risk having your fresh coat of color slide right off within a few weeks or months. Because of this, you’ll want to choose a few days when you know that the weather will cooperate. It’s best to complete this job during one of the drier times of the year with very little rain and lower humidity.
The State of Your Siding
You should also stop to think about what state your siding is currently in before you start painting it. In addition to high humidity, your new paint could also fail to stick if your old coat is beginning to flake or if your siding needs repairs. As such, you’ll want to make sure that this surface is in the best possible shape before you take brushes to it. At the very least, this often involves sanding the old paint off and washing it thoroughly. Should you notice that certain parts are loose, broken, or rotted away, take the necessary steps to fix them before you do anything else. You may even want to hire professional siding installation services, depending on the severity of the damage.
The Presence of Lead in Your Old Paint
But before sanding away the old paint, do a bit of research into the history of your home. If your property is older, built before 1978, there’s a high probability that your old exterior paint contains lead. This substance, when flaking away, releases toxic particles into the air around it. Inhaling lead paint over time can make individuals incredibly sick and inflame already existing respiratory ailments. For this reason, you’ll want to take extra precautions if your home does, in fact, have this type of paint on its siding.
Choosing the Right Exterior Paint Products
Another key thing to consider when painting your home’s exterior is the type of paint you’re going to use to replace the old coat. Though lead paint has been illegal in use on homes for several decades, there are other potential additives to be aware of, such as VOCs. VOCs are released into the air as paint dries and can have potentially harmful effects on those in the immediate area. This risk isn’t as substantial when painting outdoors, but it’s still something to be conscious of.
Additionally, the paint you choose for your home’s exterior will need to be outdoor paint, specifically. Unlike indoor paint, which is stain-resistant and holds up to scrubbing, exterior paint products have additives that resist fading and the growth of mildew. Because they perform two different functions, you’ll need to choose the right one if you want your paint job to last.
Using a Primer Along With the Paint
Primers work wonders to help the paint dry properly against the siding and leave a smooth, clean finish. This is why it’s best to use a primer along with your chosen exterior paint. Fortunately, a lot of modern paint products include a primer mixed into the paint so that you can apply both the paint and the primer at the same time—and it only costs a little extra. This can save you ample amounts of money and allow you to get more use out of each individual can of product.
Protecting Your Surrounding Foliage
Make sure that you’re properly protecting the grass and foliage near your home while you’re painting. This project can be incredibly messy, and getting extra splatter on your bushes and flowers can both make them sick and diminish their appearance. For this reason, just like you cover your furniture for indoor painting tasks, you should also take care to cover your landscaping. This way, you can ensure that your plants are out of the way while keeping them safe from any potentially toxic substances in the paint. Keep in mind that you should cover any outdoor furniture or utilities as well, such as the garden hose, grill, and deck chairs.
Giving a Professional a Call
Arguably the most important thing you should consider for a job like this is whether you should call a professional. It’s common for homeowners to want to take these projects into their own hands. However, this can cause you to miss crucial details about the process that could have a lasting effect on the finished product. As such, it’s often best to go straight to those who have years of experience in the industry. They can answer whatever questions you might have and help you complete your painting job in a way that fits your needs.
If your home is in desperate need of a new exterior paint job, but you don’t know where to begin, reach out to us at Bear Mountain Custom Painting. As experienced exterior home painting professionals, we’ve broken these projects down to an art form. We consider it our duty to think about all the details of a job so that you, as the homeowner, don’t need to worry about how it will get done. Instead, all you need to keep in mind is the vision you have for your beautiful home.