If you are planning on doing exterior painting yourself, there are a few things you will want to be aware of before you get started. There are a few mistakes that do-it-yourselfers run into when they don’t take the time to thoroughly plan ahead. Before you get started, make sure you know the common errors to avoid.


Proper Preparation is Priceless

If you really want to save money by painting your home yourself, then the most important thing besides getting the right paint is preparing the home for exterior painting. This means taking the time to scrape off all the paint chips and flakes. It can take a fair amount of time to accomplish this task, but it is well worth the effort.


Once all the loose paint is removed, it is important to smooth the edges of the remaining paint. As you scrape off old paint there will be bits that will remain adhered to the surface. These fragments of paint have rough edges which can cause problems after the new paint is applied. The new paint may be thinner in the areas of rough edges and that can cause the paint to fail later. Sanding the rough edges so they are smooth will eliminate this problem. The new paint will flow nicely and evenly across the surface.


In addition to removing flaking and peeling paint, you want to start with a clean surface. Make sure dust, dirt, and debris is removed before you begin exterior painting. Any of these things can interfere with the paint’s ability to dry properly and last as long as it’s supposed to. If possible, power wash surfaces you plan to paint. After thoroughly cleaning the surface, let it dry for a day or two. Never paint over wet wood.


There may be areas that will need special attention, such as caulking around seams. Use quality caulking materials and follow the directions so you get a proper seal. If you notice areas where wood seems to be soft or rotten, they need to be repaired in order to keep a bad situation from getting worse.


A special note: If you are working on a home that was built prior to 1979, you may run into the lead-based paint. This is a health hazard and there are certain guidelines that must be followed when working on a structure which has lead-based paint. You can get a testing kit from your local hardware store to find out if your project includes lead-based paint.


If the test is positive, you will need to follow the guidelines or risk getting heavy fines. You may want to leave the project to professional painters at this point. Reputable exterior painting contractors like the Atlanta Painting Company are trained and have expertise in working with lead-based paint.


The most challenging part of exterior painting comes in the preparation. This phase of the project will take most of your time if it’s done correctly. Attention to detail in prepping for exterior painting will help ensure your work will pay off with a paint job that lasts a long time.


Prime the Wood

If you are working with wood that has never been painted before, weathered wood, or wood that has been stripped of paint, you will need to apply a primer. Otherwise, you could end up putting on several coats of paint, only to have the wood soak it up like a sponge. The primer prepares the wood to be painted and helps the paint adhere as it should.


Exterior Painting at the Right Time

You want your paint to last and look nice for years to come, so you will need to choose the time to paint carefully. Stay away from days when it is going to rain and don’t paint right after a rain when the surface is still damp. You also want to stay away from temperatures that are too hot or too cold. To do otherwise is to take a chance on the paint failing well before it should. If it is too hot when you get started and you are using a latex paint, the durability of the paint film could be compromised.


Be Sure to Use the Right Paint

Many people pick out paint only paying attention to the color. Color is important, however, the type of paint you are using is also. There are paints specific to indoors and outdoors. There are also paints which can be used either way. Ideally, you will have a good quality paint specifically formulated for exterior use. These paints are made to withstand the elements. For durability, consider choosing a top quality acrylic latex paint. This type of paint will protect against premature failure when you do the preparation adequately. They may be expensive at the outset, but when you consider the long-term durability of these paints, it’s definitely worth the extra money you’ll spend.


Be Safe

Don’t forget to do a lead test on structures built before 1979. Wear goggles to protect your eyes, particularly in the preparation. Check to see that you are using your ladder properly. Make sure the base is sturdy. Don’t stand on the top rung and don’t overreach when on the ladder. There should be someone who can stabilize the ladder for you or at the very least be in close proximity should you fall.


Exterior painting of your home or commercial space is a way to brighten it up and add curb appeal. If you are planning on doing the work yourself, make sure you are working safely. Atlanta Painting Company is a professional company that can take care of your exterior painting needs for you. For an affordable, stress-free solution to making your home or business exterior look beautiful with a new coat of paint, contact us.