Exterior Painting Prep – Why Is It So Important?

Exterior painting preparation is important for a great commercial paint job.

Now is a great time to boost your home or business’s curb appeal with a fresh coat of paint. The warmer, less precipitous months are ideal for many types of business upkeep, especially exterior painting. Springtime into early Summer is the perfect season to schedule your home or business for an exterior paint job.

What most people may not know is how much work their painting professional puts into prepping before any paint ever hits the brush. If your building’s exterior surfaces are well-prepped, the end result will be a beautiful, long-lasting exterior paint job. Here are 8 essential tips to ensure your painter focuses on exterior surface preparation so you can enjoy the excellent results for years to come.



Plan Ahead

There are a few things to be sure your painting professional plans and inspects before getting started on your exterior commercial project. The first is planning the painting schedule for days and times of the day when the weather is good.

Rain or high wind can shorten how much painting can get done in a day because paint must be applied under non-precipitous conditions and it also requires sufficiently dry conditions for time to dry.

Your professional painter will also take into consideration which days may have unusually high humidity, and either compensate for the conditions or avoid painting during then. Both latex and oil-based paints need specific amounts of time to set and dry so any unexpected weather can disrupt the drying process.

Temperature can also influence how quickly and efficiently paint dries. The recommended temperature for application is usually between 50℉ and 85℉. Be sure your painting contractor follows this when painting your building, otherwise the paint may not dry properly.

Next, an inspection should be conducted for any repairs that need to be addressed by your contractor. There are several common repairs that a professional contractor looks for this time of year. These include but aren’t limited to loose shingles, exposed wood, damaged siding, leaky windows, doors that don’t close quite right, and loose gutters. These inspections may seem extensive, but a professional painter is trained to find issues like these before they become major repairs. This saves you time and money in the long run.

Lastly, your painting contractor will plan the best spots to set up their ladders or scaffolding safely. How your painting contractor sets up ladders and scaffolding depends on many factors, including how much space is between your building and your neighbor’s building. Either way, our professional painters will ensure that the ladders or scaffolding will be placed in a convenient, and most importantly, safe place and way for your convenience.



Clean the Exterior

Once the planning is done, it's time to start cleaning. One of the best ways to clean a building’s exterior is to pressure wash it with detergent. Your professional painter will know which pressure washer and nozzles to use so they don’t cause damage to your building.

If pressure washing is too harsh for parts of your exterior, your painting contractor can use an alternative such as air blasting or otherwise some way of washing by hand. Usually, a mild detergent or bleach is used, and your building is left to dry completely. Your contractor’s goal is to remove any dirt, loose paint, and mildew before moving on to the next step of preparing your building for exterior painting.



Scrape and Sand Loose Paint

Once your building is clean and dry, we inspect the exterior for any loose paint. Using a wire brush or other scraping tool, our team will loosen and remove any paint that is not secure or ready to come off. If a pressure washer isn’t used to clean your surface, your painting contractor may need to spend more time on this step to ensure the surface is properly prepped.


Windows May Need Work

Old or dried caulk around your windows can begin to crack and cause leaks. One indicator of this is condensation inside windows. Areas that your painting contractor will need to inspect are your doors, trim, windowsills, and other previously caulked areas that will likely need to be re-caulked.

Your painting contractor should use caulk that is compatible with your exterior paint to ensure that your building gets the care it needs. We inspect all windows and, if needed, will apply new putty and new glazing to your building. For both caulking and re-putty, we’ll ensure that it is completely dry before moving forward.


Prepping to Paint

Once your painting contractor has made all the necessary repairs, the area around your paint project will need to be prepped for paint to protect other areas of your building and landscaping. Using drop cloth, tape, and other professional materials, your painting contractor will protect any plants, lights, signs, and anything else surrounding or near your building.

Areas needing covering include any walkways, sidewalks, and driveways to help make clean up effortless. It may seem excessive to cover bushes and any other plants growing near your building, but this will prevent them from rubbing against fresh paint and from releasing pollen which can also stick to wet paint.

It is worth mentioning that painting contractors can do some of these steps simultaneously to save time during the drying process. It is important to ensure buildings are completely repaired, dried, and prepped before moving on to priming.


Prime Time

Using a paint primer, your painting contractor will go over any exposed wood or spots where repairs have been made to your siding or other surfaces. While primer is not always required, primer can help paint adhere to surfaces, cover better, and last longer. Using primer also makes the color look more uniform, especially darker paint colors. If your building’s siding is made of wood or has an existing color, your contractor will likely use a primer.


Painting (Finally!)

At Painters Inc., we always plan out which parts of the house or building to paint during the day so that fresh paint isn’t in direct sunlight, as much as possible. Professional painters know to paint western facing sides of your building in the morning and eastern facing sides in the afternoon. By doing so, paint has adequate time to set and dry.

Starting from the top and working towards the ground, painting contractors should paint your siding going along with the grain. Brushes and rollers specific to your choice of paint and building material will need to be used to ensure that the paint is applied as evenly as possible.

Once the sides are complete, we address painting windows and trim, taking care to seal your window panes without letting them stick. Lastly, we paint your foundation as necessary.


A Few Modifications for Painting Aluminum or Vinyl

If your building is made of aluminum or vinyl siding, your painting contractor will have to make a few modifications to the painting prep process. With aluminum siding, the focus should be on removing chalk and watching for dents or other markings. It is recommended that a low luster or satin paint be used via spray application to hide these imperfections.

Painting over vinyl creates similar challenges with one exception. Vinyl can heat up in direct sunlight which can cause it to warp or buckle. Dark colors can exacerbate this process so vinyl should not be painted any darker than its original color. This is something to keep in mind in the beginning stages of choosing the right color for your building and will be addressed early on in the planning stage.



Wrapping it Together

We know that it is important to our clients that their buildings look as good as they can. With the Painters Inc local professional team, you can trust that your exterior prep and paint will be done with complete attention to detail and excellence.

The time and effort our professional painters put into the prep work is consistent and well-planned and will save you time and money in the long run. When done right, a professional exterior paint job can last anywhere between 5-10 years depending on your siding and type of paint. By using this method of exterior painting prep, we do everything we can to extend the life of your exterior painting project.

In addition, we also work with the highest safety standards possible. Rest assured that the materials used meet all safety standards are top-of-the-line. From removing old paint that could be contaminated with lead to the disposal of other materials after projects, our experienced painters know how to handle all materials that could be harmful to you and your building’s inhabitants. We do this all while simultaneously making your building look and feel brand new.


At Painter’s Inc., we are known for our customer-centric approach, in which many of our clients trust us with their buildings and businesses. When you hire our team of professional painters, you are getting one of the best local painting companies in the area. Contact us and get your next project finished with a professional touch.