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Painting the Exterior of a House

June 5, 2014

According to This Old House

"A fresh paint job has the power to totally transform the look of your house in less time and for less cash than any other remodeling project."  


Hmmm, we couldn't have said it better ourselves.  We at Grant Painting Group are all about providing value to our customers, so we thought it would be a good idea to share some of the things we have learned over the past 30 years as house painters in Hamilton, house painters in Oakville and house painters in Burlington.


Every exterior paint job must start with a thorough cleaning of the surface.  The obvious reason is that a good scrubbing will remove dirt from the surface, but it will also takes off the layer of mildew that is usually present in our climate here in southwestern Ontario.  A word of caution here... we have seen people try to alleviate the overall cost of the paint job by doing the exterior cleaning themselves with a pressure washer.  Sometimes, the results have been very negative.  Mr Homeowner goes to the local Rent All, picks up a high powered pressure washer that he has no experience with, and ends up gouging the wood, or breaking a window.  


OK you ask, how about scraping and sanding?  Could I scrape the house myself to save some money?  To that we say ditto, if you have no experience, better to let the expert house painters do the job.  There are lots of reasons for this such as do I need to use a respirator?  should I use power sander?  should I use a heating gun?  should I use a power grinder?  do I have to sand every inch of the surface?


Next comes patching and repairing of cracks, wood rot etc. Sometimes there is need to actually replace trim or wood siding, and again, experienced house painters would know what needed to be done and how best to do it.  For example, maybe a product like Ready Patch http://www.rustoleum.com/en/product-catalog/consumer-brands/zinsser/patch-and-repair would suffice, or maybe a carpenter would be required.  


Now it is time to consider adding a primer coat.  Do I even need to prime?  Do I need oil based or will acrylic work?   Do I need to tint the primer?  


OK now that the primer has been applied, ready to paint right?  Not so fast, there are still joints to fill.  Usually we recommend siliconized acrylics because paint does not stick to just silicone.  Also, in our experience, better to use a premium caulk here.  Some are recommended to 35 years and even if they do not last that long, the premium brand should outlast the paint.


OK NOW we are ready to paint.  Do you know what paint you should use?  In our experience, the paint that is on sale that day is usually what a do it yourselfer would choose.  But if it is the wrong choice, the purpose will be defeated big time.  Also, some people would do the opposite... that is choose the most expensive paint with the assumption that it would be the best.  If it is a premium price, it is probably a great product, but it might not be the RIGHT product.


The reason is that now that acrylic latex paint has taken over the market, and for good reason, the most expensive paint might be oil-based, but it could be the wrong product entirely!


The last thing to decide is how to apply the paint.  Today, paint srayers are used a lot because they appear to be more efficient and will take less time.  But as per the case with pressure washer, a high powered sprayer in the hands of an inexperienced operator could be a disaster, causing application of a coat of paint that is too thin, or maybe even covering the doors and windows.  


One thing that is certain... it is unlikely your exterior paint job will present us with any situations we have not come across before.  Why not let our experience work for you?


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