Tips for Your Next Exterior Painting Project

The days may be getting shorter, but there is still plenty of time to check off any exterior painting projects on your to-do list. Whether you have big plans to repaint the exterior of your home or simply want to give your entryway a refresh with a brightly-painted front door, you’ll want to follow these tips to ensure a successful outcome.

The Right Conditions

The hottest days of summer are nearly over, and as the temperature drops we approach the best weather conditions for outside painting projects. Always read the label on your paint can carefully to be certain of its ideal conditions, but most exterior latex paints should be applied when the temperature is between 50oF and 85oF.

Rain is one of the more obvious weather conditions that can interfere with your hard work, but wind or high-humidity days can cause problems as well. Painting outside on a windy day may result in paint curing improperly or dust and debris getting blown into the paint before it has dried fully. Excessively humid days (above 70% relative humidity) can also lead to issues with your paint curing properly. Watch the weather forecast and plan your painting project when the temperature and humidity will be moderate with little to no wind.

Use the Best Materials

Spending money on a high-quality exterior paint may feel like a splurge, but it is well worth the investment to use the best paint that you can afford. Inexpensive paints are less costly, because they aren’t as densely pigmented and use cheaper resins. Selecting a high-quality exterior paint will result in a streak-free, long-lasting finish.

Do you have an old can of interior paint in a great color that you are tempted to use outside? That may not be such a good idea. Exterior grade paints are specially formulated to hold up to the elements. An interior paint applied on an exterior surface might look good initially, but the sun and frequent weather changes will leave you with a faded, peeling, or otherwise unsightly surface. Reserve interior paints for surfaces inside your home, and purchase paint formulated specifically for the outdoors.

Proper Preparation is Key

You’ve picked out a beautiful exterior paint color and the weather is perfect, but there is one more step you need to take for this project to look as good in a few years as it does today. Proper preparation is often skipped in the painting process, and it is easy to understand why when the urge to finally get that new color up is so strong. However, rushing past this step will compromise your paint’s ability to adhere properly to a surface, which might lead to peeling paint or an uneven finish down the road.

If you are painting wood siding or decking, check for signs of rot. Damaged wood should be removed and the area filled in with epoxy. Caulking should also be checked and refreshed at this time as needed. Surfaces in good condition only need to be cleaned with a soft brush and a mild soap before rinsing with water. Once the surface has dried completely you may begin painting.

Final Tips for a Perfect Finish

  • Work from the top down to avoid dripping on freshly painted areas.
  • When using a ladder practice proper ladder safety.
  • Avoid painting in direct sunlight.

By following these tips your next exterior painting project is sure to come out looking great and last for years to come. If you live in the Northern Virginia area and want help with your next painting project contact us at 703-574-0059, and let M&D Home Repairs and Remodeling’s experienced team of professional painters do the work for you.