Best Practices for Exterior Paint Home Projects

Every homeowner knows that a fresh coat of paint can dramatically enhance the curb appeal of their home. But exterior painting isn't just about selecting a vibrant color; it's an intricate dance of preparation, selection, and application to ensure the final result not only looks good but also stands the test of time. Whether you're taking on the project yourself or simply want to be well-informed when hiring professionals, understanding best practices for exterior paint projects is essential. 

Here are 5 tips to ensure your paint job is a success:

Kelly Moore exterior paint

1. Choosing the Right Exterior Paints

  • Type of Paint: There are primarily two types of exterior paints: latex (water-based) and oil-based. Latex paints are easy to clean, dry quickly, and are flexible, making them less likely to crack. Oil-based paints are durable but take longer to dry.
  • Finish: There are various finishes available: flat/matte, satin, semi-gloss, and gloss. Choose a finish that complements your home’s style and the surface you are painting.
  • Quality: Invest in premium-quality paints. They offer better coverage, longer-lasting results, and can be more resistant to UV rays, mold, and mildew.
  • Color: Choosing the right color scheme is essential. For a job this large, we recommend working with a color consultant to make sure your colors are spot on!

2. Surface Preparation

  • Clean the Surface: Remove any dirt, mold, or mildew using a power washer or a mixture of bleach and water. Ensure the surface is clean for paint adhesion.
  • Repair Damages: Inspect for cracks, peeling paint, or rot. Fill in cracks with a high-quality filler, scrape off peeling paint, and replace any rotten wood.
  • Priming: A good primer helps in providing an even base, covering any stains, and improving paint adhesion. Always prime bare wood or when switching from oil-based to latex paint.

3. Weather Considerations

  • Temperature: The ideal temperature for exterior painting is between 50°F and 85°F. Check the paint can for specific temperature recommendations.
  • Humidity: Avoid painting on extremely humid days. High humidity can affect drying times and the finish.
  • Sunlight: Painting in direct sunlight can cause the paint to dry too quickly, leading to lap marks. It's usually best to follow the shade or start on the side of the house that's shaded.

4. Painting Technique

  • Brush vs. Roller vs. Spray: Brushes are perfect for detailed work and trim, rollers cover large areas efficiently, and sprayers are fast but require masking off areas to prevent overspray.
  • Painting Order: Typically, you should paint the trim last. Start with larger surfaces first, like siding or walls.
  • Coverage: Two coats are usually recommended for an even, long-lasting finish. Always refer to the paint can for coverage details. 

5. Maintenance Tips for Long-lasting Results

  • Routine Cleaning: Gently clean the painted surfaces once or twice a year to remove dirt and grime.
  • Check for Damages: Regularly inspect for any signs of wear and tear. Addressing minor issues early can prevent bigger problems later.
  • UV Protection: Some paints come with UV protection. They can help in maintaining the paint’s color and prevent premature fading.
  • Mildew Resistance: In areas prone to high humidity, choose paints that have mildew-resistant properties.
  • Touch-ups: Keep some leftover paint for minor touch-ups. Ensure that you store it in a cool, dry place and seal it properly.

With proper planning, the right products, and careful technique, your exterior paint job can be both stunning and durable. Remember, the key to a successful exterior paint project is thorough preparation and patience. Don't rush the process – the results will be worth the wait!


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