Follow These Painting Prep Tips for Better Results
Have you ever painted your home and then had to paint again only two or three years later? It could be because you didn’t do proper prep work. Paying close attention to the prep work can add years to the life of your paint job. At Spray Finishes, we’re experts in residential painting, and we wanted to give you a few painting prep tips to ensure your paint will stay put.
- Start with Pressure Washing
Paint just won’t stick to dirty or dusty surfaces, so it’s essential that you clean your home’s exterior. Pressure washing is the fastest way to remove loose paint and built-up grime from your house. These washers kick out a hard stream of water, so try it out on an inconspicuous spot until you get a feel for how to control it. Keep the nozzle at least 16 inches away from the house and be careful not to hit windows with the water stream because they can break. And never try to pressure-wash while standing on a ladder, because the recoil can knock you off balance.
- Scrape Away Old Paint
The power washing may have removed some of the old paint, but you shouldn’t skip a thorough scraping. Before you scrape, make sure the surfaces are dry. Then, using a scraper with a fresh, sharp blade, scrape in the direction of the wood grain. Apply enough pressure to remove the paint but avoid gouging the wood. If the blade starts to dull, you can sharpen a steel scraper blade using a fine metal file, or simply purchase replacement blades.
- Fill Holes
Fill any large holes and gouges in the wood with a wood filler. We recommend using a two-part resin filler for best results. There’s some simple prep work involved, but these tend to stick better to wood than pre-mixed fillers. Apply the filler to large holes, gouges, and nail holes according to the label instructions. For small, shallow blemishes, use an exterior spackling compound instead of wood filler.
- Sand Rough Edges
This is one of those painting prep tips that most people tend to overlook, but it’s important. Use a power sander to buff out any sharp or rough edges around scraped areas to create a smoother painting surface. Otherwise, a sharp edge can cause a break in the paint and moisture can seep in over time.
Start sanding using 60 to 80 grit sanding paper. There’s no need for a heavy hand; a light feathering around the edges should be sufficient. When you’ve finished sanding, be sure to whisk away any dust from your house with a brush or broom.
- Apply Primer
Now, it’s time to apply the primer. You can choose either an oil or a latex primer, but oil primers, however, are generally more effective on new wood, metal, and previously chalked surfaces. Work the primer into cracks and especially where trim pieces meet siding. Even out the primer with long brush strokes and check for drips. Remember to work the primer into tight spaces and hard-to-see spots. Surfaces that still have old paint that’s adhering well don’t need a primer.
- Caulk Seams and Cracks
Here’s another often overlooked painting prep tip. Caulk all the seams and cracks once you’ve primed the surface to keep out moisture and hide unsightly dark lines. We recommend using acrylic caulk and siliconized acrylic caulk for best results. These caulks are paintable, long lasting, and easy to clean up. Squeeze just enough caulk into the gaps to get a smooth bead that fills the void. Wipe away any excess with a clean damp rag. Let the caulk set for a few hours before painting over it.
- Now, Start Painting
Now that you have gone through all of the proper painting prep tips, you can start painting with confidence. All the work you’ve put into prepping your home will pay off in the long run. You’ll have a beautiful finished paint job that will last for years to come.
If you’ve got a painting project that requires a professional touch, then contact Spray Finishes, a division of Stone Services. They’ve been in the electrostatic spray painting business since 1938. They specialize in painting residential and commercial properties and have a 10,000 square foot shop for large off-site jobs. Contact Spray Finishes today for estimate on your next painting project.