How To Paint

How To Paint A House  

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Exterior House Painting



Painting the exterior of a house can be a large project depending on how big your house is and also if your walls need to be painted or not. So you will need to work out how you are going to tackle painting the exterior of your house and this could depend on how much time you have, you maybe painting on the weekends or it could be your project during your holidays.

Having a starting point is a good idea, most will start the front of their house first and some times this can leed to the sides and back being forgotten. Its nice to have the front of your house looking good so I do understand why people like to start there but if its your first time painting then I would suggest you start on one of the sides. Choose a side that is not seen or has less traffic, the reason for this is because if it is your first time painting you will make mistakes and these mistakes are best made were no one can see them. You will learn from your mistakes and your painting skills will improve so its best to leave the front of your house to last for this reason.

Firstly you will need to wash the exterior of the house, making sure you wash all painted surfaces. If surfaces are not clean then the paint is not going to stick,  this is one of the most important steps in preparing a house for painting. I normally use a soft bristle broom, a bucket of water with detergent in it and a hose to clean the outside down, you can use a pressure cleaner but I find its just as easy this way. I start by wetting the surface down then dip the broom into the bucket of water then scrub the surface. Its generally not to hard to do and once you have scrub it just rinse off with the hose, to clean the exterior of an average house takes about 2 hour for 2 people.

Next you will need to is start you prep work and it will depend on how bad the existing paint is, for paint work in really bad condition you may need to burn off all the existing paint. For paint work in good condition all that maybe required is a light sand.

Generally starting from the top and working your way down but it doesnít matter if you start window or walls first.  If you have windows in bad condition you may want to start these first as they can take some time to prepare and its good to do the hardest parts first, then every thing will get easier from that point.

All surface will need to be sanded, either to smooth out the existing surface or just for adhesion purposes. There is a term "feathering an edge" and its when there has been a bubble or peeling paint that has been scraped back leaving a raised paint edge. Feathering the edge is where you sand the edges back so they are smooth or level so when you paint they are not noticeable.

Any exposed rusty nail heads should be punch it and touched up with a metal primer or simular. Any areas that have gone rotten should be fix either by replacing the timber or digging out the rotten section and filling it with a two part filler, the fill must be suitable for exterior use. Any large imperfections should also be filled with a two part filler, there are other fillers available for small imperfections.

Spot prime any bare timber or surface with suitable primer, you don't want to leave any broken paint edges exposed too long as they will start to lift again.

When your sanding has been done then gaps should be caulked as you donít want moisture getting into your new paint work, this is one of the main reasons for paint breaking down in the first place. There maybe gaps that are not seen from the ground like above windows, these gaps can be even more important to fill due to rain. When it rains water will run down the walls and into any gap it finds and can start the rotting process so its important to fill gaps on the exterior of a house.

When it comes to the painting part its best to paint your eaves first and the reason for this is that the back edge of the fascia (barge boards) is normally painted eaves colour and it is ok to get paint on the under edge of the fascia as you will be painting this later. If you were to do the fascia first then you would need to be careful when painting the eaves not to get any paint on the newly painted under edge of the fascia. Also if you are painting the walls make sure you take the eaves colour down just a little onto the wall, it will make cutting in the walls easier.

From here there are a few different choice's.

First coating windows can be done before painting walls, when painting windows there is a chance you will get some paint splashes on the walls.  At this stage it wont matter if you do get a few paint spot on the walls and its nice not to be worrying about damaging your wall paint.

Barge boards, fascia and gutters can be done before or after walls have been completed but do remember you will need to be careful if walls have been final coated. Its advised that you have a clean rag handy to wipe off any paint splashes that you may get on the walls.

Walls can be painted at this stage but before you apply the final coat to the walls I suggest you undercoat the windows as mentioned.

The final stage is to final coat your windows, doors and any other trim you may have, just remember to have a clean rag handy to remove any splashes you may get on the walls.



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