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    Step by Step Guide to Painting Your House Exterior

    August 17th, 2016

    When it comes to painting the outside of your house, many factors come into play-from the original layer of paint, to the type of windows it features. This article explains the different procedures and necessary care required to safely and successfully paint your house exterior.

    1. Determine Paint Type

      The first step in your paint job is to whether the original paint is oil based or latex. In order to do this, rub a towel with a bit of denatured alcohol on to the walls. If a bit of paint comes off, the original paint is latex based, and if not, it is oil based. This is important, because if you paint oil based paint on top of latex, the top layer will quickly peel off in thick strips, so it is important to use the same type of paint as the original paint layer. On the other hand, it is possible to paint latex on top of oil based, paint as long as you prime the original layer with a layer of oil based primer/sealer.

      If you own an older house, you should use a lead tester kit, sold in hardware stores, to see if there any existing lead based paint. Working with lead based paint can be harmful for the environment and your health, so special care and procedures would be necessary.

    2. Prep the Walls

      Before you begin the actual prep work, you should power wash your house to reveal any areas that need extra furnishing. The next step is to use a triangle scraper or wire brush to remove any old already peeling paint, while being careful not to scour the walls. You would then use a medium grade sandpaper to feather the peeled areas, as well as existing paint that is gloss or semi gloss. Next, use a tack rag, cloth permeated in a sticky substance, to pick up the dust from sanding, and cover any revealed wooden surfaces with an oil based primer/sealer.

    3. Prep the Windows

      The two main different window types each require different approaches. For the old style, which constitutes a wooden frame with framed glass, scrape out any loose putty and prime the exposed wood, letting the primer dry for the time recommended. Buy some glazing compound, and use a putty knife to fill in any missing areas. Now let this putty dry for several days and prime any new putty as well. The next step is to clean up the dust and chips of paint and putty in the window sills, typically using battery powered, small hand vacuum, followed by wiping several times with a tack rag. After priming, use latex caulk to caulk any remaining cracks and holes, as well as around the windows itself. As for the more modern type, made of medal or fiber glass, these can be directly primed and caulked or not painted at all.

    4. Paint the Windows and Trim

      After allowing for the primer on the windows to dry, paint along the trim, 1/16 inches onto the actual edges of the window. After waiting a day for the paint to dry, use a single edge razor blade to remove the paint on the glass. This allows you to seal the window and ensures full paint coverage.

    5. Paint the Walls

      When painting, work from one side of a wall to another, making sure to only apply enough paint for one single brush stroke without lifting your brush each time, especially for latex paint. Latex paint dries up fast and will leave streaks if uneven. For that reason, you should also plan to paint two layers, overlapping yours strokes in order to create an even surface.

    Tags: Painting, House, Exterior, Paint Type, Walls, Windows, Trim