What are the main factors to consider and steps to take for exterior painting?

Presumably, you are going to be living in your home for a long time, so it is important to do all you can to not only make it look great but also to protect it and make it last.

Unless you live in a neighbourhood where there are limits or by-laws concerning exterior paint colours, the colour you choose is a simply a matter of personal preference. But if you are considering re-sale in upcoming years, it is usually a good idea to stick with something neutral in order to appeal to the most potential buyers.

Typical choices for exterior paint are flat and satin, with satin becoming increasingly popular because it tends to last longer and it is easier to clean. The drawback to satin paint however is that it does not hide flaws as well as flat paint does.

Your home’s paint job is more than just aesthetic. It also helps to protect the material underneath. When done correctly, an exterior paint job can go a long way toward protecting your exterior walls from intruding moisture. This of course, can save you costly repair bills down the road.

Generally speaking, a home’s exterior should be re-painted every five to ten years. Telltale signs that it is time to repaint include fading, chalking, peeling, blistering and hairline cracks.

If the surface in question has not been painted before, it is a good idea to use a quality sealer or primer followed by two coats of exterior paint.

As part of the construction or painting process, any cracks, joints or junctures of the building materials must be properly sealed with a good quality caulk or sealant. If proper care is not taken in this step, moisture could seep into the walls and cause damage, possibly resulting in blistering paint and loss of adhesion.

During the sealing process, special attention should be taken with the following areas: any place where door or window frames meet with stucco; any joints, cracks or splits in masonry or wood as well as all places where masonry joins with the siding.

Sealing is done with a few exceptions however such as the lower edges of wood lap shakes and siding. These are usually left unsealed in order for condensation to be able to escape.

Textured and stucco and other rough surfaces need to be painted to ensure that there are no pin holes that penetrate into the substrate.

Chimneys require special attention. If rain enters the chimney, the water can run down the flue and eventually find its way into cracks in the wall, eventually doing damage to the exterior paint. To prevent this, a rain cap should be installed to reduce the amount of water that can get into the chimney.

In some cases, paint alone may not be enough to bridge cracks in the masonry. In these instances, an elastomeric wall coating may provide better protection.

Your home’s exterior paint job is the first thing that most people will notice about your home, so a quality job is important. More than that, however your exterior paint job protects your home from moisture and the more serious problems that can go along with that. A good exterior paint job therefore serves both form and function.