Some siding on older homes might need so much repair that it is more cost-effective to replace the siding rather than repair it all and then paint over it. Expect to pay between $1,550 and $3,050 for the removal and disposal of old siding and $4,000 to $14,000 for new siding and installation. Expect to pay more if the wood underneath is wet and rotten and needs structural repair work. Thornton Home Painting
In the same way that you need to be aware of pet activity, your exterior paint prep project will require you to keep shrubs and plants in mind as well. Cleaning paint debris out of bushes is no fun, so use a lightweight canvas tarp to cover up flower beds and shrubbery. But plan on removing the protective covering at the end of each day so that you won't risk killing off the plants you're trying to protect. As you place your ladders and drop cloths, keep an eye open for delicate plants or flowers. Avoid them if possible or if they're fragile, consider relocating them into temporary pots. And definitely protect any water features such as koi ponds or waterfalls. A little bit of preplanning can save lots of aggravation and repairs down the road.

Exterior paint prep can be a daunting task to tackle. Depending on the size of the project and your experience level, you might not even know where to begin. Like everything, the best way to start is with a good plan. Identify what parts of the project can be broken into sections and what parts need to be done together. Look for areas that will cause you trouble, so that you can approach them with your eyes open. The planning stage is also the best time to consider testing for lead paint. If you have a house that was built prior to 1979, it's always a good idea to know what you're getting into. This is especially important because it's likely that you'll need to sand or scrape your existing exterior paint during the course of your project. See this Family Handyman article Testing for Lead Paint for more details on how to easily and affordably find out if you have lead paint. Thornton House Painters
Paper/poly drop cloths: $2 to $6 for 9x12-feet. The best of both paper and plastic, these cloths are low-cost and disposable. They absorb paint drips while providing more protection for what's underneath. They also provide some protection from slipping. Plus, you can cut paper/poly drop cloths to fit the space. But, like paper, paper/poly drop cloths can rip more easily than plastic or canvas drop cloths. Thornton House Painters

One trick to exterior paint prep is learning to always keep one eye on the weather. Check out a map of cold weather areas and if vapor barriers are needed. Rain can shut down an exterior paint job, but there are other aspects of the climate to consider as well. For example, many caulks and paints have a limited range of working temperatures. Too hot or too cold, and they will cure slowly or not at all. Read their labels to be sure you won't have trouble. And if you made the mistake of storing paint in your garage during a winter freeze, see Using Frozen Paint to find out if your materials are still good.
Stripping – $54–$151/100 sq. ft.. “The principle of paint strippers is penetration of the paint film by the molecules of the active ingredient, causing its swelling; this volume increase causes internal strains, which, together with the weakening of the layer's adhesion to the underlying surface, leads to separation of the layer of the paint from the substrate.”— Wikipedia. All the stripper will do is soften the paint. You’ll still have to scrub or scrape it off.

When the primer is dry, caulk all small joints (less than ¼-inch-wide) in the siding and trim. Most pros use siliconized acrylics—paint won't stick to straight silicones—but Guertin and O'Neil like the new, more expensive urethane acrylics for their greater flexibility and longevity. O'Neil stresses that it's shortsighted to skimp on caulk. "If the joint fails, you're back to square one." Guertin uses the lifetime rating as his quality guide. "I don't expect 35-year caulk will last 35 years, but it should last longer than a 15-year caulk." Thornton House Painters
Mixing multiple cans of the same color of paint into a larger container, such as a five-gallon bucket, will help ensure a uniform color is applied to your home's exterior. This step, called boxing the paint, is a method the pros follow. This step is important if, for example, you initially bought a gallon or two of paint less than you needed and then picked up the extra gallons at a later time. Thornton House Painters
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