Whether you decide to do the preparation work yourself or have a professional do it as part of your project, proper preparation makes all the difference in creating a smooth and lasting finish. Do it correctly the first time or you’ll quickly end up spending more to fix peeling and chipping paint. Follow this process before starting on your home's exterior. Keep in mind that the process may vary based on your siding materials: Thornton Home Painting

According to Craftsman National Estimator, "High time difficulty factors for surface preparation and painting. Painting takes longer when heights exceed 8' above the floor. Productivity is lower when an application requires a roller pole or wand on a spray gun or when work is done from a ladder or scaffold. When painting above 8', apply the following factors:

Here are some good painting tips: When coverage is difficult to estimate, add more rather than less when doing DIY wall painting. You can always pour the leftover back into cans. For large jobs, use the bucket and a roller screen rather than a roller tray. It’s much faster to load your roller with the screen than to use a roller pan. Simply dunk the roller into the paint bucket, then roll it along the screen until it stops dripping. House Painting Thornton
While some professional painters will charge a flat fee for a painting project, most charge an hourly rate—about $25 to $100 per hour on average. Most painters will charge more for last-minute jobs (think 48 hours' notice or less), travel costs (if you live far away, the painter may want extra money for gas), or intensive prep work (e.g., removing mold or stains before painting). Also, depending on the painter, the rate may or may not include the cost of paint materials such as paint, primer, and supplies. House Painting Thornton
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. House Painting Thornton

As you remove the loose paint from your home by sanding and scraping, you'll likely notice individual areas that have become damaged. The damage might be from weather wear and tear, or possibly from animal or insect activity. Regardless of the cause, this is the perfect time to make repairs. This Family Handyman article on exterior paint prep reviews a number of the possible types of damage and how to address them. Once the repairs are done, you can clean off the surface. Sanding dust and debris will come off with a quick wipe down or air spray. But if part of the home is especially dirty — especially from road dirt kicked up by traffic — you may need to scrub the siding, either by hand or with a power washer. If you do opt for power washing, be careful not to spray upward. Always direct the sprayer so that the force of the washer moves in the same direction as rainfall. Your siding was designed to shed rainfall, not protect from water coming at it from below. See How to Pressure Wash a House for more details. Thornton House Painters

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


When selecting a color scheme for the home’s exterior homeowners can choose color options that will correct flaws that they may feel exist with their home and property.  Some examples include utilizing two shades of a single color to make a home appear appropriately sized when the home may be too large or too tall.  To accomplish this effect individuals will want to place the darker tone on the upper level of the home’s exterior.  Smaller windows can appear more proportionately sized by trimming them in a lighter tone of paint.  Darker colors make a space or feature appear smaller.  The same effect can be obtained for homes positioned further away from a curb.  By using lighter tones the home will not feel camouflaged. Thornton House Painters

Interview past clients. Talking to former customers is always a good idea. But, to ensure you're getting honest feedback — not just feedback from people who have been handpicked by the painter to sing their praises — ask to speak to the painter's three most recent clients. When you speak to them, ask about specifics. Find out whether the painters showed up on time, protected furniture from paint spills, kept the house clean, completed the project on schedule, and of course, what it cost to paint their house.

A moisture meter will let your contractor know if there’s moisture in the stucco before starting. The wetter the material, the less ready it is to be sanded, painted, finished or covered. Your contractor will use a premixed stucco repair patch material to fill any small holes and will paint on dry days to avoid sealing in water. Painting rough stucco requires more paint. Brush painting stucco costs $112 per 100 sq. ft., roll painting costs $55 per 100 sq. ft., and spray painting stucco costs $25 per 100 sq. ft. Thornton House Painting
Lap marks are those ugly stripes caused by uneven layers of paint buildup. They occur when you roll over paint that’s already partly dry. (In warm, dry conditions, latex paint can begin to stiffen in less than a minute!) The key to avoiding lap marks  when doing DIY wall painting is to maintain a “wet edge,” so each stroke of your roller overlaps the previous stroke before the paint can begin to dry. Thornton House Painters
Supplies and Equipment – Scraping, sanding, and stripping tools and supplies; patching compound; power washer rental; primer; caulk; masking supplies; painters’ tape; ladders and scaffolding; paint pans; brushes, sprayers, and roller brushes all cost money, even if you do it yourself. Consider all of those tools and equipment sitting in your garage for the rest of your life vs. paying an experienced painter to do it all for you at a price that saves you weeks of time. Expect to pay $5–$6 per 100 sq. ft. for supplies and materials.
Tudor-style home exterior paint jobs are characterized by one thing: dark trim against a lighter field wall color. Heidi Nyline of Warline Painting, in Vancouver, British Columbia, notes that these browns and blacks are a shout-out to the Tudor's historical past when the trim was made of natural wood that had been oiled and darkened over time. What really wins the game, though, is the zesty red front door that beckons owners and visitors alike to visit this gorgeous property. Thornton House Painting

One pro tip: the term mineral spirits and paint thinner are sometimes used interchangeably. They are actually very similar. But mineral spirits are more often used indoors because they have lower fumes. Paint thinner is less expensive but has a high VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds). See Mineral Spirits vs. Paint Thinner for a complete run down on the differences between these two products. Thornton House Painters

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