From choosing the right paint to preparing the walls, when painting your house exterior there is a lot to consider if you want the job done right. Professional painters will do most of the work for you, but even the experts rely on your planning and proper instructions.
The best time to paint your house is in the warmer and drier months of the year. Most paints don’t tolerate rain and humidity well. Instead, they need plenty of time to dry. Paint won’t adhere to surfaces that aren’t completely dry.
Getting a quote
Before you start preparing the exterior of your house for the job it pays to get a quote. The main reason being that different companies include different services, so quotes may vary widely. Some paint contractors might include the exterior clean in their quote or things such as scraping off old paint that is starting to peel, filling in holes or sanding the house. Don’t take any of it for granted, though, every company works differently.
Preparation is key
Once you know what jobs you need to do yourself before the painters arrive, it’s time to get to work. Paint doesn’t adhere well to uneven, dirty and rough surfaces. Unless included in your quote, you will need to give your outside walls a good clean and a scrub and allow plenty of time for them to dry. You will also need to sand the exterior to ensure you have an even surface.
You can choose to do this yourself or pay someone, but either way, the job needs to be done thoroughly so that all dirt, chalk, mildew and chemicals are washed away properly. This will not only make the paint job easier but will ensure that your paint goes on better and stays on longer. A clean surface will also make it easier for the paint company to see the true state of your house and give you an adequate quote.
It also pays to have gutter leaks repaired, otherwise water will drip onto the paint and unnecessarily shorten its lifespan. Mask your window frames and protect any areas and surfaces you don’t want to be painted.
If you find any rotten bits of wood now is the perfect time to replace those. Once the paint is on, they will just continue to deteriorate. Smaller holes can be filled with wood hardeners and exterior fillers. Once they are dry, sand and clean the area properly and you are good to go.
Choosing your colour
Paint technology has improved drastically over the last few years you will find a huge range of paint manufacturers on the shelves. Resene and Dulux seem to be popular with tradesmen. Look for premium quality, durable and long-lasting brands that have a great selection of colours. You might be tempted to save a few dollars and go with cheaper brands. However, you will pay the price in the long run.
If you’re having trouble choosing a colour that suits your needs, ask your contractor for suggestions. They will be happy to discuss your options and might be able to show you work they have done in the area so you can see how well it has stood the test of time.
The final steps
Final thoughts to consider and discuss with your contractor are the number of coats they will apply and how long the job will take to complete. Depending on paints and equipment being used, the job might need to be put on hold if the weather conditions change, so make sure you know what time frame to expect. Also double check what happens with leftover paint. Will you get to keep it or does the contractor take it back?
You also have the right to request a final walkthrough once the job is completed. If there is anything you are not happy with, make sure to voice your opinion before it’s too late to make final touch-ups. Your home is your castle, and you will want to look at it with a smile on your face.
- Andrew & Mason (Whangarei & Bay of Islands).