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In depth information on do it yourself home property maintenance, covering all aspects of residential home, commercial, business, and apartment building repair, remodeling, and renovation projects Featuring tips, advice, how-to and step-by-step information to help you maintain and improve the value of your business building and home.

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Exterior Paint Preparation Tips

Introduction

A fresh coat of exterior paint is a terrific way to give your home a "face lift" and to repel water intrusion into your home, protect the  investment you've made in your property, and add curb appeal if you've decided to sell your home or other building. Painting is a relatively simple do-it-yourself project the whole family can help with. And by inviting friends over, it becomes a social get-together that can be fun. But before you get out the brushes and paint, there are some steps you should take to prepare your house for painting. Following these easy "prep steps" will help make sure you wind up with beautiful results that also last a long time.

Don't paint over mold growth to hide it because mold loves to eat paint. Read the 25 steps for safe and effective mold removal.

1. For a good paint job, start by thoroughly cleaning the outside of your home because paint won't stick to surface mold growth, dirt, grease, grime or dust. You may be able to get by just  spraying the siding with a hose and nozzle. But you'll do a more thorough job and get better results with a brush attachment for your hose. These brushes often come with a reservoir for liquid soap. You can also wash by hand with rags or sponges. If you do use soap, be sure to rinse the siding after you've washed it. Start at the top and work your way down the sides of the house. If your siding has areas of mold, mildew or discoloration, wash it with an anti-fungal cleaner, available in most hardware and home center stores.

2. On wood siding, fill in any gouges or holes with an exterior-grade patching compound, sometimes called "plastic wood." If damage is more extensive, replace the area with a new piece of siding.

3. Remove even small areas of loose, flaking, chalky or blistered paint thoroughly. If not too extensive, this can be done with a paint scraper, putty knife and wire brush. Loose paint can also be removed with a power washer. Sand the edges of the area of removed paint afterwards to help the new paint cover and hide the edge.

4. To remove larger areas of damaged paint, or multiple layers, you can use a heat gun. This device, which looks a bit like a hair blower, generates temperatures of 1000° F or more. Aim it at an area to soften the paint, and then scrape away the paint with a putty knife. Use work gloves and keep your hands away from the barrel of the gun. Never point the heat gun at anything except the paint to be removed. Set the gun down on the butt plate provided.

5. An alternative to the heat gun is a rotary paint remover you attach to an electric drill. Its stiff wire tines quickly remove large areas of paint. Take care not to press too hard on the siding, or it may gouge the wood. Practice on a board or other surface before you begin on the siding. Keep the tool away from your face or other body parts when it is in motion.

6. Caulk all cracks, seams and gaps with a top-quality, pintable exterior caulk. This includes areas like the perimeter where siding meets windows and doors, corners and the edges of exterior trim. Cracks and seams leave edges where fresh paint can quickly begin to deteriorate. For detailed tips and procedures see the separate Easy2.com tutorial on caulking.

7. Mask off areas that are not to be painted. You may want to place masking tape along the edge of house trim, and around window and door frames and trim, since this is likely to be painted in a different color or with a higher sheen paint. You can also tape newspaper or plastic drop cloth material over windows and doors, including sliding glass doors, to protect them from drips.

8. Place plastic drop cloths over plants and shrubs, or where paint may drip on porches, roof sections, sidewalks, driveways or other surfaces. Now you're ready to go on to the Exterior Painting tutorial

Materials Needed

 

Caulk

Sandpaper

Rags and/or paper towels

Masking tape
 

Tools Needed

Garden hose
Power washer, or Hose brush attachment, or Sponges & buckets for wash water
Spray nozzle
Stepladder
Extension ladder
Paint scraper
Wire brush
Putty knives
Heat gun, or Rotary paint removing tool and electric drill
Caulk gun
Sanding block
Work gloves

Exterior Solid Color Stains - Latex or Oil

Solid Color Stains may be applied to smooth or lightly textured surfaces by brush, pad, spray or roller application, but brush application is best. These stains act much like paint. One coat of solid color stain is adequate, but two coats provide better protection and longer service. Unlike paint, lap marks may form with a solid color stain. Latex-based stains are faster drying and therefore more likely to show lap marks than the oil-based stains.

Latex stain can be applied over freshly primed surfaces and surfaces where an oil-base stain has already been used and weathered. Where old surfaces are to be re-coated with latex a simple test should be conducted first. After cleaning the surface, paint a small, inconspicuous area with latex stain, and allow it to dry at least overnight.

To test for adhesion, firmly press one end of a "band aid" type adhesive bandage onto the painted surface. If the tape is free of paint, it tells you that the latex paint is well bonded and that the old surface does not need priming or additional cleaning. If the new latex paint adheres to the tape, the old surface is too chalky and needs more cleaning or the use of an oil-base primer.

Exterior Re-Painting Tips and Techniques

Remember

 A coat of fresh paint will not glue down a coat of old paint that's ready to crack and fall off. Paints are common coatings used on wood and provide the most protection. Latex-based paints and stains are water borne, and oil or alkyd paints are solvent borne. Paints are used for aesthetic purposes, to protect the wood surface from weathering and to conceal certain defects. Paints are applied to the wood surface and do not penetrate it deeply.

 

Latex paints are generally easier to use since water is used in clean-up. They are also porous and, thus, will allow some moisture movement. In comparison, oil-based paints require organic solvents for clean-up, and some are resistant to moisture movement. Paints are the only way to achieve a bright white finish. However, they, especially oil based paints, are subject to peeling where moisture is a problem.
         

If a new paint coat is to be successful over a problem area, moisture problems must be eliminated. Good surface preparation is also essential. If the wood has been completely stripped or is being painted for the first time, it should be brush treated with a pintable water-repellent preservative or water repellent.

 

After the water-repellent preservative or water repellent has dried for at least two warm days, following manufacturers specifications, apply an oil-base primer or a stain blocking latex primer, followed by at least one top coat of high quality acrylic latex paint. One top coat of paint should last four to five years, but two top coats can last up to 8 or 10 years.
 

If only isolated areas of the paint coat have failed by peeling to the bare wood, spot painting may be the best alternative.

 

First, scrape away all loose paint. Sandpaper or "feather" the edges of any remaining paint left smooth with bare wood.

 

Clean the old painted surface by scrubbing with a sponge or bristle brush. Rinse the scrubbed surface with clean water. Wipe the surface with your hand. If the surface is still dirty or chalky, scrub it again using a detergent, and rinse it with clean water.

 

After the surface has been thoroughly dried, apply one coat of a pintable water repellent preservative or water repellent to the bare wood, being careful to liberally treat end and lap joints. Any water- repellent preservative or water repellent on the painted surface should be wiped dry with rags. At least two warm days should be allowed for the water-repellent preservative or water repellent to dry before painting.
 

All too often, exterior finishes for wood are short lived in durability or fail completely. Failure is usually the result of selecting the wrong kind of finish being applied to the wood surface or of not following recommended application procedures.

 

Exterior Paint Problems and Failures
 

Peeling
 

Moisture can penetrate a paint coat and result in cracking, peeling, discoloration and premature paint failure, these problems may be observed in both heated and unheated buildings and are more pronounced on edges and ends of boards and are also observed where water is held on the surface.

 
Proper construction and maintenance will eliminate most exterior water problems. Ice dams occur in northern climates when snow on the upper warmer parts of a roof melts and runs downward. With repeated thawing and freezing on the roof more water moves to the roof edge and an ice dam begins to build up.

 

The melted water may penetrate the roof and drain into the exterior walls, thus causing moisture and associated paint problems. Ice dams can be reduced or eliminated by adequate insulation in attics and by proper attic ventilation. Inside moisture (water vapor) can destroy paint on the outside of a building by diffusing through the walls.

 

Water vapor from cooking, dish washing, clothes dryers, bathing and normal respiration by an average family of four can contribute three gallons of water per day to the humidity. If the inside of all exterior walls does not have a vapor barrier or if the vapor barrier is improperly installed, water vapor passes into the walls during cold winter weather and condenses to a liquid.

 

The water eventually soaks into the siding and wets the paint. This is a common cause of blistering and peeling. The problem is particularly pronounced around bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens and other areas of high humidity.
 

Blistering
 

Temperature blisters are bubble-like swellings that occur on the surface of the paint film as early as a few hours or as long as one to two days after painting. They occur only in the last coat of paint, they are caused when a thin dry skin has formed on the outer surface of the fresh paint and the liquid thinner in the wet paint under the dry skin changes to vapor and cannot escape.

 

A rapid rise in temperature, as when the direct rays of the sun fall directly on freshly painted wood, will cause the vapors to expand and produce blisters. Usually only oil based paint blisters in this way. Dark colors which absorb heat and thick paint coats are more likely to blister than white paints or thin coats.
 

To prevent temperature blisters, avoid painting surfaces that will soon be heated. "Follow the sun around the house" for the best procedure. Thus, the north side of the building should be painted early in the morning, the east side late in the morning, the south side well into the afternoon, and the west side late in the afternoon. However, at least two hours should elapse before the fresh paint film cools to the point where condensation will occur.
 

If blistering does occur, allow the paint to dry for a few days. Scrape off the blisters, smooth the edges with sandpaper and spot paint the area. Moisture blisters are also bubble-like swellings on the surface of the paint film. They may occur where outside moisture such as rain enters the wood through joints and other end grain areas of boards and siding. Paint blisters caused by outside water are usually concentrated around joints and the end grain of wood aloe.
 

Cracking


Cross-grain cracking occurs when paint coatings become too thick. This problem often occurs on older homes that have been painted several times. Paint usually cracks in the direction it was brushed onto the wood. Once cross-grain cracking has occurred the only solution is to completely remove the old paint and apply a new finishing system.

 

To prevent cross-grain cracking, follow the paint manufacturer's recommendations for spreading rates. Do not repaint un-weathered, protected areas such as porch ceilings and roof overhangs as often as the rest of the house.

 

If possible, repaint these areas only as they weather and require new paint. However, if repainting is required, be sure to scrub the areas with a sponge or bristle brush and detergent in water to remove any water-soluble materials that will interfere with adhesion of the new paint.
 

Do-It-Best-Yourself Mold Solutions

Phil can help you fix your own property’s mold problems at low-cost, more safely, and better-in- results than what is done by many mold inspectors and mold contractors.  How can Phil help you?

     1. Read Phil’s five plain-English,
mold advice books to master mold inspection, testing, removal, remediation, and prevention for your house, condo, apartment, office,  or workplace.

     2. Buy do-it-yourself, affordable mold test kits, mold lab analysis, video inspection scope, mold cleaner, mold killer,
and a mold-killing high ozone generator for the  successful toxic and household mold inspection, mold testing, mold species identification and quantification, mold cleaning, mold removal, and mold remediation to find mold, kill mold, clean mold, and remove mold from your residence or commercial building.

     3. Get FREE mold advice, mold help, and/or answers to your mold questions, by emailing mold expert Phillip Fry at
phil@moldinspector.com. You can also email pictures of your mold problems in jpeg file format as email attachments.
 

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Do-It-Best-Yourself Mold Solutions

Phil can help you fix your own property’s mold problems at low-cost, more safely, and better-in- results than what is done by many mold inspectors and mold contractors.  How can Phil help you?

     1. Read Phil’s five plain-English,
mold advice books to master mold inspection, testing, removal, remediation, and prevention for your house, condo, apartment, office,  or workplace.

     2. Buy do-it-yourself, affordable mold test kits, mold lab analysis, video inspection scope, mold cleaner, mold killer,
and a mold-killing high ozone generator for the  successful toxic and household mold inspection, mold testing, mold species identification and quantification, mold cleaning, mold removal, and mold remediation to find mold, kill mold, clean mold, and remove mold from your residence or commercial building.

     3. Get FREE mold advice, mold help, and/or answers to your mold questions, by emailing mold expert Phillip Fry at
phil@moldinspector.com . You can also email pictures of your mold problems in jpeg file format as email attachments.

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